Dong Yan received his bachelor’s degree in Biology from Nankai University (Tianjin, China) in 2001. Following an interest in neuroscience, he then joined the Institute of Neuroscience (ION), the Chinese Academy of Sciences, as a graduate student. During his graduate training, he discovered the important role of AKT local degradation in the establishment and maintenance of neuronal polarity. As a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California, San Diego, he furthered his study of neural development and disorder in vivo using the genetic model organism C. elegans. Here, he demonstrated the essential role of a conserved MAP kinase pathway, the DLK-1 pathway, in axon regeneration and synapse regulation. Dr. Yan joined the MGM department at Duke University in September 2013. His lab focuses on addressing the molecular mechanisms undying neural circuit formation during development and neurodegeneration in aging.