Soojin Yi earned her BS from Seoul National University in Korea and her MS and PhD from the University of Chicago. During her PhD, she also studied at the University of Edinburgh. After a postdoc at the University of Chicago, she worked as a faculty at Georgia Institute of Technology during 2004-2021, where she rose the rank of Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor. Dr. Yi joined the Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology of the University of California, Santa Barbara as a Professor in July 2021. Her research areas include genetics, evolution, epigenetics and neuroscience. Her scientific recognitions include being elected as an Alfred Sloan Fellow (2006-2008), and an AAAS fellow (2020).
We study evolutionary biology using comparative genomic and epigenomic methods. A main research thrust of the Yi lab is evolutionary epigenomics. We ask how epigenetic regulatory mechanisms evolve and how they contribute to fundamental biological phenomena. For example, over the last few years, we have been working on how DNA methylation evolves and affect regulation of phenotypic plasticity. We are currently studying how DNA methylation and other epigenetic mechanisms change in response to system perturbation (such as disease and environmental change) and to understand implications on phenotypes. Another major thrust of our current research is evolution of epigenetic regulation underlying human brain specific traits such as cognition, neuropsychiatric disorder, and plasticity.