Our long-term research goal is to study the role of chronic inflammation in aging and obesity as well as to identify new dietary interventions to suppress such chronic inflammation.

Aging and/or obesity are major risk factors for many chronic diseases such as cardiovascular diseases, Alzheimer's disease, and Type 2 Diabetes. The occurrence, progression, and complication of many of these chronic diseases are strongly associated with chronic low-grade inflammation.

We are interested in deciphering the molecular mechanisms of such chronic inflammation. We actively work on dietary vesicle-like nanoparticles and their anti-inflammatory functions in the context of aging and obesity. We use both in vitro cell culture and in vivo mouse models for our research. Many state-of-the-art molecular and biochemical techniques and omics approaches are employed in our studies.

Lab Members

Jiujiu Yu, Assistant Professor

Baolong Liu, PhD Student
Research: Dietary vesicle-like nanoparticles; aging; obesity

Baolong joined the lab in August of 2017. Outside of work, he is always up for trying new things and loves to learn. When not cheering on FC Barcelona soccer, his new hobby is playing the harmonica.

Xingzhi (Alan) Li, PhD Student
Research: Dietary vesicle-like nanoparticles; obesity

Alan joined the lab in August of 2020. When not in the lab, Alan enjoys reading science fiction novels and going to the movies. Recently, he has been studying how to drive a small robotic arm with a raspberry pi (card-type microcomputer).

Han Yu, MS Student
Research: Dietary vesicle-like nanoparticles; aging

Han joined the lab in January of 2021. Outside of the lab, Han enjoying traveling and adventure. She enjoys exploring new places as well as indulging in photography, painting, and other forms of art.

Braden Fink, Undergraduate Student

 In the News

 Selected Publications


Chen X, Liu B, Li X, An T, Zhou Y, Li G, Wu-Smart J, Alvarez S, Naldrett M, Eudy J, Kubik G, Wilson R, Kachman S, Cui J, Yu J*. Identification of anti-inflammatory vesicle-like nanoparticles in honey. J Extracell Vesicles. 2021 Jan 31; 10:e12069. doi: 10.1002/jev2.12069.

Liu B, Yu J*. Anti-NLRP3 inflammasome natural compounds: an update. Biomedicines 2021, 9(2):136. doi: 10.3390/biomedicines9020136.

Liu B, Li X, Yu H, Shi X, Zhou Y, Alvarez S, Naldrett MJ, Kachman SD, Ro SH, Sun X, Chung S, Jing L, Yu J*. Therapeutic potential of garlic chive-derived vesicle-like nanoparticles in NLRP3 inflammasome-mediated inflammatory diseases. Theranostics 2021; 11(19):9311-9330. doi: 10.7150/thno.60265.

Khanam A, Yu J, Zempleni J. Class A scavenger receptor-1/2 facilitates the uptake of bovine milk exosomes in murine bone marrow-derived macrophages and C57BL/6J mice. Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2021 Sep 1;321(3):C607-C614. doi: 10.1152/ajpcell.00222.2021.


Liu, B, Lu Y, Chen X, Muthuraj PG, Li X, Pattabiraman M, Zempleni J, Kachman SD, Natarajan SK, Yu J*. Protective Role of Shiitake Mushroom-Derived Exosome-like Nanoparticles in D-Galactosamine and Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Acute Liver Injury in Mice. Nutrients 2020 Feb 13;12(2). doi: 10.3390/nu12020477.


Chen X, Zhou Y, Yu J*. Exosome-like Nanoparticles from Ginger Rhizomes Inhibited NLRP3 Inflammasome Activation. Mol Pharm. 2019 June 3;16(6):2690-2699. doi: 10.1021/acs.molpharmaceut.9b00246.