Yijun Qi is currently a professor and director of Center for Plant Biology, School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, China. His research focuses on the mechanisms and functions of small RNAs and long non-coding RNAs in plants.
After gaining a PhD in Molecular Biology from Zhejiang University in 2001, he began postdoctoral research at the Ohio State University, before moving to the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory in 2004. In 2006, he became an Assistant Investigator at the National Institute of Biological Sciences, later taking on the role of Associate Investigator in 2010. He moved to Tsinghua University in 2012 and became a tenured professor in 2015.
His laboratory has provided insights into how small RNAs are sorted into Argonaute proteins, how small RNAs guide DNA methylation, how miRNAs are made and function, and discovered a new class of DSB-induced small RNAs (diRNAs) that facilitate DNA repair.