Phone: 86-027-87543881


Academic Areas: Single molecule biophysics

Research Interests:

Prof. Yu received his Ph.D. in Physics from University of Alberta, Canada, in 2013. After that he worked as a postdoc in JILA, University of Colorado Boulder, conducting research in the field of high-quality single molecule measurements on membrane proteins. In 2017, he joined Huazhong University of Science and Technology as a professor of physics.


Research interest

Our lab specializes in single molecule biophysics. We develop advanced force spectroscopy techniques to study the dynamics of various biological systems. We reveal hidden phenomena that may be undetectable in traditional ensemble experiments by directly monitor individual RNA, proteins, molecular chaperones and molecular machines. We study the effect of force during structural transformations of biomolecules to understand various unsettled problems, for example, the relation between folding and function, the mechanism of membrane protein insertion and folding, protein misfolding and diseases, the principle of molecular machines, etc. Multiple positions are currently available for graduate students and postdocs with physics, biology, chemistry or other related backgrounds. We also welcome inquiries from undergraduates to join our lab. 

Selected Publications

1.H Yu, MGW Siewny, DT Edwards, AW Sanders, and TT Perkins, Hidden dynamics in the unfolding of individual membrane proteins. Science, 355, 945-950 (2017).
2.K Neupane, DAN Foster, D Dee, H Yu, F Wang, MT Woodside,  Direct observation of transition paths during the folding of proteins and nucleic acids. Science 532, 239-242 (2016).
3.H Yu, D Dee, X Liu, AM Brigley, I Sosova, MT Woodside, Protein misfolding occurs by slow diffusion across multiple barriers in a rough energy landscape. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 112, 8308-8313 (2015). 
4.H Yu, D Dee, MT Woodside, Single-molecule approaches to prion protein misfolding. Prion 7, 140-146 (2013). 
5.H Yu, AN Gupta, X Liu, K Neupane, AM Brigley, I Sosova, MT Woodside, Energy landscape analysis of native folding of the prion protein yields the diffusion constant, transition path time, and rates. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109, 14452-14457 (2012). 
6.K Neupane, DR Ritchie, H Yu, DAN Foster, F Wang, MT Woodside, Transition path times for nucleic acid folding determined from energy-landscape analysis of single-molecule trajectories. Phys. Rev. Lett. 109, 068102 (2012). 
7.H Yu, X Liu, K Neupane, AN Gupta, AM Brigley, A Solanki, I Sosova, MT Woodside, Direct observation of multiple misfolding pathways in a single prion protein molecule. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 109, 5283-5288 (2012). 
8.AN Gupta, A Vincent, K Neupane, H Yu, F Wang, MT Woodside, Experimental validation of free-energy-landscape reconstruction from non-equilibrium single-molecule force spectroscopy measurements. Nature Physics 7, 631-634 (2011). 
9.K Neupane, H Yu, DAN Foster, F Wang, MT Woodside, Single-molecule force spectroscopy of the add adenine riboswitch relates folding to regulatory mechanism. Nucleic Acids Research 39, 7677-7687 (2011)


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