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Wei Sun

Assistant Professor
  • Research area(s): RNA Biology
Wei Sun, Virginia Tech Department of Biochemistry Faculty
217 Engel Hall
  • Lab Phone: (540) 231-7042


Ph.D., Systems Biology, Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), Berlin, Germany, 2016

M.S., Medical Genetics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2010

B.S., Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, 2007


August 2022 - Present, Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Virginia Tech

November 2017 - July 2022, Postdoctoral Scholar, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry, University of California, San Francisco

August 2016 – October 2017, Senior Scientist, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), China

April 2016 – July 2016, Postdoctoral Scholar, Max-Delbrück-Center for Molecular Medicine (MDC), Berlin, Germany

Program Focus

The research of my lab centers on protein-nucleic acid interactions, with long term goals of addressing important questions in nucleic acid research, especially for RNA biology. We develop and apply novel chemical biology and systems biology tools for studying RNA regulations. The current focus of my lab is to apply the technology “Genetically Encoded Chemical Crosslinking of proteins with RNA” (GECX-RNA) with other technologies to answer the questions in the RNA biology field.

For a full list of publications, see Sun's Google Scholar profile or NCBI Bibliography page.


  1. Sun W*, Wang N*, Liu H, Yu B, Jin L, Ren X, Shen Y, Wang L. Genetically Encoded Chemical Cross-linking of RNA in vivo. Nature Chemistry, 2022,
  2. Liu J*, Cai L*, Sun W*, Cheng R, Wang N, Jin L, Rozovsky S, Seiple IB, Wang L. Photocaged Quinone Methide Crosslinkers for Light-Controlled Chemical Crosslinking of Protein-Protein and Protein-DNA Complexes. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. 2019, 58(52): 18839-43.
  3. Schaefke B*, Sun W*, Li Y-S*, Fang L, Chen W. The evolution of posttranscriptional regulation. WIREs RNA. 2018, e1485.
  4. Sun W*, Gao Q*, Schaefke B, Hu Y, Chen W. Pervasive allele-specific regulation on RNA decay in hybrid mice. Life Science Alliance. 2018, 1(2), e201800052.
  5. Sun W, Chen W. Metabolic labeling of newly synthesized RNA with 4sU to in parallel assess RNA transcription and decay. mRNA Decay (Book Chapter, Humana Press). 2018: 25-34.

OTHER PUBLICATIONS (as co-authors)

  1. Li S, Wang N, Yu B, Sun W, Wang L. Genetically encoded chemical crosslinking of carbohydrate. Nature Chemistry, 2022,
  2. Yu B, Li S, Tabata T, Wang N, Cao L, Kumar GR, Sun W, Liu J, Ott M, Wang L. Accelerating PERx reaction enables covalent nanobodies for potent neutralization of SARS-CoV-2 and variants. Chem, 2022, 8(10): 2766-2783.
  3. Zou X, Schaefke B, Li Y, Jia F, Sun W, Li G, Liang W, Reif T, Heyd F, Gao Q, Tian S, Li Y, Tang Y, Fang L, Hu Y, Chen W. Mammalian splicing divergence is shaped by drift, buffering in trans, and a scaling law. Life Science Alliance. 2021, 5(4), e202101333.
  4. Liu J, Cao L, Klauser PC, Cheng R, Berdan VK, Sun W, Wang N, Ghelichkhani F, Yu B, Rozovsky S, Wang L. A genetically encoded fluorosulfonyloxybenzoyl-l-lysine for expansive covalent bonding of proteins via SuFEx chemistry. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2021, 143(27): 10341-10351.
  5. Kolesnichenko M, Mikuda N, Höpken UE, Kärgel E, Uyar B, Tufan AB, Milanovic M, Sun W, Krahn I, Schleich K, von Hoff L, Hinz M, Willenbrock M, Jungmann S, Akalin A, Lee S, Schmidt‐Ullrich R, Schmitt CA, Scheidereit C. Transcriptional repression of NFKBIA triggers constitutive IKK‐ and proteasome‐independent p65/RelA activation in senescence. The EMBO Journal. 2021, 40(6): e104296.
  6. Li Y, Schaefke B, Zou X, Zhang M, Heyd F, Sun W, Zhang B Li G, Liang W, He Y, Zhou J, Li Y, Fang L, Hu Y, Chen W. Pan-tissue analysis of allelic alternative polyadenylation suggests widespread functional regulation. Molecular Systems Biology. 2020, 16: e9367.
  7. Hu J-L, Liang H, Zhang H, Yang M-Z, Sun W, Zhang P, Luo L, Feng J-X, Bai H, Liu F, Zhang T, Yang J-Y, Gao Q, Long Y, Ma X-Y, Chen Y, Zhong Q, Yu B, Liao S, Wang Y, Zhao Y, Zeng M-S, Cao N, Wang J, Chen W, Yang H-T, Gao S. FAM46B is a prokaryotic-like cytoplasmic poly (A) polymerase essential in human embryonic stem cells. Nucleic acids research. 2020, 48(5):2733-48.
  8. Wang X, You X, Langer JD, Hou J, Rupprecht F, Vlatkovic I, Quedenau C, Tushev G, Epstein I, Schaefke B, Sun W, Fang L, Li G, Hu Y, Schuman EM, Chen W. Full-length transcriptome reconstruction reveals a large diversity of RNA and protein isoforms in rat hippocampus. Nature Communications. 2019, 10(1):1-15.
  9. Mikuda N, Kolesnichenko M, Beaudette P, Popp O, Uyar B, Sun W, Tufan AB, Perder B, Akalin A, Chen W, Mertins P, Dittmar G, Hinz M, Scheidereit C. The IκB kinase complex is a regulator of mRNA stability. The EMBO Journal. 2018, 37(24): e98658.