Dr. Chook received an AB degree in Chemistry and Biology (major at Haverford College) from Bryn Mawr College in 1988. She received a PhD in Biophysics in 1994 from Harvard University, where she studied the structures and mechanism of chorismate mutase with William Lipscomb. Her postdoctoral work was with Emil Pai and Tony Pawson in Toronto studying signal transduction in the Ras pathway, and with Günter Blobel at the Rockefeller University studying the mechanisms of nuclear import.

In December of 2001, Dr Chook joined the Department of Pharmacology at UT Southwestern as an Assistant Professor and Eugene McDermott Scholar in Biomedical Research. The Chook laboratory aims to understand mechanisms of nucleocytoplasmic transport and molecular recognition by the Karyopherin-β nuclear transport receptors (Kaps; Importins and Exportins), classify nuclear traffic, and discover how Kapβs organize and regulate cellular functions. They seek to discover these roles of Kaps through a combination of structural, biochemical, biophysical, bioinformatics and cell biological investigations focused on Kap-cargo interactions.



Graduate School
Bryn Mawr College , Biology
Graduate School
Bryn Mawr College , Chemistry
Graduate School
Harvard University (1993)

Research Interest

  • Biochemistry
  • Bioinformatics
  • Biophysics
  • Cell Biology
  • Protein transport, nucleocytoplasmic transport, targeting signals
  • Structural Biology


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Chorismate Mutase, essentially a template enzyme. Chapter 17, 235-244.. In Biological NMR Spectroscopy. John L. Markley, Stanley Opella and Richard Ernst (editors).

Lipscomb, W.N., Chook, Y.M. and Ke, H. (1997). Oxford University Press.

Structural Analysis of Karyopherin-mediated nucleocytoplasmic transport.. In Nuclear Transport, edited by Ralph Kehlenbach.

Zhang, Z. C. and Chook, Y. M. (2009). Landes Bioscience.

Honors & Awards

  • Alfred and Mabel Gilman Chair in Molecular Pharmacology
  • The Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award in Science
    Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science (2015)
  • Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award
  • Eugene McDermott Scholar in Biomedical Research
    U.T. Southwestern Endowed Scholar Award (2001)
  • Life Sciences Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship
    Rockefeller University (1996)
  • Human Frontiers in Science Program Postdoctoral Fellowship
    University of Toronto/Mount Sinai Hospital (1994)
  • Certificate of Distinction in Teaching
    Harvard-Danforth Center for Teaching and Learning, Harvard University (1990)