Dr. Yin has conducted research in basic science for several decades and has recently transitioned to conducting reseach in identifying 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, organelle remodeling, membrane trafficking, and autophagy.

Her career development research is based on her long-term experience in promoting research success of junior faculty, and has culminated in the 2023 award of the large NIH FIRST award jointly by UT Southwestern and UT Dallas. Dr. Yin is the MPI and co-director of the FIRST program, and will leverage the program to identify using rigorous research methods best practices for fostering the success of junior faculty from multiple backgrounds.

Dr. Yin is a strong advocate for translational science. She created the UT Southwestern “Mechanisms of Disease & Translational Science” 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. This PhD track 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. Dr. Yin has also been the co-director of the Education and Career Development Program of the UT Southwestern Center for Translational Medicine (supported by a Clinical and Translational Science Award ) since 2012. 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.

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 Diversitt to advocate for our faculty, with particular focus on women from different backgrounds. In 2013, she co-created the "Leadership Emerging in Academic Departments" (LEAD faculty leadership program). In 2015, she co-created the multi-tiered "Successfully Obtaining an R" (SOAR) grantsmanship program. She directs the highly successful "SOAR Intensive R Grant Writing Workshops" that has improved our faculty's extramural grant funding success.  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 s a member of the UT System Chancellor’s “Quantum Leap Initiative” on Gender Pay Equity. She was on the national program planning community for the 2017 Summit on “Inspiring Intersections: A Call to Collaborate, Challenge, and Change” that was co-sponsored by the AAMC Group on Faculty Diversity and Inclusion and Group on Women in Medicine and Science. She is 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)