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Dr Xu Sean Yan

BSc (Tongji University), MSc (University of Wyoming), PhD (University of Wyoming), Honorary Fellow (Murdoch Childrens Research Institute)

Research Fellow, Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active Living

Dr Sean Yan is a research fellow with the Institute of Sport, Exercise & Active Living.

He was offered a scholarship in 2007 to pursue postgraduate study at University of Wyoming USA, working on nutrition and skeletal muscle development. During his 4 years of Masters and PhD study, he published 15 peer-reviewed scientific articles in internationally recognised journals.

For his excellence in muscle research, Sean was awarded a fellowship from American Diabetes Association, working as a research fellow with Assoc/Professor Laurie Goodyear at Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School. His main research focus at Harvard was exercise physiology and metabolism, mainly using in vitro cell culture and in vivo rodent model.

In early 2013, Sean was awarded the Victoria University Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, under the supervision of Professor David Bishop and Dr. Nir Eynon. Sean was awarded an honorary fellow position at Murdoch Childrens Research Institute of Royal Children’s Hospital in late 2013. His current research focus is exercise training & mitochondrial function and how genetics affect training responses.

Recent publications

Refereed journal articles

Banting L, Pushkarev VP, Cieszczyk P, Zarebska A, Maciejewska-Karlowska A, Sawczuk M, Leońska-Duniec A, Dyatlov DA, Orekhov EF, Degtyarev AV, Pushkareva YE, Yan X, Birk R, Eynon N. Elite athletes' genetic predisposition for altered risk of complex metabolic traits. BMC Genomics. 2015 Jan 23;16(1):25.

Voisin S., Eynon E., Yan X., Bishop D.J. Exercise training and DNA methylation in humans. Acta Physiol (Oxf). 2015 Jan;213(1):39-59.

Wang H., Xue Y., Wang B., Zhao J., Yan X., Huang Y., Du M., Zhu M. (2014) Maternal obesity exacerbates insulitis and type I diabetes in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. Reproduction. 2014 Apr 1.

Yan X., Huang Y., Zhao JX., Rogers C.J., Zhu MJ, Ford S.P., Nathanielsz P.W., and Du M. (2013) Maternal obesity down-regulates microRNA (miRNA) let-7g expression, a possible mechanism for enhanced adipogenesis during ovine fetal skeletal muscle development. Int J Obes (Lond). 2013 Apr;37(4):568-75

Huang Y., Zhao JX., Yan X., Zhu MJ., Long N.M., McCormick R.J., Ford S.P., Nathanielsz P.W., and Du M.(2012). Maternal obesity enhances collagen accumulation and cross-linking in skeletal muscle of ovine Offspring. PLoS One.2012;7(2):e31691.

Research grants

  • 2014: Victoria University Central Research Grant Scheme ($26,550)
  • 2012: American Diabetes Association mentor-based postdoctoral fellowship ($41,000)
  • 2010: Brand of excellence scholarship from University of Wyoming ($2,000)

Teaching responsibilities

Postgraduate research students and fellows


Supervision of 1 visiting PhD student and 3 internship students, co-supervision of 1 honours student and 1 internship student.

Current supervisions

Supervision of 2 internship students

Co-supervision of 1 PhD student

Professional memberships

  • 2013-to present: Australian Physiological Society
  • 2011-2012: American Society for Nutrition
  • 2010-to present: American Physiological Society 
  • 2008-2011: American Society of Animal Science

Appearances in the media

Areas of expertise

  • Exercise and muscle physiology with focus on cell signalling
  • Gene & performance
  • Genetics and adaptation to training in health and disease
  • Skeletal muscle and fat development

Contact details

+61 3 9919 4024
+61 3 9919 9185