Personal Details

Dr. Kaiyuan Yang
Post Doc - Islet Biology

Phone: +49 89-3187-49335
Building/Room: Campus Neuherberg, building 3620, room 040a


Project Description

To identify therapeutic targets/strategies for β-cell preservation/regeneration, a comprehensive understanding of embryonic pancreas development is essential. Extremely limited human pancreatic tissue leads to the deficits in our knowledge on embryonic development of human pancreas. Consequently, the current differentiation protocols for human embryonic/induced pluripotent stem cells are substantially based on our understanding of mouse pancreas development. As a competing alternative to mouse, pig makes as an excellent animal model for its similarities to human in physiology and pancreas morphology. Its long gestation period allows for in-depth investigation of pancreas embryogenesis, yet little is known. Therefore, the aims of my research are to comprehensively characterize pig pancreas development; and identify species differences/similarities by comparing to human & mouse.

Academic and Research Activities

Postdoctoral Fellow: 2017/12 – Present, Institute of Diabetes and Regeneration Research, Helmholtz Zentrum München GmbH, German Center for Diabetes Research (DZD), Munich, Germany

Postdoctoral Fellow: 2015/9 – 2017/12, Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Ph.D., Nutrition and Metabolism: 2010/9 – 2015/8, Department of Agricultural, Food & Nutritional Science, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

B.Sc., Food Quality and Safety: 1996/9 – 2010/7, China Pharmaceutical University, Nanjing, China


1. Huang H, Yang K, Wang R, Han WH, Kuny S, Zelmanovitz PH, Sauvé Y, Chan CB. (2019) β-Cell compensation concomitant with adaptive endoplasmic reticulum stress and β-cell neogenesis in a diet-induced type 2 diabetes model. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 44(12):1355-1366

2. Fouhse JM*, Yang K*, More-Bayona J*, Gao Y, Goruk S, Plastow G, Field CJ, Barreda DR, Willing BP. (2019) Neonatal Exposure to Amoxicillin Alters Long-Term Immune Response Despite Transient Effects on Gut-Microbiota in Piglets. Front Immunol. 10:2059. *Co-first author

3. Fouhse JM*, Yang K*, Li J, Mills E, Chan CB, Willing BP. (2018) Establishing a model for childhood obesity in adolescent pigs. Obes Sci Pract. 4(4): 396–406 *Co-first author

4. Yang K & Chan CB. (2018) Epicatechin potentiation of glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in INS-1 cells is not dependent on its antioxidant activity. Acta Pharmacol Sin. 39, 893–902

5. Yang K & Chan CB (2017). Proposed mechanisms of the effects of proanthocyanidins on glucose homeostasis. Nutr Rev. 75, 642–657

6. Li JY*, Yang K*, Ju TT, Ho T, McKay CA, Gao YH, Forget SK, Field CJ, Chan CB, Willing BP. (2017). Early life antibiotic exposure affects pancreatic islet development and metabolic regulation. Sci Rep. (7): 41778. *Co-first author

7. Ju T, Shoblak Y, Gao Y, Yang K, Fouhse J, Finlay BB, So YW, Stothard P, Willing BP. (2017) Initial Gut Microbial Composition as a Key Factor Driving Host Response to Antibiotic Treatment, as Exemplified by the Presence or Absence of Commensal Escherichia coli. Appl Environ Microbiol. 83(17). pii: e01107-17.

8. Yang K, Gotzmann J, Kuny S, Huang H, Sauvé Y, Chan CB. (2016). Five stages of progressive beta-cell dysfunction in the laboratory Nile rat model of type 2 diabetes. J Endocrinol. 229(3):343-56

9. Yang K, Hashemi Z, Han W, Jin A, Yang H, Ozga J, Li L, Chan CB. (2015). Hydrolysis enhances bioavailability of proanthocyanidin-derived metabolites and improves β-cell function in glucose intolerant rats. J Nutr Biochem. 26(8): 850-859.

10. Hashemi Z, Yang K, Yang H, Jin A, Ozga J, Chan CB. (2015) Cooking enhances beneficial effects of pea seed coat consumption on glucose tolerance, incretin, and pancreatic hormones in high-fat-diet-fed rats. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 40(4):323-33.

11. Chan CB, Gupta J, Kozicky L, Hashemi Z, Yang K. (2014) Improved glucose tolerance in insulin-resistant rats after pea hull feeding is associated with changes in lipid metabolism-targeted transcriptome. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 39(10):1112-9.