Group Leader

Frank Chan

Position: Max Planck Research Group Leader and ERC Starter
Unit: AG-Chan

Phone: +49 7071 601 888 
Fax: +49 7071 601 801 
Email: frankyc [at]

Contact: Dr Frank Chan 
Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society 
Max-Planck-Ring 9 
72076 Tuebingen 


Education and Training


2012-Present • Max Planck Research Group Leader, Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society, Tübingen, Germany

2009-2012    • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Biology, Plön, Germany

2003-2009    • PhD in Developmental Biology, Stanford University, Stanford CA, USA

1999-2003    • BA (Honors) in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Wesleyan University, Middletown CT, USA

2001            • Research Intern, LION Bioscience AG, Heidelberg, Germany

2000            • Research Assistant, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory







2015-Present • ERC Starting Grant - HybridMiX
2013-Present • Max Planck Research Group Leadership
2010-2012    • Postdoctoral Fellow, VolkswagenStiftung – Evolutionary Biology

Honours and Awards


2010-2012    • Postdoctoral Fellow, VolkswagenStiftung – Evolutionary Biology

2011             • Young Researcher at the Lindau Nobel Meeting (supported by the Max Planck Society and the Böhringer Ingelheim Stiftung)

2010             • Walter M. Fitch Prize Finalist (PhD Dissertation Award Symposium)

2010             • EMBO Longterm Fellowship (gratefully declined)

2010             • Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellowship (gratefully declined)

2008             • AAAS/Science Program for Excellence in Science

2003-2006   • Affymetrix Bio-X Fellow, Stanford Graduate Fellowship (pre-doctoral fellowship)

2003             • Phi Beta Kappa Honour Society (Gamma Chapter)

2003             • Scott Biomedical Prize for Excellence in Biology (undergraduate subject award)

1999-2003    • Freeman Asian Scholar (undergraduate fellowship)

2000, 2002   • Howard Hughes Summer Research Fellowship

2001             • CDS International Summer Internship Program (biotech intern in Heidelberg, Germany)

1999             • Hong Kong SCMP Student Linguist of the Year

1999             • Dr. Li Fook Sin Scholarship



(Lab members underlined)

2018  Castro JPL*, Yancoskie MN*, Marchini M, Belohlavy S, Ku?ka MBeluch WH, Naumann R, Barton NH, Rolian C†, Chan YF†. An integrative genomic analysis of the Longshanks selection experiment for longer limbs in mice. In review at eLIFE. * co-first authors; † co-last authors; Also on bioRxiv, doi: 10.1101/378711.

2018  Thompson AC, Capellini TD, Guenther CA, Chan YF, Infante CR, Menke DB, Kingsley DM. A novel enhancer near the Pitx1 gene influences development and evolution of pelvic appendages in vertebrates. eLIFE.2018;7:e38555. 

2018  Lazzarano SKu?ka MCastro JPL, Naumann R, Medina PFletcher MNCWombacher R, Gribnau J, Hochepied T, Van Montagu M, Libert C, Chan, YF. Genetic mapping of species differences via “in vitro crosses” in mouse embryonic stem cells. PNAS  doi: 10.1073/pnas.1717474115.

2017  Ullate-Agote A, Chan YF, Tzika AC. A step-by-step guide to assemble a reptilian genome. Chapter in Methods in Molecular Biology - Avian and Reptilian Developmental Biology. Guojun Sheng (ed.). Springer, New York.

2017  Bay RA, Arnegard ME, Conte GL, Best J, Bedford NL, McCann SR, Dubin ME, Chan YF, Jones FC, Kingsley DM, Schluter D, Peichel CL. Genetic coupling of female mate choice with polygenic ecological divergence facilitates stickleback speciation. Current Biology. 27 (21):3344-3349.

2015  Conte GL, Arnegard ME, Best J, Chan YF, Jones FC, Kingsley DM, Schluter D, Peichel CL. The extent of parallel genetic evolution underlying parallel phenotypic evolution in threespine stickleback species pairs. Genetics. 201:1189-1200.

2014  Arnegard ME, McGee MD, Matthews BW, Marchinko KB, Conte GL, Kabir S, Bedford N, Bergek S, Chan YF*, Jones FC, Kingsley DM, Peichel CL, Schluter D Nature (Article). 511 (7509): 307-311.

2012  Jones FC*, Grabherr MG*, Chan YF*, Russell P*, Mauceli E., Johnson J, Pirun M, Zody MC, White S, Birney E, Searle S, Schmutz J, Grimwood J, Dickson MC, Myers RM, Miller CT, Summers BR, Knecht AK, Brady SD, Zhang H, Pollen AA, Howes T, Amemiya C, Broad Institute Genome Sequencing Platform and Whole Genome Assembly Team, Lander ES, Di Palma F, Lindblad-Toh K, Kingsley DM. The genomic basis of adaptive evolution in threespine sticklebacks. Nature (Article). 484 (7392): 55-61. (* co-first authorship)

  • Featured in Nature

2012 • Chan YF, Jones FC, McConnell E, Bryk J, Bünger L, Tautz D. Parallel selection mapping using artificially selected mice reveals bodyweight control genes. Current Biology. 22 (9): 794-800.

  • Featured in Current Biology, Nature Review Genetics

2012  Wark AR, Mills MG, Dang L-H, Chan YF, Jones FC, Brady SD, Absher DM, Grimwood J, Schmutz J, Myers RM, Kingsley DM, Peichel CL. Genetic architecture of variation in the lateral line sensory system of threespine sticklebacks. G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics. 2 (9): 1047-1056.

2011  Deagle, BE, Jones FC, Chan YF, Absher DM, Kingsley DM, Reimchen TE. Population genomics of parallel phenotypic evolution in stream–lake stickleback. Proceedings of the Royal Society B. 279 (1732): 1277-1286.

2011  Jones FC, Chan YF, Schmutz J, Grimwood J, Brady SD, Southwick AM, Absher DM, Myers RM, Reimchen TE, Deagle BE, Schluter D, Kingsley DM. A genome-wide genotyping array reveals patterns of global and repeated species pair divergence in sticklebacks. Current Biology. 22 (1): 83-90.

2011  Greenwood AK, Jones FC, Chan YF, Brady SD, Absher DM, Grimwood J, Schmutz J, Myers RM, Kingsley DM, Peichel CL. The genetic basis of cryptic pigment patterns in juvenile threespine sticklebacks. Heredity. 107: 155-166.

2010  Chan YF, Marks ME, Jones FC, Villarreal G Jr., Shapiro MD, Brady SD, Southwick AM, Absher DM, Grimwood J, Schmutz J, Myers RM, Petrov DA, Jónsson B, Schluter D, Bell MA, Kingsley DM. Adaptive evolution of pelvic reduction in sticklebacks by recurrent deletion of a Pitx1 enhancer. Science(Article) 327 (5963): 302-305.

  • Featured in ScienceNature
  • Section highlight in Developmental Biology, 9th Ed (p. 686) by S. Gilbert
  • Featured in NPR Science Friday & New York Times Science
  • Selected by Faculty of 1000 (FFa – 10; Must Read), Nature Journal Club

2009 • Kitano J, Ross JA, Mori S, Kume M, Jones FC, Chan YF, Absher DM, Grimwood J, Schmutz J, Myers RM, Kingsley DM, Peichel CL. A role for neo-sex chromosomes in stickleback speciation. Nature (Article) 461 (7267): 1079-1083.


Commentary or News and Views


2012  Chan YF. Parallel evolution: hearing echoes. Heredity 108: 471-472. (News & Commentary)

2012  Chan YF. A personal primer for modern biology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2012.07.012. (Book review)