Pengpeng Bi

Fred C. Davison Early Career Scholar Award

Photograph of Pengpeng Bi

Pengpeng Bi, assistant professor in the Department of Genetics and Center for Molecular Medicine, has contributed substantially to understanding the molecular mechanisms of muscle development and regeneration. His role in discovering, characterizing, and naming the protein myomixer was a substantial advance. Muscle growth and repair depend on the fusion of smaller muscle cells. Bi identified myomixer as a long-sought switch for human muscle cell fusion. Furthermore, his group used a suite of model and non-model organisms to investigate the evolutionary origin of muscle cell fusion, shedding light on a deep mystery of vertebrate evolution. His group is spearheading the development of a powerful CRISPR toolkit to create genetically engineered mouse models and identify new genes essential for muscle development. These works have been published in prestigious journals and constitute a resource for all investigators who employ mouse models, including those outside the muscle biology field.