Linqi Wang
IMCAS Professor
State Key Laboratory of Mycology
Phone: 86-10-64806184
Office: F716

Research Areas

Microbial social behavior, Fungal cell-cell communication, Fungal Pathogenesis


PhD Institute of Microbiology
BS Shandong University


Work Experience
2014.12-present: Professor of IMCAS
2010.7-2014.12: Post Doctoral Fellow, Texas A&M University
2010.2-2010.7: Post Doctoral Fellow, New York University

Honors & Distinctions

2014 Faculty 1000 Member Travel Grant
2013 Faculty 1000 Member Travel Grant
2011 Eukaryotic Cell Outstanding Young Investigator Award,
American Society of Microbiology
2011 Nomination for One-hundred excellent PhD theses of China
2010 The Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award,
Chinese Academy of Sciences
2009 President Scholarship, Chinese Academy of Sciences


1. Wang L#*, Tian X#, Gyawali R, Upadhyay S, Foyle D, Wang G, Cai J and Lin X* (2014) Morphotype transition and sexual reproduction are genetically associated in a ubiquitous environmental pathogen. PLoS Pathogens. e1004185. (*co-corresponding author) (Featured research article selected by PLoS Pathogens)
2. Wang L, Tian X, Gyawali R, and Lin X*. (2013)Fungal adhesion protein guides community behaviors and autoinduction in a paracrine manner. PNAS. 110(28):11571-6. (Recommended by Faculty of 1000)
3. Wang L and Lin X. (2012) Morphogenesis in fungal pathogenicity: shape, size, and surface. PLoS Pathogens. 8(12):e1003027.
4. Wang L, Zhai B, and Lin X. (2012) The link between morphotype transition and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans. PLoS Pathogens. 8(6):e1002765
(Featured research article selected by PLoS Pathogens; recommended by Faculty of 1000)
5. Wang L#, Tian X#, Wang J, Yang H, Fan K, Xu G, Yang K, and Tan H. (2009) Autoregulation of antibiotic biosynthesis by binding of the end product to an atypical response regulator. PNAS106 (21): 8617-22.
(Recommended by Faculty of 1000, Microbiology and Molecular Biology Reviews, Current Biology, Current Opinion in Microbiology)
6. Wang L and Lin X. (2011) Mechanisms of unisexual mating in Cryptococcus neoformans. Fungal Genetics and Biology. 48(7):651-660. (invited review)
7. Yang H#, Wang L#, Xie Z, Tian Y, Liu G and Tan H. (2007) The tyrosine degradation gene hppD is transcriptionally activated by HpdA and repressed by HpdR in Streptomyces coelicolor, while hpdA is negatively autoregulated and repressed by HpdR. Molecular Microbiology. 65 (4): 1064-1077 (# co-first author)
8. Zhai B, Wu C, Wang L, Sachs MS and Lin X. (2012) The antidepressant sertraline provides a promising therapeutic option for neurotropic cryptococcal Infections. Antimicrobial Agents Chemotherapy. 56(7):3758-66.
9. Wang J#, Wang W#, Wang L, Zhang G, Fan K, Tan H, Yang K. (2012) A novel role of ’pseudo’γ-butyrolactone receptors in controlling γ-butyrolactone biosynthesis in Streptomyces. Molecular Microbiology. 82(1):236-50.
10. Pan Y, Wang L, He X, Tian Y, Liu G and Tan H. (2011) SabR enhances nikkomycin production via regulating the transcriptional level of sanG, a pathway-specific regulatory gene in Streptomyces ansochromogenes. BMC Microbiology. 20;11:164.
11. Xu G#, Wang J#, Wang L, Tian X, Yang H, Fan K, Yang K, and Tan H. (2010) ’Pseudo’ γ-butyrolactone receptors respond to antibiotic signals to coordinate antibiotics biosynthesis. The Journal of Biological Chemistry. 285(35):27440-8.
12. Yang H, An Y, Wang L, Zhang S, Zhang Y, Tian Y, Liu G, and Tan H. (2010) Autoregulation of hpdR and its effect on CDA biosynthesis in Streptomyces coelicolor. Microbiology. 156 (Pt 9):2641-8.
13. Zhang Y, Wang L, Zhang S, Yang H and Tan H. (2008) hmgA, transcriptionally activated by HpdA, influences the biosynthesis of actinorhodin in Streptomyces coelicolor. FEMS Microbiology Letters. 280(2): 219-215.

Research Interests

Most fungi contributing to systemic human infections are environmental pathogens that do not require the host to complete their normal life cycle. Much remains unknown regarding how and why the pathogenicity has evolved in these environmental fungi. Our study is driven by those questions. Our model system is one of the most successful environmental pathogens, Cryptococcus neoformans, which is responsible for 1 million new infections and 600,000 deaths annually worldwide.

We investigate social control mechanisms underlying cryptococcal pathogenicity, environmental adaptation and sexual reproduction, a proposed contributor important for the evolution of virulence. Our research focus on three areas:

(1) We study the key decision-making circuits engaged in the formation of different morphology subpopulations during sexual community differentiation or during disease progression. We use genetics, cell biology, and biochemistry along with deep-sequencing methods to dissect the molecular basis of morphology heterogeneity in C. neoformans.

(2) We explore novel intercellular and intracellular signals, understanding their mechanisms of action.

(3) We unveil unique and ubiquitous environment sensing systems in environmental human fungal pathogens, exploring their functional roles in pathogenicity, specificity and evolution.

As a long term goal, we will focus on applying the knowledge from these studies to systematically identify virulence factors, and ultimately develop new therapies to prevent and/or manage fungal infections.