Dr. Yilei Qian

Dr. Yilei Qian
  • Associate Professor of Microbiology
  • B.S. (Fudan University)
  • Ph.D. Ohio State University (1997)
  • Phone:574-520-4176
  • Office: Northside 130A
  • Email: yilqian AT


As a microbiologist, I’m interested in a variety of bacterial species and various aspects of microbiological research, including microbial physiology, genetics, host-microbe interactions, and biotechnology. The organisms that we are currently working on are a group of gut bacteria belonging to the genus Bifidobacterium. These gram positive anaerobes are among the first to colonize human body (intestines) right after birth and their decreased abundance is closely associated with the disease status of human gastrointestinal tract. Even though they have long been considered as beneficial organisms to human, and much experimental evidence has shown their involvement in colon cancer prevention, immunomodulation, inhibition of gut pathogens, alleviation of lactose intolerance, etc, there is still a significant lack of information on how they survive and persist in the human GI environment. Our research goals are to reveal and examine the factors that are important to the growth, survival and adaptation in the human host of diverse species of bifidobacteria.


  • J. L. Gibson, Y. Qian, G. C. Paoli, J. M. Dubbs, H. H. Xu, H. V. Modak, K. M. Horken, T. M. Wahlund, G. M. F. Watson and F. R. Tabita. 1996. Molecular control and biochemistry of CO2 fixation in photosynthetic bacteria. 94-101. In: M. E. Lidstrom and F. R. Tabita (eds). Microbial growth on C1 compounds. Kluwer Academic Publishers.

Conference presentations

  • Qian, Y and L.O Ingram. 2005. Engineering Ethanologenic Escherichia coli Strain for Hemicellulose Utilization. American Society for Microbiology 106th General Meeting, Atlanta, GA.
  • Qian, Y., C. Erbe, T. Popovic and R.K. Holmes. 2001. Characterization of the repressor function of dtxR alleles in epidemic strains of Corynebacterium diphtheriae. American Society for Microbiology 101th General Meeting, Orlando, FL.
  • Gregory Luli, Brent Wood, Bin Yang, Charles Wyman, Shengde Zou, Yilei Qian, and Lonnie Ingram. 2003. Reducing the Cost of Lignocellulose Conversion to Ethanol. 25th Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals, Presentation SpTB-01. Brechenridge, Colorado.