Fan Yuan

Professor of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. Yuan has extensive experiences in analysis of therapeutic agent transport in mammalian cells, tissues, and organs, and development of effective strategies, design principles, and new technologies that can be used to facilitate the transport. The goal of his research is to improve delivery of therapeutic agents to their targets, which is crucial in treatment and prevention of diseases. He has published >100 scientific papers in peer-reviewed journals, and a textbook on transport analysis in biological systems that has been used to teach undergraduate and graduate courses in many universities.

Appointments and Affiliations

  • Professor of Biomedical Engineering
  • Professor in Ophthalmology
  • Member of the Duke Cancer Institute

Contact Information

  • Office Location: Rm 1385, Fciemas, Duke Univers, Durham, NC 27708-0281
  • Office Phone: +1 919 660 5411
  • Email Address:
  • Websites:


  • B.S. Peking University (China), 1983
  • M.S. Peking University (China), 1985
  • Ph.D. City University of New York, 1990

Research Interests

Principles and mechanisms of delivery for drugs, genes, and vaccines; pharmacokinetics; electrotransfer or electroporation technology; and tumor pathophysiology.

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Fellow. American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. 2007
  • CAREER Award. National Science Foundation. 2000
  • SPORE in Breast Cancer Career Development Award. Duke University Medical Center. 1996
  • IPM Innovative Instrumentation Award. The Microcirculatory Society. 1994
  • IPM Innovative Instrumentation Award. The Microcirculatory Society. 1993

Courses Taught

  • BME 791: Graduate Independent Study
  • BME 789: Internship in Biomedical Engineering
  • BME 577: Drug Delivery (GE, BB, MC)
  • BME 530: Introduction to Tissue Biomechanics (GE, BB)

Representative Publications

  • Wang, Chunxi, and Fan Yuan. “A comprehensive comparison of DNA and RNA vaccines.” Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews 210 (July 2024): 115340.
  • Wang, Chunxi, Chun-Chi Chang, Jen-Tsan Chi, and Fan Yuan. “Sucrose Treatment Enhances the Electrotransfer of DNA by Activating Phospholipase A2.” Pharmaceutics 16, no. 4 (March 29, 2024).
  • Sylvers, Justin, Yifei Wang, and Fan Yuan. “Nuclear Entry of DNA and Transgene Expression in Dividing and Non-dividing Cells.” Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering 16, no. 5–6 (December 2023): 459–74.
  • Wang, Chunxi, Amelia Karlsson, Thomas H. Oguin, Andrew N. Macintyre, Gregory D. Sempowski, Kevin R. McCarthy, Yifei Wang, M Anthony Moody, and Fan Yuan. “Transient inhibition of lysosomal functions potentiates nucleic acid vaccines.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 120, no. 44 (October 31, 2023): e2306465120.
  • Wang, Yifei, Chun-Chi Chang, and Fan Yuan. “Copy number of naked DNA delivered into nucleus of mammalian cells by electrotransfection.” Bioelectrochemistry (Amsterdam, Netherlands) 153 (October 2023): 108491.