Hua Bai

Assistant Professor

Dr. Bai received his B.S. in Biology (1997) from East China Normal University; his M.S. in Aquatic Biology from Shanghai Ocean University (2000); and his Ph.D. in Entomology from University of Kentucky (2009), where his mentor was Dr. Subba Reddy Palli. He was a postdoctoral research fellow with Dr. Marc Tatar at Brown University (2009-2015). Dr. Bai joined the faculty of Iowa State University, Department of Genetics, Development, and Cell Biology in January 2016, as a tenure-eligible assistant professor. Although his career trajectory is a bit unique and his scientific training is somewhat diverse, Dr. Bai’s career path began and remains primarily in hormonal and transcriptional regulatory networks affecting animal physiology.

Research Description

The Bai lab is interested in one of the most fascinating, yet poorly understood phenomena in biology: How animals age? By elucidating the cellular and molecular mechanisms of aging and uncovering the secret of Fountain of Youth, we hope that we can find ways to prevent age-associated diseases and prolong the healthspan of global aging population. Drosophila Genetics, Genomics, Behavior and Imaging Analysis are frequently used in our lab to tackle a variety of aging-related questions.

Currently we are focusing on three main research areas. Please check out the lab website for more details and updates (

  1. Cellular & Molecular Mechanisms of Cardiac Aging.
  2. Organ Communication via Systematic Signals.
  3. Stress and Tissue Homeostasis.

Selected Publications

Google Scholar:

Correspondence author marked with asterisk *
Bai lab members in bold

  • Kang P, Chang K, Liu Y, Bouska M, Birnbaum A, Karashchuk G, Thakore R, Zheng W, Post S, Brent C, Li S, Tatar M*, Bai H*. 2017. Drosophila Kruppel homolog 1 represses lipolysis through interaction with dFOXO. Scientific Reports. (Accepted).
  • Zeng B, Huang Y, Xu J, Shiotsuki T, Bai H, Palli SR, Huang Y, Tan A. 2017. The FOXO transcription factor controls insect growth and development by regulating juvenile hormone degradation in the silkworm, Bombyx mori. Journal Biological Chemistry. pii: jbc.M117.777797. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M117.777797.
  • Bai H *, Palli SR. 2016. Identification of G protein-coupled receptors required for vitellogenin uptake into the oocytes of the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Scientific Reports. 6:27648. doi: 10.1038/srep27648. PMCID: PMC489975.7 ( * Co-correspondence author). 
  • Klionsky DJ, …, Bai H, et al. 2016. Guidelines for the use and interpretation of assays for monitoring autophagy (3rd edition). Autophagy.12(1):1-222. PMCID: PMC4835977.
  • Bai H, Post S, Kang P, Tatar M. 2015. Drosophila longevity assurance conferred by reduced insulin receptor substrate chico requires 4E-BP. PLoS One. (Accepted)
  • Cheng-Wen Huang, Bai H, Pei-Yu Wang. 2015. Tequila regulates insulin-like signaling and extends life span in Drosophila melanogaster. Journal of Gerontology: Biological Sciences.
  • Bai H, Kang P, Hernandez AM, Tatar M. 2013. Activin signaling targeted by insulin/dFOXO regulates aging and muscle proteostasis in Drosophila. PLoS Genetics. 9(11): e1003941. PMCID: PMC3820802.
  • Yamamoto R, Bai H, Dolezal AG, Amdam G, Tatar M. 2013. Juvenile hormone regulation of Drosophila aging. BMC Biology. 11:85. PMCID: PMC3726347.
  • Bai H, Kang P, Tatar M. 2012. Drosophila insulin-like peptide-6 (dilp6) expression from fat body extends lifespan and represses secretion of Drosophila insulin-like peptide-2 from the brain. Aging Cell. 11(6):978-85. PMCID: PMC3500397.
  • Hong S-H, Lee K-H, Kwak S-H, Kim A-K, Bai H, Jung M-S, Kwon O-Y, Song W-J, Tatar M, Yu K. 2012. Minibrain/Dyrk1a regulates food intake through the Sir2-FOXO-sNPF/NPY pathway in Drosophila and mammals. PLoS Genetics. 8(8): e1002857. PMCID: PMC3410862.
  • Sheng Z, Xu J, Bai H, Zhu F, Palli SR. 2011. Juvenile hormone regulates vitellogenin gene expression through insulin-like peptide signaling pathway in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 286(49):41924-36. PMCID: PMC3234905.
  • Bai H, Zhu F, Shah K, Palli SR. 2011. Large-scale RNAi screen of G protein-coupled receptors involved in larval growth, molting and metamorphosis in the red flour beetle. BMC Genomics, 12(1):388. PMCID: PMC3163568.
  • Bai H, Gelman D. B, Palli SR. 2010. Mode of action of methoprene in affecting female reproduction in the African malaria mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. Pest Management Science, 66(9):936-43. PMCID: PMC2928151.
  • Bai H, Palli SR. 2010. Functional characterization of bursicon receptor and genome-wide analysis for identification of genes affected by bursicon receptor RNAi. Developmental Biology, 344(1):248-58. PMCID: PMC2909337.
  • Zhu F, Parthasarathy R, Bai H, Woitheb K, Kaussmannb M, Nauenb R, Harrison DA, Palli SR. 2010. A brain-specific cytochrome P450 responsible for the majority of deltamethrin resistance in the QTC279 strain of Tribolium castaneum. The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the U.S.A., 107(19):8557-62. PMCID: PMC2889294.
  • Parthasarathy R, Sun Z, Bai H, Palli SR. 2010. Juvenile hormone regulation of vitellogenin synthesis in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 40(5):405-14. PMCID: PMC2875371.
  • Parthasarathy R, Tan A, Bai H, Palli SR. 2008. Transcription factor broad suppresses precocious development of adult structures during larval-pupal metamorphosis in the red flour beetle, Tribolium castaneum. Mechanisms of Development, 125(3-4):299-313. PMCID: PMC3556786.
  • Bai H, Parthasarathy R, Palli SR. 2007. Identification and characterization of juvenile hormone esterase gene from the yellow fever mosquito, Aedes aegypti. Insect Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, 37(8):829-37. PMCID: PMC2020842.
  • Wu Y, Parthasarathy R, Bai H, Palli SR. 2006.  Mechanisms of midgut remodeling: Juvenile hormone analog methoprene blocks midgut metamorphosis by modulating ecdysone action. Mechanisms of Development, 123(7):530-547. PMID: 16829058.
Area of Expertise: 
Oxidative Stress
B.S., East China Normal University, 1997
M.S., Shanghai Ocean University, 2000
Ph.D., University of Kentucky, 2009
Postdoc, Brown University, 2009-2015
+1 515 294 9395
3260 Molecular Bio 2437 Pammel Dr