Yunsun Nam is an Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry and the Department of Biophysics. She is also a member of the Harold C. Simmons Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Dr. Nam obtained her BA in Biochemical Sciences from Harvard College working on her honors thesis in Dr. Daniel Hartl's laboratory. She obtained her PhD in Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology working in Dr. Stephen Blacklow's group at Harvard Medical School. She completed postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School in Dr. Tom A. Rapoport’s laboratory in the Department of Cell Biology and then in Dr. Piotr Sliz's laboratory in the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology.

Dr. Nam studies mechanisms of non-coding RNAs and their role in gene regulation important for development and cancer. Areas of focus include the molecular mechanisms and regulation of microRNA biogenesis and chemical modification of RNAs. Her laboratory uses various biochemical and biophysical approaches including X-ray crystallography, cryo-electron microscopy, NMR spectroscopy, molecular biology, nucleic acid/protein biochemistry, high throughput screening, next-generation sequencing, and eukaryotic cell-based studies. Her long-term goal is not only to elucidate how ncRNAs work to ensure proper gene regulation but also to identify new avenues for developing therapeutics.


Harvard Uni-Harvard College (1999), Biocchemical Sciences
Graduate School
Harvard University (2006)

Research Interest

  • Biochemistry
  • Gene regulation
  • non-coding RNAs
  • Structure and Function of Macromolecular complexes


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

METTL16 exerts an m6A-independent function to facilitate translation and tumorigenesis.
Su R, Dong L, Li Y, Gao M, He PC, Liu W, Wei J, Zhao Z, Gao L, Han L, Deng X, Li C, Prince E, Tan B, Qing Y, Qin X, Shen C, Xue M, Zhou K, Chen Z, Xue J, Li W, Qin H, Wu X, Sun M, Nam Y, Chen CW, Huang W, Horne D, Rosen ST, He C, Chen J, Nat Cell Biol 2022 02 24 2 205-216
Manipulation by Methylation: Garnishing mRNAs with m6Am.
Doxtader KA, Nam Y, Mol. Cell 2019 08 75 3 417-418
Publisher Correction: Heme enables proper positioning of Drosha and DGCR8 on primary microRNAs.
Partin AC, Ngo TD, Herrell E, Jeong BC, Hon G, Nam Y Nat Commun 2018 Sep 9 1 3852

Honors & Awards

  • MAVEN scholar
  • Kavli Fellow, National Academy of Sciences
  • Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences
  • Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas
    First Time Faculty Recruitment Award (2013)
  • Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering
    The David and Lucile Packard Foundation (2013)
  • Southwestern Medical Foundation Scholar in Biomedical Research
    Endowed Scholars Program, The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (2013)
  • Charles A. King Trust Postdoctoral Research Fellowship
  • Damon Runyon Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • The Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellowship