Research Group
His/Her Lab

Research Interests
Membrane proteins represent the most important target in biomedical and pharmaceutic studies for their physiological functions in metabolism, signal transduction and immune response. My team is dedicated to the structural and functional analysis on disease-related membrane proteins such as membrane transporters and membrane integral enzymes. By combining cut-of-edge technologies in protein science such as Lipid Cubic Phase, Bio-Layer Interferometry and High-Throughput Protein-protein Interaction assay, we are not only seeking for the answer to critical scientific questions by determining protein structure and elucidating molecular mechanism underlying their functions, but also developing the solution to human health issues by revealing the molecular pathology for cancer and diabetes and discovering potential medicines.


Selected Publications
1. Yu Cao, Yaping Pan, Hua Huang, Xiangshu Jin, Elena Levin, Ming Zhou, "Gating of the TrkH ion channel by its associated RCK protein, TrkA", Nature 496, 317-322; 18 April 2013;
2. Elena Levin, Yu Cao, Giray Enkavi, Matthias Quick, Yaping Pan, Emad Tajkhorshid and Ming Zhou, “Structure and permeation mechanism of a mammalian urea transporter.” Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 109(28):11194-9; 10 July 2012;
3. Yu Cao, Xiangshu Jin, Elena Levin, Hua Huang, Yinong Zong, Matthias Quick, Jun Weng, Yaping Pan, James Love, Marco Punta, Burkhard Rost, Wayne Hendrickson, Jonathan Javitch and Ming Zhou, “Crystal structure of a phosphorylation-coupled saccharide transporter”, Nature, 473: 50-54, 05 May 2011;
4. Yu Cao, Xiangshu Jin, Hua Huang, Mehabaw Derebe, Elena Levin, Venkataraman Kabaleeswaran, Yaping Pan, Marco Punta, James Love, Jun Weng, Matthias Quick, Sheng Ye, Brian Kloss, Renato Bruni, Erik Martinez-Hackert, Wayne Hendrickson, Burkhard Rost, Jonathan Javitch, Kanagalaghatta Rajashankar, Youxing Jiang and Ming Zhou, “Crystal structure of a potassium ion transporter TrkH”, Nature, 471: 336-340; 17 March 2011

Education Background & Academic Experience
2014 – present, Principal Investigator, National Center for Protein Science | Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, SIBS, CAS, Shanghai
2013 – 2014, Scientist II, EMD Serono Research and Development Institute, Billerca MA, USA
2011 – 2013, Postdoctoral Fellow, Pfizer Global Research & Development, Groton CT, USA
2008 – 2011, Associate Research Scientist, Department of physiology and cellular biophysics, Columbia University, New York NY, USA
2005 – 2011, Postdoctoral Scientist, Department of physiology and cellular biophysics, Columbia University, New York NY, USA
1999 – 2004, Ph. D, Institute of Biophysics, CAS, Beijing
1995 – 1999, B. Sc., Nankai University, Tianjin

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