Originally from China, Jinfan obtained his B.S. in Biotechnology from University of Science and Technology Beijing in 2010. His initial exposure to research in Dr. Ching Song’s lab ignited his fervor for fundamental biological research and inspired him to pursue graduate studies.


He then moved to Sweden and obtained his Ph.D. from Uppsala University in 2016. Trained by Dr. Anthony Forster, in collaboration with Drs. Måns Ehrenberg and Marek Kwiatkowski, Jinfan focused on the chemistry and engineering of prokaryotic protein synthesis. Using a reconstituted bacterial translation system, he applied rapid kinetic analyses to the ribosomal incorporation of unnatural substrates. His results identified key competing reactions and rate-limiting steps, and suggested generalizable ways to improve the efficiencies of ribosome-catalyzed polymer synthesis. This research experience deepened his passion for RNA biochemistry and protein synthesis.


Supported by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Jinfan joined Dr. Jody Puglisi’s lab as a postdoc at Stanford University in 2016. There, he pioneered the reconstitution of a purified yeast translation system that enabled direct monitoring of translating eukaryotic ribosomes using single molecule fluorescence microscopy. With the help of the labs of Drs. Thomas Dever and Israel Fernández, his results established a quantitative framework for how eukaryotic ribosomes engage with a mRNA, scan for the correct start codon, assemble into an 80S initiation complex and progress to polypeptide elongation phase. His work also demonstrated how mRNA structure and sequence elements modulate translation initiation dynamics to influence start codon utilization.


In 2023, Jinfan joined the faculty at UTSW as an Endowed Scholar. His lab integrates quantitative biochemical, single-molecule biophysical, structural, and genetics approaches to elucidate the dynamic mechanisms of cytosolic and mitochondrial protein synthesis. The quantitative models established in these studies will pave the way for understanding how translation in either of the compartments is dysregulated in human diseases and guide the identification of novel therapeutic targets.

Research Interest

  • Protein synthesis
  • RNA biochemistry
  • Single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Real-time detection of human telomerase DNA synthesis by multiplexed single-molecule FRET.
Hentschel J, Badstübner M, Choi J, Bagshaw CR, Lapointe CP, Wang J, Jansson LI, Puglisi JD, Stone MD, Biophys J 2023 Sep 122 17 3447-3457
Dynamics of release factor recycling during translation termination in bacteria.
Prabhakar A, Pavlov MY, Zhang J, Indrisiunaite G, Wang J, Lawson MR, Ehrenberg M, Puglisi JD, Nucleic Acids Res 2023 Jun 51 11 5774-5790
eIF5B and eIF1A reorient initiator tRNA to allow ribosomal subunit joining.
Lapointe CP, Grosely R, Sokabe M, Alvarado C, Wang J, Montabana E, Villa N, Shin BS, Dever TE, Fraser CS, Fernández IS, Puglisi JD, Nature 2022 Jul 607 7917 185-190
Plasticity and conditional essentiality of modification enzymes for domain V of Escherichia coli 23S ribosomal RNA.
Liljeruhm J, Leppik M, Bao L, Truu T, Calvo-Noriega M, Freyer NS, Liiv A, Wang J, Blanco RC, Ero R, Remme J, Forster AC, RNA 2022 Jun 28 6 796-807
Mechanisms that ensure speed and fidelity in eukaryotic translation termination.
Lawson MR, Lessen LN, Wang J, Prabhakar A, Corsepius NC, Green R, Puglisi JD, Science 2021 Aug 373 6557 876-882
Dynamic competition between SARS-CoV-2 NSP1 and mRNA on the human ribosome inhibits translation initiation.
Lapointe CP, Grosely R, Johnson AG, Wang J, Fernández IS, Puglisi JD, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 02 118 6
Dynamics of the context-specific translation arrest by chloramphenicol and linezolid.
Choi J, Marks J, Zhang J, Chen DH, Wang J, Vázquez-Laslop N, Mankin AS, Puglisi JD, Nat Chem Biol 2020 Mar 16 3 310-317

Honors & Awards

  • The Wallenberg Foundation Postdoctoral Scholarship Program at Stanford