Dr. Yin has conducted research in basic science for several decades and has recently transitioned to conducting research to identify best practices for promoting the career of junior scientists.

Her basic research is focused on regulation of the actin cytoskeleton and membrane trafficking. She discovered gelsolin, the first actin filament severing protein, in 1979. Gelsolin is regulated by calcium and the lipid phosphatidylinositol 4,5 bisphosphate (PIP2). She elucidated the roles of the lipid kinases that synthesize PIP2 and its precursor, PI4P, in response to hypertonic and oxidative stress, during membrane signaling, phagocytosis and autophagy. Her research improves understanding of these essential lipids’ roles in cell survival, cytoskeletal remodeling, membrane trafficking, and autophagy.

Her career development research is based on her long-term experience in promoting research success of graduate students and junior faculty. She created the UT Southwestern “Mechanisms of Disease & Translational Science (MODTS) graduate track in 2008. This track uniquely exposes PhD students to clinical and translational research, so that they can target their future research to address unmet diagnostic and therapeutic needs. MODTS was initially supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute “Med into Grad” Initiative and is currently supported by an NIH Molecular Medicine T32 Institutional Training Grant. She was elected as a University of Texas System Distinguished Professor in 2014 and won the System's Academy of Health Science Education’s Innovator Award in 2015.

Dr. Yin is the multiple PI and co-director of two major NIH funded institutional training grants to foster the career development of junior investigators. These are the NIH Clinical and Translational Award’s Clinical and Translational Research KL2 Scholars Program since 2021 and the joint UT Southwestern and UT Dallas NIH U54 Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation (FIRST) Research Program since 2023. Dr. Yin will identify, using rigorous research approaches, the best practices for fostering the success of scientists in the biomedical workforce.

In addition to her scientific and education roles, Dr. Yin has been the Inaugural Associate Dean of Women's Career since 2012. In this role, she collaborates with the Office of Faculty Development to advocate for all faculty, with particular focus on women. In 2013, she co-created the "Leadership Emerging in Academic Departments" (LEAD) junior faculty leadership program. In 2015, she launched the "Successfully Obtaining an R" (SOAR) grantsmanship and mentoring program. Dr. Yin was active in the UT System as the founding chair of the UT System Senior Women Leaders Sponsorship Workshop in 2016 and was an inaugural member of the UT System Chancellor’s “Quantum Leap Initiative on Gender Pay Equity. She is currently a member of Steering Committee of the AAMC Group on Women in Science and Medicine.



Mount Holyoke College (1970), Biology
Graduate School
Harvard University (1976), Physiology

Research Interest

  • Career Development of Junior Scientists
  • Differential targeting of type II phosphatidylinositol 4 kinase alpha and beta to the Golgi and the plasma membrane
  • Phosphoinositide regulation of the actin cytoskeleton, membrane trafficking and autophagy
  • Phosphoinositide regulation of the Golgi


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Phosphatidylinositol 4-Kinase IIa Is Palmitoylated by Golgi-localized Palmitoyltransferases in Cholesterol-dependent Manner.
Lu D, Sun HQ, Wang H, Barylko B, Fukata Y, Fukata M, Albanesi JP, Yin HL J. Biol. Chem. 2012 Jun 287 26 21856-65
Phosphatidylinositol 4, 5 bisphosphate and the actin cytoskeleton.
Zhang L, Mao YS, Janmey PA, Yin HL Subcell. Biochem. 2012 59 177-215
Oxidative stress decreases phosphatidylinositol 4,5-bisphosphate levels by deactivating phosphatidylinositol- 4-phosphate 5-kinase beta in a Syk-dependent manner.
Chen MZ, Zhu X, Sun HQ, Mao YS, Wei Y, Yamamoto M, Yin HL J. Biol. Chem. 2009 Aug 284 35 23743-53
Palmitoylation Controls the Catalytic Activity and Subcellular Distribution of Phosphatidylinositol 4-Kinase IIalpha
Barylko B, Mao YS, Wlodarski P, Jung G, Binns DD, Sun HQ, Yin HL, Albanesi JP J Biol Chem February 2009 [Epub ahead of print]

Honors & Awards

  • Institutional Award, AAMC Group on Women in Science and Medicine (Established)
    To honor the achievements of an established institutional program to promote women in science and medicine (2023-2023)
  • Inaugural holder of the Margaret Yin Chair for the Advancement of Women Faculty
  • The Innovation in Health Science Education Award, University of Texas System Kenneth Shine Academy
  • Distinguished Teaching Professor, University of Texas System Kenneth Shine Academy of Health Science Education
  • 2000 - 2004
    Editorial Board, Journal of Biological Chemistry (0)
  • 2006
    Peter and Jean D. Dehlinger Professorship in Biomedical Sciences (0)
  • 2006 - 2007
    Fellow of the Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine Program (ELAM), Drexel College of Medicine

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • AAMC Group on Women in Science and Medicine (2020-2023)
  • CTSA KL2 Clinical Translational Scholars Career Development award (2021-2023)
  • Joint UTSW-UTD NIH FIRST Research Program (2023-2023)