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 (in both quantitative proteomics and signal transduction). 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 novel protein modifications and the related "dark matter" within in the human proteome. These data-driven strategies are then combined with classical biochemistry approaches to chacterize 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

Quantitative Secretomic Analysis Identifies Extracellular Protein Factors That Modulate the Metastatic Phenotype of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer.
Hu R, Huffman KE, Chu M, Zhang Y, Minna JD, Yu Y J. Proteome Res. 2016 Jan
Poly-ADP ribosylation of PTEN by tankyrases promotes PTEN degradation and tumor growth.
Li N, Zhang Y, Han X, Liang K, Wang J, Feng L, Wang W, Songyang Z, Lin C, Yang L, Yu Y, Chen J Genes Dev. 2015 Jan 29 2 157-70
Orexin/Hypocretin Activates mTOR Complex 1 (mTORC1) via an Erk/Akt-independent and Calcium-stimulated Lysosome v-ATPase Pathway.
Wang Z, Liu S, Kakizaki M, Hirose Y, Ishikawa Y, Funato H, Yanagisawa M, Yu Y, Liu Q J. Biol. Chem. 2014 Oct
Quantitative phosphoproteomic analysis reveals system-wide signaling pathways downstream of SDF-1/CXCR4 in breast cancer stem cells.
Yi T, Zhai B, Yu Y, Kiyotsugu Y, Raschle T, Etzkorn M, Seo HC, Nagiec M, Luna RE, Reinherz EL, Blenis J, Gygi SP, Wagner G Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2014 Apr
Grb10 Promotes Lipolysis and Thermogenesis by Phosphorylation-Dependent Feedback Inhibition of mTORC1.
Liu M, Bai J, He S, Villarreal R, Hu D, Zhang C, Yang X, Liang H, Slaga TJ, Yu Y, Zhou Z, Blenis J, Scherer PE, Dong LQ, Liu F Cell Metab. 2014 Apr
Sin1 phosphorylation impairs mTORC2 complex integrity and inhibits downstream Akt signalling to suppress tumorigenesis.
Liu P, Gan W, Inuzuka H, Lazorchak AS, Gao D, Arojo O, Liu D, Wan L, Zhai B, Yu Y, Yuan M, Kim BM, Shaik S, Menon S, Gygi SP, Lee TH, Asara JM, Manning BD, Blenis J, Su B, Wei W Nat. Cell Biol. 2013 Oct
Glycogen synthase kinase-3ß positively regulates protein synthesis and cell proliferation through the regulation of translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1.
Shin S, Wolgamott L, Tcherkezian J, Vallabhapurapu S, Yu Y, Roux PP, Yoon SO Oncogene 2013 Apr
Glycogen synthase kinase (GSK)-3 promotes p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase (p70S6K) activity and cell proliferation.
Shin S, Wolgamott L, Yu Y, Blenis J, Yoon SO Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2011 Nov 108 47 E1204-13
Sensitive multiplexed analysis of kinase activities and activity-based kinase identification.
Kubota K, Anjum R, Yu Y, Kunz RC, Andersen JN, Kraus M, Keilhack H, Nagashima K, Krauss S, Paweletz C, Hendrickson RC, Feldman AS, Wu CL, Rush J, Villén J, Gygi SP Nat. Biotechnol. 2009 Oct 27 10 933-40
A site-specific, multiplexed kinase activity assay using stable-isotope dilution and high-resolution mass spectrometry.
Yu Y, Anjum R, Kubota K, Rush J, Villen J, Gygi SP Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2009 Jul 106 28 11606-11

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)