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IAS Senior Visiting Fellow
Prof Yifan CHENG
Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics
University of California, San Francisco
Research Areas:
Electron Cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) Technology, Integral Membrane Proteins, Protein Degradation Machinery

Prof. Yifan Cheng obtained his PhD in Physics from the Institute of Physics at the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 1991. He continued his postdoctoral research as a NTNF Research Fellow at the University of Oslo (1991-1993), a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Institute of Physics of CAS (1993-1994) and an Alexander von Humboldt Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Metals Research (1994-1996). In 1996, he changed his research field to structural biology and received further training in electron cryo-microscopy (cryo-EM) at Florida State University, Kyoto University and Harvard Medical School. In 2006, he joined the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics at the University of California, San Francisco as an Assistant Professor and is currently a Professor there. He has also been an Investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 2015.

Prof. Cheng’s laboratory specializes in cryo-EM and is interested in both methodologies and applications of this versatile technology to study structures and functions of various biological macromolecules. Of particular interests to him and his research team are studying integral membrane proteins and large dynamic macromolecular machineries, and developing enabling technologies to facilitate structural studies of these challenging macromolecules by cryo-EM. In 2013, his lab developed an algorithm to correct for motion-induced blurring in images, allowing users to take full advantage of sensitive new electron detectors and obtain high-resolution information from their samples. He is in the editorial boards of Microscopy (previously Journal of Electron Microscopy), Structure, and Journal of Structural Biology. He is also a Co-editor of the book "Electron Crystallography of Soluble and Membrane Proteins : Methods and Protocols".

Prof. Cheng was awarded the K. H. Kuo Award for Distinguished Scientist by K. H. Kuo Education Fund in 2014 and the Christian B. Anfinsen Award by The Protein Society in 2018. He is the member of the Microscopy Society of America, the American Chemical Society, the Biophysical Society, the American Heart Association and the American Society for Cell Biology. In 2019 and 2020, he was elected a Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the US National Academy of Sciences respectively.


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