Group Leader

Yingguang Frank Chan


Friedrich Miescher Laboratory                                            

Max-Planck-Ring 9                                                              

72076 Tübingen                                                                   


T:                            +49 7071 601 888

F:                            +49 7071 601 801


DOB: Nov 1, 1979                                                         

Nationality: British (Overseas) and German


Children: 2 (born April 2015 and April 2017)

Education and Training

2012 – Present    Max Planck Research Group Leader (Associate/W2 level; 5+2+2 fixed term)

                             Friedrich Miescher Laboratory, Tübingen, Germany

2009 – 2012        VolkswagenStiftung Postdoctoral Fellow under Prof. Dr. Diethard Tautz

                            Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön, Germany

2003 – 2009        PhD in Developmental Biology, advisor: Prof. David M. Kingsley

                            Stanford University, Stanford CA, USA

2001                    Research Intern, LION Bioscience AG, Heidelberg, Germany

2000                    Research Assistant, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory

1999-2003           BA (Honors) in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry

                            Wesleyan University, Middletown CT, USA

Honors and Awards

2010                    Walter M. Fitch Prize Finalist

2008                     AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science

2003                     Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society (Gamma Chapter)

2003                     Scott Biomedical Prize for Excellence in Biology

1999                     Hong Kong SCMP Student Linguist of the Year

1999                     Dr. Li Fook Sin Scholarship

Fellowship and Grants

2021                    Cornell Genome Innovation Hub, collaborator with N. O. Therkildsen

2021 – 2024        BBSRC, Co-P/I with C. Jiggins & J. Mappes

2021                    Genome Innvoation Hub, U. Queensland, AU, Co-P/I

2021 – 2023        FWO, Collaborator/co-P/I with H. Svardal

2020 – 2023        Bilateral BBSRC-FAPESP - Co-P/I with C. Jiggins, T. Walsh and A. S. Corrêa

2014 – 2020        ERC Starting Grant – HybridMiX (1,500,000€)

2012                    Max Planck Research Group Leader (approx. 2,000,000€ over five years)

2011                    Young Researcher, Lindau Nobel Meeting (supported by Max Planck Society and the Boehringer Ingelheim Stiftung)

2010 – 2012        Postdoctoral Fellow, VolkswagenStiftung: Evolutionary Biology (160,000€)

2010                     EMBO Longterm Fellowship (gratefully declined)

2010                    A. v. Humboldt Research Fellowship (gratefully declined)

2003 – 2006        Affymetrix Bio-X Fellow, Stanford Graduate Fellowship

2001                     CDS International Summer Internship Program

2000, 2002          Howard Hughes Summer Research Fellowship

1999 – 2003        Freeman Asian Scholar

Sponsored fellowships

2014                    Paloma Medina, Fulbright US Student Scholarship

2013                    Mirna Marinič, EMBO Long Term Postdoctoral Fellowship

Selected Invited Presentations (since 2014)


  • Illumina (Webinar), San Diego, USA
  • University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA


  • Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. Cambridge, UK.
  • IMP. Vienna, AT.
  • University of Hamburg, Hamburg, DE.


  • University of California, Davis. Dept. of Evolution and Ecology. Davis, CA, USA.
  • University of California, Berkeley. Molecular & Cell Biology. Berkeley, CA, USA.
  • Cornell University. Cornell Center for Comp. and Pop. Genomics. Ithaca NY, USA.
  • Max Planck Institute of Plant Breeding. Cologne, DE.
  • Stanford University, Dept of Developmental Biology. Stanford, CA, USA.

    • Frontiers in Biology (Cross-departmental seminar series)


  • Wellcome Genome Campus. Hinxton, UK. Advanced Course: NGS Bioinformatics


  • University of Zurich, Inst of Pharmacology and Toxicology. Zürich, CH.
  • Edinburgh Alliance for Complex Trait Genetics. Edinburgh, UK. Keynote speaker.
  • MRC Institute of Genetics and Molecular Medicine (IGMM). Edinburgh, UK.


  • Cambridge Institute, Cancer Research UK. Cambridge, UK.
  • BMS Section Symposium, Max Planck Society. Berlin, DE.
  • Max Planck Institute of Molecular Genetics. Berlin, DE.
  • Univ. of Geneva, Dept of Genetics and Evolution. Geneva, CH.
  • EMBO Symposium: New Model for Evolution and Ecology. Heidelberg, DE.
  • Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics. Dresden, DE.


  • VetMedUni. Vienna, AT. (Departmental seminar series)
  • Max Planck Institute for Ageing. Cologne, DE.
  • Université de Lausanne, Center for Integrative Genomics. Lausanne, CH.


  • EuroEvoDevo, Vienna, AT.
  • Wild Mouse Workshop. Plön, DE.
  • Institute de Génomique Fonctionnelle de Lyon. Lyon, FR.
  • MPI for Cell Biology and Genetics. Dresden, DE. (Postdoc-invited Guest Speaker)

Selected Contributed Presentations (oral only)


  • International Conference of Quantitative Genetics, Brisbane, Australia
  • Evolutionary Systems Biology. Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK.


  • Wild Mouse Meeting. Brno, CZ.


  • Genetics Society (Genotype to Phenotype to Fitness). Exeter, UK.
  • Evolutionary Systems Biology. Wellcome Genome Campus, Hinxton, UK.


  • EMBL Conference, Mammalian Genetics and Genomics. Heidelberg, DE.


  • Genetics Society (Func. Genetic Variation in the Non-coding Genome). London, UK.
  • Advances in Evolutionary Genomics, Conférence Jacques Monod. Roscoff, FR.


  • Systems Genetics and Evolution. Ascona, CH.
  • Size and Shape. Göttingen, DE.


  • Evolution 2012. Ottawa, CA.
  • Advances in Evolutionary Genomics, Conférence Jacques Monod. Roscoff, FR.


  • European Society for Evolutionary Biology (ESEB) Congress. Tübingen, DE.
  • EvoDevo Keystone Symposium. Lake Tahoe CA, USA.


  • Walter M. Fitch Prize Symposium. Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution Meeting. Lyon, FR.


  • International Society for Developmental Biology Congress. Edinburgh, UK. 

Thesis supervision

Moritz Peters                         From 2020

Volker Soltys                          From 2020

Dingwen Su                           From 2020

Michelle Yancoskie                Defended Nov. 2019

João P. L. Castro                   Defended May 2020, magna cum laude

Rebecka Wombacher            2014, MSc thesis

Mohannad Dardiry                2014 – 2015, MEME (LMU), 1st Thesis

Moritz Peters                          2018 – 2019, MSc thesis

Volker Soltys                          2018 – 2019, MSc thesis

Dingwen Su                           2019, MSc thesis

Thesis advisory committee member for 10 additional students (1 completed)

Referee and Reviewing

Journals: Science, eLife, Nature Review Genetics, Developmental Cell, Current Biology, Molecular Biology and Evolution, Molecular Ecology, Molecular Ecology Resources, Comprehensive Physiology, PLoS ONE, BMC Evolutionary Biology

Funding agencies: ERC/European Research Council (External expert, Advanced and Consolidator Grants), SNSF/Swiss National Science Foundation (Sinergia), BBSRC/UK Biotech Research Council, FWF/Austrian Science Fund, NSF/US National Science Foundation, NWO/Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research, FCT/Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology, GACR/Czech Science Foundation, Alexander von Humboldt Foundation

Computer Languages

Bash, Perl, python, MySQL, R, C++, Mathematica


English (fluent), French (fluent), German (fluent), Cantonese (native), Mandarin (fluent)