My laboratory studies the molecular mechanisms of intracellular signal transduction pathways using a combination of structural and biochemical approaches.  Our research program currently focuses on two major areas: (1) the spindle checkpoint and (2) the Hippo tumor suppressor pathway.   In the first area, our work establishes a general framework of how the spindle checkpoint ensures the fidelity of chromosome segregation.   Recently, we have initiated biochemical and structural studies of the Hippo pathway, which controls organ size by maintaining the delicate balance between cell proliferation and apoptosis.  We have made great progress in structural and biochemical characterization of the core components in the Hippo pathway.  Our studies provide insights into the molecular mechanisms of the Hippo signaling.


Peking University (1990), Chemistry
Graduate School
Tufts University (1997), Biochemistry

Research Interest

  • Cell cycle checkpoints and cancer
  • Organ size control and cancer
  • Structural biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

The Cdc20-binding Phe Box of the Spindle Checkpoint Protein BubR1 Maintains the Mitotic Checkpoint Complex During Mitosis.
Diaz-Martinez LA, Tian W, Li B, Warrington R, Jia L, Brautigam CA, Luo X, Yu H J. Biol. Chem. 2015 Jan 290 4 2431-43

Honors & Awards

  • CPRIT Individual Investigator Research Awards
  • National Cancer Institute Howard Temin Award
  • American Cancer Society ACS-IRG award
  • National Institutes of Health (NIH) Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Giovanni Armenise-Harvard Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow
    Harvard Medical School (1997)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Chinese Biological Investigators Society (2005-2015)