Mei Okino, B.S.

Ph.D Student

I graduated from UCSD with a B.S. Bioinformatics and studied cell type specific mechanisms of non-coding diabetes risk loci. I joined Sander lab in 2020 as a Ph.D student in the UCSD Biomedical Science program and I am co-supervised by Dr. Kyle Gaulton. My research focuses on gene regulation in pancreatic islet in response to the environmental stressors.


Chiou, J., Geusz, R.J., Okino, ML. et al. Interpreting type 1 diabetes risk with genetics and single-cell epigenomics. Nature 594, 398–402 (2021).

Aylward A, Okino ML, Benaglio P, Chiou J, Beebe E, et al. (2021) Glucocorticoid signaling in pancreatic islets modulates gene regulatory programs and genetic risk of type 2 diabetes. PLOS Genetics 17(5): e1009531.

Chiou, J., Zeng, C., Cheng, Z. et al. Single-cell chromatin accessibility identifies pancreatic islet cell type– and state-specific regulatory programs of diabetes risk. Nat Genet 53, 455–466 (2021).

William W. Greenwald, Joshua Chiou, Jian Yan, Yunjiang Qiu, Ning Dai, Allen Wang, Naoki Nariai, Anthony Aylward, Jee Yun Han, Nikita Kadakia, Laura Regue, Mei-Lin Okino,Frauke Drees, Dana Kramer, Nicholas Vinckier, Liliana Minichiello, David Gorkin, Joseph Avruch, Kelly A. Frazer, Maike Sander, Bing Ren, Kyle J. Gaulton. (2019). Pancreatic islet chromatin accessibility and conformation reveals distal enhancer networks of type 2 diabetes risk, Nature Communications, 10, Article number: 2078

Anthony Aylward, Joshua Chiou, Mei-Lin Okino, Nikita Kadakia, Kyle J Gaulton. (2018). Shared genetic risk contributes to type 1 and type 2 diabetes etiology, Human Molecular Genetics, ddy314,