Location: Home > Scientists
  Principal Investigators
Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology
+86-10-82619461  / 
wangyuATioz.ac.cn (Please replace AT with @)
State Key Laboratory of Reproductive Biology, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, North West Ring Road, West 25-1 Rm. 302, Beijing 100190
Group of Stem Cell and Pharmacological Modulation      
Yu Wang, Ph.D., is a professor at the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He received his bachelor degree from University of Science and Technology of China in 2004 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology in 2010, under the supervision of Dr. Andrew P. McMahon. He subsequently worked as a postdoctoral fellow with Dr. Andrew P. McMahon and Dr. Lee L. Rubin at Harvard and later as a research associate with Dr. James A. Thomson at Morgridge Institute for Research. His work spans multiple areas, including cell biology and chemical biology studies on the Hedgehog signaling pathway, drug discovery for targeted cancer therapy and regenerative medicine, and stem cell based disease modeling and drug discovery. Some of it has been published in high profile journals including PNAS, JACS, ACS Chemical Biology, Chemistry & Biology, and Current Opinion in Cell Biology. He is also an inventor for 2 patents on screening technologies and small molecule drug leads.

Research Interests:
Our laboratory is interested in interdisciplinary research on stem cell biology and pharmacological modulation. We mainly work on two areas:
1) “drug mediated regenerative medicine”
Previous studies have reported in vivo transdifferentiation to certain cells in mouse that contribute to tissue repair, which brought exciting promise towards tissue regeneration through in situ transdifferentiation in vivo. Pharmacological modulation, on the contrary to exogenous genetic methods, is safer, reversible, and usually delivery free. It is very exciting to eventually achieve “drug mediated regenerative medicine” via in vivo transdifferention.
2) “in vitro human clinical trials”
The first time that a drug touches the human body during drug development is often not until the clinical trials. Traditional pre-clinical surrogate models normally lack the accuracy in mimicking human biology, which increases the risk of R&D failure. Therefore it is very important to obtain predictive human data in the preclinical stage. In vitro human disease modeling using stem cell technologies provide a promising solution. Such models can be used to study human physiology and pathology, and to evaluate efficacy and safety for drugs, so called “in vitro human clinical trials”.

Awards and Honors:

Professional Activities:

Research Grants:

Selected Publications:
  1. Zhao, C1., Zhang, Y1., Zhao, Y., Ying, Y., Ai, R., Zhang, J., Wang, Y.* (2018) Multiple Chemical Inducible Tal Effectors for Genome Editing and Transcription Activation. ACS Chemical Biology. DOI: 10.1021/acschembio.7b00606
  2. Lu, J1., Zhao, C1., Zhao, Y1., Zhang, J1., Zhang, Y., Chen, L., Han, Q., Ying, Y., Peng, S., Ai, R., Wang, Y.* (2017) Multimode drug inducible CRISPR/Cas9 devices for transcriptional activation and genome editing. Nucleic Acids Research doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx1222.
  3. Liu, L., Zhang, J., Rheindt, F.E., Lei, F., Qu, Y., Wang, Y., Zhang, Y., Sullivan, C., Nie, W., Wang, J., Yang, F., Chen, J., Edwards, S.V., Meng, J., Wu, S., (2017) Genomic Evidence Reveals a Radiation of Placental Mammals Uninterrupted by the KPg Boundary. PNAS 114 (35):E7282-E7290.
  4. Wu, F., Zhang, Y., Sun, B., McMahon, A.P., Wang, Y.* (2017) Hedgehog Signaling: From Basic Biology to Cancer Therapy. Cell Chemical Biology. 24 (3): 252-280.
  5. Ding, H., Yang, D., Zhao, C., Song, Z., Liu, P., Wang, Y., Chen, Z., Shen, J. (2015) Protein−Gold Hybrid Nanocubes for Cell Imaging and Drug Delivery. ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 7 (8): 4713–4719.
  6. Schwartz, M.P., Hou, Z., Propson, N.E., Zhang, J., Engstrom, C.J., Costa, V.S., Jiang, P., Nguyen, B.K., Bolin, J.M., Daly, W., Wang, Y., Stewart, R., Page, C.D., Murphy, W.L., and Thomson, J.A. (2015) Human pluripotent stem cell-derived neural constructs for predicting neural toxicity. PNAS 112 (40): 12516-12521.
  7. Wang, Y.*, and McMahon, A.P. (2013). A novel site comes into sight. eLife2, e01680.
  8. Wang, Y., Davidow, L., Arvanites, A.C., Blanchard, J., Lam, K., Xu, K., Oza, V., Yoo, J.W., Ng, J.M., Curran, T., Rubin, L.L. *, and McMahon, A.P*. (2012b). Glucocorticoid compounds modify smoothened localization and hedgehog pathway activity. Chemistry & biology19, 972-982.
  9. Wang, Y., Arvanites, A.C., Davidow, L., Blanchard, J., Lam, K., Yoo, J.W., Coy, S., Rubin, L.L. *, and McMahon, A.P*. (2012a). Selective identification of hedgehog pathway antagonists by direct analysis of smoothened ciliary translocation. ACS chemical biology7, 1040-1048.
  10. Wang, Y., Zhou, Z., Walsh, C.T. *, and McMahon, A.P. * (2009). Selective translocation of intracellular Smoothened to the primary cilium in response to Hedgehog pathway modulation. PNAS106, 2623-2628.
  11. Wang, Y.1, McMahon, A.P. *, and Allen, B.L. 1 (2007). Shifting paradigms in Hedgehog signaling. Current opinion in cell biology19, 159-165.


  1. Wang Y and McMahon AP (2013). System for screening agonists/antagonists of cellular signaling pathways. US Patent 8,574,837.
  2. Wang Y, McMahon AP, and Rubin LL (2013). Modulators of Hedgehog signaling pathway. US Patent App. 20,130,274,233.