Qi Tan

Qi Tan, PhD

Assistant Professor
Tissue Fibrosis and Regeneration
Telephone Number


Currently, Dr. Qi Tan is an Assistant Professor and Section Leader, Tissue Fibrosis and Regeneration, at The Hormel Institute, University of Minnesota. Dr. Tan obtained his PhD at the Chinese University of Hong Kong with focus on understanding tendon stem cells and their niche in vitro and in vivo and development of stem cell-based cell therapy to repair injured tendon and ligament. 

This is a project shaped his research interests into understanding how adult stem cells or progenitors maintain homeostasis and why they failed to repair tissue under chronic condition and targeting those stem cells to restore homeostasis and reverse fibrosis. 

In 2014, Dr. Tan joined Dr. Daniel Tschumperlin’ s lab at Mayo Clinic Rochester and started his postdoctoral training in the field of lung fibrosis. He has developed 3D co-culture organoid model for the study cell-cell interactions within tissue-like environments, and a platform for studying lung fibrosis in vitro using patient derived primary lung cells. 

In 2019, Dr. Tan was promoted into Assistant Professor at Mayo Clinic Rochester. Prior to joined the Hormel Institute, Dr. Tan received his first R01 grant to study lung fibrosis by taking advantage of using lung organoid, aged mice model, conditional knock out mice model and Crispr activation. The current study seeks to delineate the homeostatic and fibrosis-resolving roles of anti-fibrotic factor CEBPA in lung epithelial cells and aims to develop a new regenerative therapeutic strategy.



  • Post-doctoral fellowship: Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN, USA, 2014-2019
  • PhD: Stem Cells and Tissue Regeneration, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China, 2010-2014
  • MS: Genetics, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China, 2006-2009
  • BS: Biological Science, Hunan Normal University, Changsha, China, 2002-2006


  • 2022: AJRCMB Junior Investigator Award
  • 2021: American Lung Association Catalyst Award
  • 2018: ATS Abstract Scholarship, American Thoracic Society
  • 2015-2017: Training & Career Development Award in Regenerative Medicine and Science, Mayo Clinic
  • 2015: Travel award for 2015 Vermont Stem Cell Conference, Vermont Stem Cell Conference

Research Interests

  • Regulatory mechanisms of tissue homeostasis in lung fibrosis. The goal of this project is to identify critical pathways through which to restore reparative or homeostatic interactions between lung resident cell types, ultimately leading to more-effective repair of the lung after injury or chronic lung diseases such as pulmonary fibrosis.
  • Cell reprogramming in lung repair. Cell fate is not permanently locked in adult lung cells and can be manipulated to promote repair and regeneration. Either abnormal epithelial cells or active fibroblasts can be reprogrammed by CRISPR activation or small molecules toward reparative or homeostatic states, ultimately boosting lung repair.
  • Lung organoids development. Lung organoid models developed in Dr. Tan’s lab allows recapitulation of in vivo microenvironments and maintaining cellular identity within 3D co-cultures, providing a platform for studying pulmonary fibrosis in vitro using patient-derived lung cells or iPS Cells.
  • Delineating failed lung repair with next-generation sequencing. Lineage tracing of specific cell populations, and detailed analysis of their fates with RNA-seq, scRNA-seq, ATAC-seq, ChIP-seq and spatial RNA-seq, is systemically identifying the transcriptional and signaling programs that regulate lung cells during fibrosis and repair. Promising new targets are being identified and validated as key disease regulators. 

Professional Memberships

  • 2017 – Present: Member, American Thoracic Society
  • 2018 – Present: Member, International Society for Stem Cell Research

Primary Research Areas

  • Stem cell and organoid
  • Lung Fibrosis
  • Aging
  • Epigenetics
  • Gene Regulation



  1. Tho X. Pham, Jisu Lee, Jiazhen Guan, Nunzia Caporarello, Jeffrey A. Meridew, Dakota L. Jones, Qi Tan, Steven K. Huang, Daniel J. Tschumperlin, Giovanni Ligresti. Transcriptional analysis of lung fibroblasts identifies PIM1 signaling as a driver of aging-associated persistent fibrosis. JCI Insight. 2022 Feb 15;e153672.
  2. Jones DL, Meridew JA, Link P, Ducharme M, Lydon K, Choi KM, Caporarello N, Tan Q, Espinosa AM, Xiong Y, Lee JH, Ye Z, Yan H, Ordog T, Ligresti G, Varelas X, Tschumperlin DJ. ZNF416 is a pivotal transcriptional regulator of fibroblast mechanoactivation. J Cell Biol. 2021 May 3;220(5):e202007152.
  3. Tan Q (Corresponding author), Link P, Meridew JA, Pham T, CaporarelloN, Ligresti G, Tschumperlin DJ. Spontaneous lung fibrosis resolution reveals novel anti-fibrotic regulators. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2021 Apr;64(4):453-464.
  4. Caporarello N, Meridew JA, Aravamudhan A, Jones DL, Austin SA, Pham TX, Haak AJ, Choi KM, Tan Q, Haresi A, Huang SK, Katusic ZS, Tschumperlin DJ, Ligresti G. Vascular dysfunction in aged mice contributes to persistent lung fibrosis. Aging Cell. 2020 Jul 21;e13196.
  5. Aravamudhan A, Haak AJ, Choi KM, Meridew JA, Caporarello N, Jones DL, Tan Q, Ligresti G, Tschumperlin DJ. TBK1 regulates YAP/TAZ and fibrogenic fibroblast activation. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2020 Mar 11.
  6. Purdy MP, Ducharme M, Haak AJ, Ravix J, Tan Q, Sicard D, Prakash YS, Tschumperlin DJ, Stewart EA. YAP/TAZ are Activated by Mechanical and Hormonal Stimuli in Myometrium and Exhibit Increased Baseline Activation in Uterine Fibroids. Reprod Sci. 2020 Apr;27(4):1074-1085.
  7. Liu W, Meridew JA, Aravamudhan A, Ligresti G, Tschumperlin DJ, Tan Q (Corresponding author). Targeted regulation of fibroblast state by CRISPR-mediated CEBPA expression. Respir Res. 2019 Dec 11;20(1):281.
  8. Tan Q, Ma XY, Liu W, Meridew JA, Jones DL, Haak AJ, Sicard D, Ligresti G, Tschumperlin DJ. Nascent Lung Organoids Reveal Epithelium- and BMP-Mediated Suppression of Fibroblast Activation. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2019 Nov;61(5):607-619.
  9. Haak AJ, Kostallari E, Sicard D, Ligresti G, Choi KM, Caporarello N, Jones DL, Tan Q, Meridew J, Diaz Espinosa AM, Aravamudhan A, Maiers JL, Britt RD Jr, Roden AC, Pabelick CM, Prakash YS, Nouraie SM, Li X, Zhang Y, Kass DJ, Lagares D, Tager AM, Varelas X, Shah VH, Tschumperlin DJ. Sci Transl Med. 2019 Oct 30;11(516).
  10. Caporarello N, Meridew JA, Jones DL, Tan Q, Haak AJ, Choi KM, Manlove LJ, Prakash YS, Tschumperlin DJ, Ligresti G. Thorax. 2019 Aug;74(8):749-760.
  11. Ligresti G, Caporarello N, Meridew JA, Jones DL, Tan Q, Choi KM, Haak AJ, Aravamudhan A, Roden AC, Prakash YS, Lomberk G, Urrutia RA, Tschumperlin DJ. JCI Insight. 2019 May 16;5.
  12. Tan Q, Tschumperlin DJ. Epigenome Editing Enters the Arena. A New Tool to Reveal (and Reverse?) Pathologic Gene Regulation. Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 2018 Sep 1;198(5):549-551.
  13. Haak AJ, Tan Q, Tschumperlin DJ. Matrix biomechanics and dynamics in pulmonary fibrosis. Matrix Biol. 2017 Dec 21.
  14. Tan Q, Choi KM, Sicard D, Tschumperlin DJ. Human Airway Organoid Engineering as a Step Toward Lung Regeneration and Disease Modeling. Biomaterials. 2017 Jan;113: 118-132.
  15. Tan Q, Lui PP, Lee YW. In vivo identity of tendon stem cells and the roles of stem cells in tendon healing. Stem Cells Dev. 2013 Dec 1;22(23):3128-40.
  16. Wang SZ, Rui YF, Tan Q, Wang C. Enhancing intervertebral disc repair and regeneration through biology: platelet-rich plasma as an alternative strategy. Arthritis Research & Therapy. 2013 Oct, 15:220.
  17. Ni M, Rui YF, Tan Q, Liu Y, Xu LL, Chan KM, Wang Y, Li G. Engineered Scaffold-Free Tendon Tissue Produced by Tendon-Derived Stem Cells. Biomaterials. 2013 Mar;34(8):2024-37.
  18. Rui YF, Lui PP, Wong YM, Tan Q, Chan KM. BMP-2 stimulated non-tenogenic differentiation and promoted proteoglycan deposition of tendon-derived stem cells (TDSCs) in vitro. J Orthop Res. 2013 May;31(5):746-53.
  19. Rui YF, Lui PP, Wong YM, Tan Q, Chan KM. Altered fate of tendon-derived stem cells (TDSCs) isolated from a failed tendon healing animal model of tendinopathy. Stem Cells Dev. 2013 Apr 1;22(7):1076-85.
  20. Ni M, Lui PP, Rui YF, Lee YW, Lee YW, Tan Q, Wong YM, Kong SK, Lau PM, Li G, Chan KM. Tendon-derived stem cells (TDSCs) promote tendon repair in a rat patellar tendon window defect model. J Orthop Res. 2012 Apr;30(4):613-9.
  21. Tan Q, Lui PP, Rui YF, Wong YM. Comparison of Potentials of Stem Cells Isolated from Tendon and Bone Marrow for Musculoskeletal Tissue Engineering. Tissue Eng Part A. 2012 Apr;18(7-8):840-51.
  22. Tan Q, Lui PP, Rui YF. Effect of In Vitro Passaging on the Stem Cell-Related Properties of Tendon-Derived Stem Cells-Implications in Tissue Engineering. Stem Cells Dev. 2012 Mar 20;21(5):790-800.


Complete List of Published Work