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— Faculty —

XU, Yan


Research Assistant Professor

Education Background

Tsinghua University (Postdoc. Fellow)

Jilin University (Ph.D)

Jilin University (B.Sc)

Research Field
Drug Design, Drug Discovery, Chemical Biology


Dr. Yan Xu received her bachelor’s degree in pharmacy from School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Jilin University in 2007. During 2010 - 2013, she joined in Dr. Ziwei Huang’s lab in Upstate Medical University, State University of New York as research scholar. In 2013, she received Ph. D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Jilin University. During 2013 – 2018, she worked as a postdoctoral fellow in School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University. In Jan. 2019, she joined School of Life and Health Sciences, the Chinese University of Hong Kong as research assistant professor.

Dr. Xu has focused on the design and discovery of new biologically active molecules targeting various proteins using a combination of computation, chemistry, biology, and pharmacology. Such molecules are valuable probes of biological functions of proteins and promising leads of therapeutic development for cancer, infectious diseases and neurodegeneration.

Academic Publications:

  1. Tian W, Xu Y, Han X, Duggineni S, Han X, Huang Z and An J. Development of a novel fluorescence polarization-based assay for studying the β-catenin/Tcf4 interaction. J. Biomol. Screen., 2012, 17(4):530-4.
  1. Choi WT, Duggineni S, Xu Y, Huang Z and An J. Drug discovery research targeting the CXC chemokine receptor 4 (CXCR4). J. Med. Chem., 2012, 9; 55(3):977-94.
  1. Dong CZ, Tian S, Choi WT, Kumar S, Liu D, Xu Y, Han X, Huang Z and An J. Critical role in CXCR4 signaling and internalization of the polypeptide main chain in the amino terminus of SDF-1α probed by novel N-methylated synthetically and modularly modified chemokine analogues. Biochemistry, 2012, 31; 51(30):5951-7.
  1. Tian W, Han X, Yan M, Xu Y, Duggineni S, Lin N, Luo G, Li YM, Han X, Huang Z and An J. Structure-based discovery of a novel inhibitor targeting the β-catenin/Tcf4 interaction. Biochemistry, 2012, 17; 51(2):724-31.
  1. Duggineni S, Mitra S, Noberini R, Han X, Lin N, Xu Y, Tian W, An J, Pasquale EB and Huang Z. Design, synthesis and characterization of novel small molecular inhibitors of ephrin-B2 binding to EphB4. Biochem. Pharmacol., 2013, 15; 85(4):507-13.
  1. Xu Y, Duggineni S, Espitia S, Richman DD, An J and Huang Z. A synthetic bivalent ligand of CXCR4 inhibits HIV infection. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun., 2013, 435(4):646-50.
  1. Duggineni S, Mitra S, Lamberto I, Han X, Xu Y, An J, Pasquale EB and Huang Z. Design and Synthesis of Potent Bivalent Peptide Agonists Targeting the EphA2 Receptor. ACS Med Chem Lett., 2013, 5;4(3).
  1. Han X, Xu Y, Yang Y, Xi J, Tian W, Duggineni S, Huang Z and An J. Discovery and characterization of a novel cyclic peptide that effectively inhibits ephrin binding to the EphA4 receptor and displays anti-angiogenesis activity. PLoS One., 2013, 12;8(11):e80183.
  1. Zhu Y, Yang S, Juan W, Mao Y, Xu Y*, An J and Huang Z. LC–MS/MS assay for the determination of a novel D-peptide antagonist of CXCR4 in rat plasma and its application to a preclinical pharmacokinetic. J. Pharm. Biomed. Anal., 2018, 161: 159-167.
  1. Mao Y, Meng Q, Song P, Zhu S, Xu Y, Snyder E, An J and Huang Z. Novel Bivalent and D-Peptide Ligands of CXCR4 Mobilize Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells to the Blood in C3H/HeJ Mice. Cell Transplantation, 2018, 27(8):1249-1255.
  1. Zhang H, Fang X, Meng Q, Mao Y, Xu Y, Fan T, An J and Huang Z. Design, synthesis and characterization of new potent microtubule inhibitors with dual anti-proliferative and anti-angiogenic activities. Euro. J. Med. Chem., 2018, 157:380-396.