I work on understanding the statistical physics and optimization principles of organized biological systems. Specifically, I use planarian and yeast as model systems to study cell collective behavior and the molecular mechanisms of adaption.

I am interested in a lot of things: development, evolution, ecology, statistical physics, dynamic systems, and biophysics. I also spend time on the engineering and technology required for depicting concrete biological systems.

Education & Certifications

  • B.S., Zhejiang University, Mathematics and Applied Mathematics (2018)

All Publications

  • Phase transitions in mutualistic communities under invasion PHYSICAL BIOLOGY Bray, S. R., Fan, Y., Wang, B. 2019; 16 (4)
  • Horizontal gene transfer can help maintain the equilibrium of microbial communities. Journal of theoretical biology Fan, Y., Xiao, Y., Momeni, B., Liu, Y. Y. 2018; 454: 53–59


    Horizontal gene transfer and species coexistence are two focal points in the study of microbial communities. Yet, the evolutionary advantage of horizontal gene transfer has not been well understood and is constantly being debated. Here we propose a simple population dynamics model based on frequency-dependent genotype interactions to evaluate the influence of horizontal gene transfer on microbial communities. In particular, we examine the structural stability of coexistence (i.e., the capability of the system to maintain species coexistence in response to small changes in parameters), as well as the robustness (defined as the maximal degree of perturbation the system can sustain around a stable coexistence steady state) of microbial communities. We find that both structural stability of coexistence and robustness of the microbial community are strongly affected by the gene transfer rate and direction. An optimal gene flux can stabilize the ecosystem, helping it recover from disturbance and maintain the species coexistence.

    View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jtbi.2018.05.036

    View details for PubMedID 29859211

  • Game among interdependent networks: The impact of rationality on system robustness EPL Fan, Y., Cao, G., He, S., Chen, J., Sun, Y. 2016; 116 (6)