Shuaiying Cui, Ph.D.


Dr. Cui is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine, Section of Hematology & Medical Oncology at Boston University School of Medicine since 2016. He was an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Cell and Development Biology at the University of Michigan from 2016 to 2019. Dr. Cui received his Ph.D. in 2006 from the University of Science and Technology of China. He then joined the University of Michigan as a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Internal Medicine, where he studied viral vector-based gene therapy. In 2010, Dr. Cui began his work under Dr. James Douglas Engel’s supervision, working toward the development of a molecular intervention therapy for sickle cell disease. Dr. Cui was promoted as a Research Investigator in the Department of Cell and Development Biology at the University of Michigan in 2012, and then moved to Boston in 2016. Dr. Cui’s research has focused on the development of novel agents that can elicit developmental stage-specific gene silencing or reprogramming in hematopoietic stem cells and progenitors through a series of epigenetic chromatin modifications by nucleosome remodeling, histone deacetylation, and demethylation. Such agents can be applied to the treatment of the patients with hematologic disorders such as sickle cell disease and beta-thalassemia, as well as acute myeloid leukemia.

Lab members

Yanan Sun, Ph.D. is a Postdoctoral fellow and joined the lab in 2020. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in biochemistry and molecular biology in June 2020 from the National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, and Beijing Normal University. Her research interest focused on the molecular mechanism of clearance of protein aggregates or damaged organelles in fundamental cellular processes. Outside of research, she enjoys watching movies and TV series and eating good food.


Hajar Benmhammed, Ph.D. joined the lab as a Postdoctoral fellow in 2022. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in December 2020 in Neuroscience and Immunology, from Faculty of sciences at Ibn Tofail University. Her previous research focused on the effects of Early Life adversity in Rats, Neurobehavioral, neuroinflammation and oxidative stress outcomes. Outside of research, she enjoys hiking, traveling, and watching movies.


Kelly Liu, BA. Kelly Liu joined the lab as a Master student in 2021. Her project is focusing on the role of HMI Lnc-RNA in globin regulation and erythroid differentiation.


Raymon Chen is an undergraduate sophomore studying human physiology with a minor in public health from Palo Alto, California. Outside of school, he enjoys hiking, playing volleyball and exploring new places in the East Coast.


Eric Fu is an undergraduate senior studying human physiology in BU’s Sargent College of Rehabilitation and Health Sciences. He is originally from San Marino, California and is passionate about pursuing a career in medicine. Outside of academics, Eric loves volleyball, basketball, and snowboarding.


Jordan Brady is an undergraduate sophomore studying human physiology from Boca Raton, Florida. She is passionate about healthcare and The Integumentary System. In her free time, she enjoys running, traveling, and exploring the outdoors.


Julia Garland is an undergraduate Biology major in the College of Arts and Sciences at Boston University.  She is from Lakeville, Massachusetts. She is passionate about medicine, public health, and physiology. She enjoys studying, reading, lifting weights, hiking, and running. At the Cui lab, she hopes to make a meaningful contribution to blood disorder research.

Lab Alumni

Kate Gaynor (2020-2022) undergraduate majoring in Neuroscience and minoring in Public Health. She is from Howell, New Jersey, and has a passion for healthcare and the brain sciences. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exploring Boston, and spending time with friends!

Anita Dong (2020-2021) undergraduate student. She is from Queens, NY, and decided to study in Boston as she has a dedicated passion for healthcare and research. A cool experience she has had is working as an allergy and gynecology scribe at Massachusetts General Hospital. In her free time, she enjoys walking around the city, trying new foods, and taking photos. 

Nika Kozlov: (2020-2021) “I am a Human Physiology undergraduate studying at Boston Universities Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. I am from Cupertino, California. When I am not studying, I enjoy practicing yoga, visiting Museums, and exploring Boston! “

Nicole Nguyen (2020-2022) undergraduate majoring in Human Physiology and minoring in Medical Anthropology. She is from Garland, TX, which is right outside of Dallas. Outside of her academics and passion for medicine, she has many hobbies, such as painting, hiking, and music.

Jhevanae Langley: (2020-2021) Undergraduate majoring in health science. I was born in Jamaica but grew up in Brooklyn for most of my life. My interest in research began during my freshman year of college where I worked to characterize the functions of macrophages. In Dr. Cui’s labs, I hope to make a contribution to the study of blood disorders and cancer as it affects many Americans and has affected both of my maternal grandparents. Outside of research, I enjoy traveling and trying all the new restaurants Boston has to offer.” 

Alawi Habara, MD (left) is a Ph.D. candidate and joined the lab in 2016. His project focused on the regulation of PGC-1a to induce fetal hemoglobin in human primary erythroid progenitor cells. Alawi is a physician from Saudi Arabia and is passionate about the cure for sickle cell disease. Current an Assistant Professor at Imam Abdulrahman Bin Faisal University, Saudi Arabia.

Cuong Le, Ph.D. (right) was a Postdoctoral fellow and joined the lab in 2017. His project focused on the inhibition of LSD1 by small molecule inhibitors to stimulate HbF synthesis. He published one first-author and two co-author papers in the lab and is ready to move forward to the next level.

Christina Ward, Ph.D. (left 1) was a Postdoctoral fellow and joined the lab from 2017-2018. Her project focused on knocking down HMI-LNCRNA in human primary erythroid progenitor cells. She was an instructor from August University in Georgia and now working at BUSM as a T32  trainee.

Pennapa Mungchan (left 3) was a Visiting student and joined the lab in 2017. Her project focused on screening novel fetal hemoglobin inducers. She is a Ph.D. candidate now at Chiang Mai University, Thailand.

Bin Tang, Ph.D.(right 2) was a Visiting Scholar and joined the lab from 2017 to 2018. His project focused on gene editing of fetal hemoglobin repressors.  He is a Professor now at Hangzhou Normal University, China.