LSI welcomes MD/PhD student Yun Min Chang


Yun Min “Danny” Chang joins LSI as a graduate student co-advised with Dr. Rafi Ahmed at Emory. 

Danny was born in Seoul, South Korea and immigrated to the US at the age of 9. He grew up in Tarpon Springs, FL and graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Florida. As a University and HHMI Scholar, he worked in Dr. Weihong Tan’s lab developing artificial-aptamer lipid receptors for cellular modification. He was later awarded the Pasteur-HHMI fellowship which allowed him to work at the Pasteur Institute in France. There, he worked under Dr. Oleg Melnyk to develop novel selenium-based linkers that facilitate native chemical ligation of peptides. For his senior year, he was awarded the prestigious HHMI EXROP and the HHMI Capstone fellowships to work with Dr. Stuart Schreiber at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. There he studied genomic biomarkers for rapamycin sensitivity in cancer cell lines and the efficacy of decitabine combination therapy in ovarian cancer. His undergraduate research studies culminated in 5 peer-reviewed publications. In recognition of his accomplishments, he was appointed as a J. Wayne Reitz Scholar and inducted into the UF Hall of Fame. After graduation, he worked as a post-baccalaureate fellow in Dr. William Gahl’s lab at the NIH where he helped discover and characterize the mutation in the LAMA1 gene underlying the Poretti-Boltshauser Syndrome. This finding was later published on the cover of Journal of Medical Genetics. Currently, he is an MD/PhD student studying Immunology at Emory. He is jointly advised by Dr. Rafi Ahmed, director of the Emory Vaccine Center, developing novel therapies to modulate the differentiation of effector, memory, and exhausted T cells in the context of human cancers. Danny loves to travel, attend music festivals/concerts, and play golf in his free time. Go Gators!