Research Fellow / Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica


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EDUCATION AND POSITIONS HELD:

  • Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Southern California, (1988)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Molecular Biology Institute, UCLA, (1988- 1992)
  • Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica (1992- 2000)
  • Research Fellow, Institute of Molecular Biology, Academia Sinica (2000- present)

HONORS:

  • Young Investigator Award, Academia Sinica (1998)
  • Outstanding Research Award, National Science Council, ROC (1999, 2003)

RESEARCH INTERESTS:

Structural and Functional Studies of Non-specific Nucleases in Cell Defense

image003_007Yuan's laboratory focuses on the structural and functional studies of several non-specific nucleases involved in cell defense by biochemical, molecular biological and X-ray crystallographic methods. These nucleases take part in cell defense by degrading foreign nucleic acid molecules in a sequence-independent manner to protect the intactness of host genomes. In prokaryotes, the periplasmic nuclease Vvn and the secreted nuclease ColE7 are two such examples, which degrade foreign nucleic acid molecules in the host cell wall and in the cytoplasm of foreign cells, respectively. In eukaryotes, several apoptotic nucleases function in comparable ways to that of ColE7 and Vvn have been discovered recently in programmed cell death. Functional and structural insight into this group of non-specific nucleases will be valuable for developing strategies to promote or suppress cell survival machinery in bacterial, oncogenic or virus-infected cells.