Dr Yiliang Ding

Project Leader
Cell and Developmental Biology

Yiliang’s research is on nucleic acid chemistry and RNA biology and bioinformatics.  Her research investigates the role of RNA structure in gene regulation, such as translation, spicing and degradation.

Yiliang focuses on understanding the dynamics of RNA structure in living cells both at the genome-wide scale and for individually targeted functional RNAs. To do this she develops new experimental and analytical approaches for revealing RNA structure and RNA-protein interactions.

  • Role of RNA structure in post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression
  • Exploring how RNA structures alter in response to environmental changes
  • Developing new approaches for revealing RNA structure and RNA-protein interactions


Post-transcriptional regulation of genes has gained much attention in recent years because of its direct and rapid regulation of protein levels.

Their previous research has developed two novel and powerful platforms to study RNA structure in vivo and across diverse species at both the genome-wide scale (Ding et al., 2014 Nature) and in individual RNAs (Kwok et al., 2013 Nature Communications). These breakthroughs have removed technological barriers and opened up new avenues for RNA biology research. The lab uses multidisciplinary knowledge and approaches in areas of Nucleic Acid Chemistry, RNA Biology and Bioinformatics.

Their research focuses on:

1. Determining the role of RNA structure in the post-transcriptional regulation of gene expression including translation, polyadenylation, RNA splicing, RNA stability and RNA processing

2. Exploring how RNA structures alter in response to environmental changes

3. Developing new experimental and analytical approaches for revealing RNA structure and RNA-protein interactions

The Ding lab is seeking enthusiastic and highly motivated people with interests in studying these new avenues.


Tel: 01603 450266

John Innes Centre scientists awarded prestigious five year european research council starting grants

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Five new Project Leaders join the John Innes Centre

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Recent Publications

Deng H., Cheema J., Zhang H., Woolfenden H., Norris M., Liu Z., Liu Q., Yang X., Yang M., Deng X., Cao X., Ding Y. (2018)

Rice in vivo RNA structurome reveals RNA secondary structure conservation and divergence in plants.

Molecular Plant

Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.molp.2018.01.008

Norris M., Kwok C., Cheema J., Hartley M., Morris R., Aviran S., Ding Y. (2016)

FoldAtlas: a repository for genome-wide RNA structure probing data

Bioinformatics Sep 22 2016 p1-3

Publisher’s version: 10.1093/bioinformatics/btw611

Vernié T., Kim J., Frances L., Ding Y., Sun J., Guan D., Niebel A., Gifford M. L., de Carvalho-Niebel F., Oldroyd G. E. (2015)

The NIN Transcription Factor Coordinates Diverse Nodulation Programs in Different Tissues of the Medicago truncatula Root.

Plant Cell 27 p3410-24

Publisher’s version: 10.1105/tpc.15.00461

Ding Y., Kwok C. K., Tang Y., Bevilacqua P. C., Assmann S. M. (2015)

Genome-wide profiling of in vivo RNA structure at single-nucleotide resolution using structure-seq.

Nature protocols 10 p1050-66

Publisher’s version: 10.1038/nprot.2015.064

Kwok C. K., Ding Y., Shahid S., Assmann S. M., Bevilacqua P. C. (2015)

A stable RNA G-quadruplex within the 5'-UTR of Arabidopsis thaliana ATR mRNA inhibits translation.

Biochemical Journal 467 p91-102

Publisher’s version: 10.1042/BJ20141063

View All

Yiliang Ding

  • Dr Qi Liu Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Matthew Norris Postdoctoral Scientist
  • Dr Xiaofei Yang Postdoctoral Scientist


For media enquiries, please contact the JIC communications team 01603 450962, jic.communications@jic.ac.uk

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