My research lab is located in BioTech One, Suite 212, lab number 2-215.
Area of Focus
- Membrane Protein Structural Biology and Drug Discovery
- Ph.D., Structural Biology/Medicinal Chemistry (University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas, 2010)
- M.S., Biochemistry/Molecular Biology (Chinese Academy of Science, Shanghai, China, 2000)
- B.S., General Biology (Henan Normal University, Xinxiang, Henan, China, 1997)
- Postdoc - Membrane Protein Structural Biology (Columbia University, 2016)
- (2016 - Present) Assistant Professor, Dept. of Medicinal Chemistry, VCU School of Pharmacy
- (2016 - Present) Member, Institute for Structural Biology, Drug Discovery & Development
- (2016 - Present) Adjunct Associate Research Scientist, Columbia University
- (2002 - 2004) Research Assistant, Louisiana State University
- (2000 - 2002) Research Assistant, Chinese Academy of Science
Professional and Scholarly Interests
- Tryptophan-rich TSPO proteins
- Ligand-gated Ion Channels
- G-Protein-Coupled Receptors
- ECF-type ABC Transporters
- Major Facilitator Superfamily Transporter
- Novel Membrane Proteins
- 1) Structural Biology of Membrane Proteins
- Research in our laboratory is focused on selected biomedically important membrane proteins implicated in cognitive diseases, cancers, cardiovascular diseases and infectious diseases. We perform our research at the atomic level using comprehensive modern biophysical, biochemical and computational approaches including but not limited to X-Ray Crystallography, Single-Particle Cryo-Electron Microscopy, Nuclear Resonance Spectroscopy, Fluorescence Spectroscopy, Microscale Thermophoresis, Circular Dichroism, and Electron Paramagnetic Resonance.
- 2) Membrane Protein Crystallography
- High-resolution structures of membrane proteins are in high demand but still rare. We have successfully solved multiple high resolution crystal structures, some of them even down to 1.7 Å. Method development is crucial to our success. We are interested in developing new strategies for membrane protein crystallization.
- 3) Drug Discovery and Development
- Structure based drug design is a vital component of precision medicine. We take the advantage of high-resolution structures of membrane proteins for drug discovery and development.