Biography

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Dr. Yu received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Fudan University in 2001. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 2006 under the direction of Julie Leary, where he developed mass spectrometric approaches for the study of protein-ligand interactions. As a graduate student, he also developed a series of proteomic technologies for the study of tyrosine sulfation, a protein post-translational modification that is implicated in regulating protein-protein interactions in the extracellular space.

In 2007, Dr. Yu joined the laboratories of Steven Gygi and John Blenis in the Department of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School for his post-doctoral training. There he developed quantitative mass spectrometric strategies for the study of protein phosphorylation. He deployed these powerful technologies to characterize the PI3K/Akt/mTORC1 pathway, and identified their downstream signaling modules that control a variety of cellular anabolic processes.  

In 2012, Dr. Yu began his independent research career as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2017. Throughout his career, Dr. Yu has been the recipient of numerous awards for his research, including the Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance Postdoctoral Fellowship, a CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research award, a Virginia Murchison Linthicum Scholar in Medical Research award, a Research Scholar award from the American Cancer Society, a UT System Rising STARs Award and most recently, an R35 MIRA award from NIGMS. He has served on many NIH and DoD advisory panels, including as a current member of the NIH Enabling Bioanalytical and Imaging Technologies (EBIT) Study Section.

The long-term goals of the Yu lab are to develop cutting-edge, mass spectrometry-based proteomic technologies, and applying them to systematically identify and characterize novel protein modification events implicated in various pathophysiological conditions. These data-driven strategies are then combined with classical biochemistry approaches to identify aberrant protein modification patterns, decipher the mechanisms of their deregulation, establish the functional consequences of these molecular events, facilitate the development of relevant therapeutic strategies, and finally, identify proteomic signatures that may serve as diagnostic, prognostic or predictive biomarkers for the relevant diseases (e.g., cancer, diabetes and neurodegenerative disease).

Education

Undergraduate
Fudan University (2001), Chemistry
Graduate School
Univ of California-Berkeley (2006), Chemistry

Research Interest

  • Mass Spectrometry
  • Post-translational Modifications (e.g. Phosphorylation and ADP-ribosylation)
  • Quantitative Proteomics
  • Signal Transduction/Cancer Biology and Metabolism

Publications

Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Honors & Awards

  • R35 MIRA award
    NIGMS (2020)
  • Special issue of “Future of Biochemistry”
    Biochemistry (2018)
  • Developmental Research Program Award
    NCI Lung Cancer SPORE (Specialized Programs of Research Excellence) (2017)
  • Young Investigator Award
    Chinese American Diabetes Association (2017)
  • ACS Research Scholar
    American Cancer Society (2015)
  • CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research
    Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (2011)
  • University of Texas STARS award
    University of Texas System (2011)
  • Virginia Murchison Linthicum Scholar in Medical Research
    UT Southwestern Medical Center (2011)
  • Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance Postdoctoral Fellowship
    Tuberous Sclerosis Alliance (2008)
  • Chun-Tsung Scholar
    Chun-Tsung Endowment (1999)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association for Cancer Research (2013)
  • American Society for Mass Spectrometry (2001)