Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology Faculty

Rujuan Dai, PhD

Research Assistant Professor
Department of Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology


  • 1995 – 1997
    PhD, Animal Genetics
    China Agricultural University
    Beijing, China
  • 1991 – 1994
    MS, Animal Genetics
    China Agricultural University
    Beijing, China
  • 1987 – 1991
    BS, Animal Physiology and Biochemistry
    China Agricultural University
    Beijing, China

Research Interests

My current research interest is to investigate the molecular signaling changes in the immune system following exposure to the sex hormone, 17β-estradiol and estrogenic Endocrine Disrupting Chemical (EDC). In addition, we are currently exploring role of microRNAs (miRNA) in immunity in a variety of mouse models. The pressing goal is to determine whether microRNAs are dysregulated in lymphocytes from autoimmune lupus mice and whether miRNA play a role in pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases.

Professional Experience

  • 2005 – Present
    Research Scientist
    Center for Molecular Medicine & Infectious Diseases
    Biomedical Sciences & Pathobiology
    Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine
    Virginia Tech
    Blacksburg, VA
  • 2003 – 2005
    Assistant Research Scientist
    Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology
    Medical College of Georgia
    Augusta, Georgia
  • 1998 – 2003
    Postdoctoral Fellow
    Medical College of Georgia
    Augusta, Georgia
  • 1996
    Visiting Scientist
    Tsukuba, Ibaraki, Japan
  • 1994 – 1997
    College of Animal Science and Technology
    China Agricultural University
    P.R. China

Honors & Awards

  • 2001
    Second Class National Technology & Innovation Award (as a member of research team), China
  • 2001
    Recipient, National Award of Excellent PhD Thesis, China
  • 1997
    Outstanding PhD Student Award
    China Agricultural University

Selected Publications

  1. Dai R, Phillips RA, Zhang Y, Khan D, Crasta O, Ahmed SA. (2008) “Suppression of LPS-induced IFN{gamma} and nitric oxide in splenic lymphocytes by select estrogen-regulated miRNA: A novel mechanism of immune modulation”, Blood. 2008 Sep 12. [Epub ahead of print].
  2. Dai R, Ali MK, Lezcano N, Bergson C. (2008) “A crucial role for cAMP and protein kinase A in D1 dopamine receptor regulated intracellular calcium transients”, Neurosignals, 16(2-3):112-23.
  3. Trantham-Davidson H, Vazdarjanova A, Dai R, Terry A, Bergson C. (2008) “Up-regulation of calcyon results in locomotor hyperactivity and reduced anxiety in mice”, Behav Brain Res., Jun 3;189(2):244-9.
  4. Dai, R., R. A. Phillips, and S. Ansar Ahmed. (2007) “Despite inhibition of nuclear localization of NF-kappa B p65, c-Rel, and RelB, 17-beta estradiol up-regulates NF-kappa B signaling in mouse splenocytes: the potential role of Bcl-3”, J Immunol 179:1776-1783.
  5. Xiao, J.*, Dai, R.*, Negyessy, L., Bergson, C. (2006) “Calcyon, a novel partner of clathrin light chain, stimulates clathrin-mediated endocytosis”, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 281(22):15182-93. (*: joint first author).
  6. Sumanas, S., Zhang, B., Dai, R., Lin, S. (2005) “15-zinc finger protein Bloody Fingers is required for zebrafish morphogenetic movements during neurulation”, Developmental Biology, 283(1):85-96.
  7. Dai, R. and Bergson, C. (2003) “Structure and expression of the murine calcyon gene”, Gene, 311: 111-7.
  8. Wang, G., Huang, H., Dai, R., Lee, K-Y., Lin, S., and Mivechi, NF. (2001): “Suppression of heat shock transcription factor HSF1 in zebrafish causes heat-induced apoptosis”, Genesis, 30:195-197.
  9. Frejtag, W., Zhang, Y., Dai, R., Anderson, M., and Mivechi NF. (2001): “Heat shock Factor-4 (HSF-4a) repress basal transcription through interaction TFIIF”, The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 276:14685-14694.
  10. Zhang, Y.*, Frejtag, W.*, Dai, R.*, and Mivechi NF. (2001): “Heat shock Factor-4 (HSF-4) is a repressor of HSF-1 mediated transcription” Transcriptional Repression of HSF-1”, The Journal of Cellular Biochemistry 9999:1-12 (*: joint first author).
  11. Dai, R., Frejtag, W., He, B., Zhang, Y. and Mivechi NF. (2000): “c-Jun NH2-terminal kinase targeting and phosphorylation of heat shock factor-1 suppress its transcriptional activity”. The Journal of Biological Chemistry, 275:18210-8.