Ching-Ho Chang



Ching-Ho was born in Changhua, Taiwan. He got his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees at the National Taiwan University. There, he was first introduced to research using fruit flies as models under the mentorship of Dr. Chau-Ti Ting. He finished his PhD in Biology at the University of Rochester in the lab of Dr. Amanda Larracuente. Ching-Ho is amazed by the diversity of chromosomes and excited to solve the many mysteries of chromosome evolution. He explored the hidden variation in regions of genomes consist of repetitive sequences by combining genomics and cytology. Surprisingly, he discovered that repetitive regions are extremely rapidly evolving. Moreover, these regions might lead to the evolution of new selfish meiotic drivers, which play by their own rules and can spread in populations—either by killing other sperm during male meiosis or segregating preferentially into eggs during female meiosis to bias their transmission. These selfish, repetitive sequences can jeopardize the health of the host, and we must deal with them. He also studied the arms race between a meiotic driver (Segregation Distorter) and its suppressors in fruit flies using genetics. He found that Segregation Distorter could acquire multiple inversions that help it overcome a suppressor. Therefore, these inversions can persist in nature despite carrying harmful mutations, e.g., recessive lethals. Together, these results suggested that meiotic drivers play an important role in chromosome evolution.

Research Interests

“What’s fair ain’t necessarily right.” –Toni Morrison

The Mendelian First and Second Laws describe that each allele from an individual will segregate equally to the next generation. These laws ensure each gamete from the same individual has the same chance to fertilize. However, gametes from the same individuals can have different genotypes; for example, in the heterogametic sex, gametes only carry one of the two sex chromosomes. Why should all gametes with different genotypes be transmitted equally? Ching-Ho’s postdoctoral research in the Malik Lab focuses on how organisms ensure that their gametes can be fairly transmitted. He proposes that the rapid evolution of sperm chromatin might be responsible for silencing male meiotic drivers, which can kill other sperm to benefit themselves.

Click curriculum vitae for Ching-Ho Chang's CV


*Corresponding author, # Equal contribution

  1. Chakraborty, M.#, Chang, C.-H.#, Khost, D., Vedanayagam, J., Adrion, J. R., Liao, Y., Montooth, K. L., Meiklejohn, C. D., Larracuente, A. M.*, and Emerson, J. J.* (2020). Evolution of genome structure in the Drosophila simulans species complex. bioRxiv.
  2. Chang, C.-H.#, Chavan, A. #, Palladino, J.#, Wei, X., Martins, N. M. C., Santinello, B., Chen, C. C., Erceg, J., Beliveau, B. J., Wu, C. T., Larracuente, A. M.*, and Mellone, B. G.* (2019). Islands of retroelements are major components of Drosophila centromeres. PLoS Biology, 17(5), e3000241.
  3. Chang, C.-H.*, and Larracuente, A. M.* (2019). Heterochromatin-Enriched Assemblies Reveal the Sequence and Organization of the Drosophila melanogaster Y Chromosome. Genetics, 211(1), 333-348.
  4. Courret, C.*, Chang, C.-H., Wei, K. H., Montchamp-Moreau, C., and Larracuente, A. M. (2019). Meiotic drive mechanisms: lessons from DrosophilaProc Biol Sci, 286(1913), 20191430. (Review)
  5. Lo, C.-W., Kryvalap, Y., Sheu, T.-j., Chang, C.-H., and Czyzyk, J.* (2019). Cellular proliferation in mouse and human pancreatic islets is regulated by serpin B13 inhibition and downstream targeting of E-cadherin by cathepsin L. Diabetologia, 62(5), 822-834.
  6. Fallon, T. R.#, Lower, S. E.#, Chang, C.-H., Bessho-Uehara, M., Martin, G. J., Bewick, A. J., Behringer, M., Debat, H. J., Wong, I., Day, J. C., Suvorov, A., Silva, C. J., Stanger-Hall, K. F., Hall, D. W., Schmitz, R. J., Nelson, D. R., Lewis, S. M., Shigenobu, S., Bybee, S. M., Larracuente, A. M., Oba, Y., and Weng, J. K.* (2018). Firefly genomes illuminate parallel origins of bioluminescence in beetles. Elife, 7, e36495.
  7. Chang, C.-H.*, and Larracuente, A. M. (2017). Genomic changes following the reversal of a Y chromosome to an autosome in Drosophila pseudoobscuraEvolution, 71(5), 1285-1296.
  8. Martinson, E. O.* #, Mrinalini#, Kelkar, Y. D., Chang, C.-H., and Werren, J. H.* (2017). The Evolution of Venom by Co-option of Single-Copy Genes. Current Biology, 27(13), 2007-2013 e2008.
  9. Chang, C. C.#, Ting, C. T. #, Chang, C.-H., Fang, S.*, and Chang, H.* (2014). The persistence of facultative parthenogenesis in Drosophila albomicansPLoS One, 9(11), e113275.
  10. Cheng, C.-H. #, Chang, C.-H. #, and Chang, H.* (2011). Early-stage evolution of the neo-Y chromosome in Drosophila albomicansZoological Studies, 50, 338-349.