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About School of Life Sciences
By building world-class research programs and centers, the School of Life Sciences strives to pursue questions fundamental to our understanding of biology and disease and to develop enabling technologies that benefit humanity and advance human health. The School is dedicated to cultivating future leaders in biomedical research, with an emphasis on multidisciplinary training in biology, chemistry, medicine, and engineering.
The School of Life Sciences plans to establish research programs in structural biology and biophysics, cell biology, biomedical engineering, stem cell research and therapy, neural and behavioral biology, bioinformatics, immunology and immunotherapy, epidemiology, metabolism, aging and degenerative diseases, cancer research, microbiology, and other related fields.
To facilitate research and training, the School of Life Sciences has launched the Advanced Biomedical Technology (ABT) Core Facility and the Animal Resource Center. The ABT Core Facility has established state-of-the-art platforms, including cryo-electron microscopy, mass spectrometry, flow cytometry, light microscopy, genomics, metabolism, bioinformatics, and high-throughout screening.
Dean Hongtao Yu
Professor Hongtao YU received his B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University in 1990, and received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Harvard University in 1995. He then completed his postdoctoral training at Harvard Medical School. Prof. Yu began his independent research career in 1999 as Assistant Professor in Department of Pharmacology at University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2004 and to Professor in 2008. From 2008-2019, he was appointed Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator. He was the holder of the Serena S. Simmons Distinguished Chair in Cancer Immunopharmacology before joining the faculty of Westlake University in December, 2019.
Prof. Yu studies the cellular mechanisms that govern chromosome inheritance and integrity, focusing on understanding the spindle checkpoint and sister-chromatid cohesion—cellular systems and processes that ensure all chromosomes are properly segregated during cell division. Defects in these processes lead to genomic instability and aneuploidy, which can cause birth defects, premature aging, and tumorigenesis. Using a multidisciplinary approach, his laboratory has contributed significantly to the molecular understanding of chromosome segregation and genome maintenance. His research has highlighted general principles in cell biology and revealed exquisite spatiotemporal control of opposing activities during cellular transitions.
Prof. Yu is a recipient of the Damon Runyon Scholar Award (1999), Burroughs Wellcome New Investigator Award in Pharmacological Sciences (2000), Packard Fellowship for Science and Engineering (2000), Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award (2003), and W. M. Keck Distinguished Young Scholar Award (2003). He was elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in 2012 and Board Member of Chinese Biological Investigator Society (CBIS) in 2018.
Associate Dean for Administration Tingliang Wang
Associate Dean for Research Xiaochun Yu
1991-1996, Beijing Medical University (Peking University Health Center), M.D.
1996-2002, Kurume University, Japan, Ph.D.
2002-2006, Research Associate, Mayo Clinic
2006-2011, Assistant Processor, University of Michigan Medical School
2011-2015, Associate Processor, University of Michigan Medical School
2015, Professor, University of Michigan Medical School
2015-2020, Professor, Beckman Research Institute, City of Hope
2020-, Professor, Westlake University .
The research interests of our laboratory include the mechanisms of DNA damage response, chromatin remodeling, epigenetic modifications, and their roles in tumorigenesis. As a principle investigator, I have extensive expertise and motivation necessary to successfully carry out the research projects that are supported by various funding agencies. The research conducted in my laboratory results a number of manuscripts published in leading journals. Eleven trainees from my laboratory have successfully become independent investigators, established their own laboratories, and generated scientific contributions in the cancer research field. Our current research mainly focuses on the role of protein poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation in DNA damage repair and cancer chemotherapy. Poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation is an unique posttranslational modification induced by DNA damage. Targeting poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation by PARP inhibitors suppresses DNA damage repair and selectively kill tumor cells with DNA damage repair defectives. Our recent studies not only reveal the basic molecular pathway of poly(ADP-ribosyl)ation in DNA damage repair, but also suggest novel therapeutic targets in this pathway for future cancer treatment. In addition, we recently developed small molecule inhibitors specifically targeting dePARylation enzymes for cancer chemotherapy.
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs Jian Yang
Jian Yang is a Professor of Statistical Genetics at the School of Life Sciences, Westlake University, China. He received his PhD in 2008 from Zhejiang University, China, before undertaking postdoctoral research at the QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute in Australia (2008-2011). He moved to The University of Queensland (UQ), Australia, as a Research Fellow in 2012 and was reappointed as a Senior Research Fellow and Group Leader in January 2014. He was promoted to be an Associate Professor in December 2014, and then a Professor in 2017 at UQ. He joined Westlake University in 2020. His primary research interests are focused on understanding the genomic variations among individuals within and between populations and the links of genomic variations with health outcomes.
He was the 2012 recipient of the Centenary Institute Lawrence Creative Prize, in recognition of his contribution to solving the ‘missing heritability’ paradox. He was awarded the Australian Academy of Science Ruth Stephens Gani Medal for distinguished research in human genetics (2015) and the Prime Minister’s Prize for Sciences - Frank Fenner Prize for Life Scientist of the Year (2017). He was named in the Clarivate Highly Cited Researchers from 2018 to 2021. He has published a career total of >200 papers, which have received >37,000 citations (Web of Science, Nov 2021).
Office of the Dean
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The Inaugural Meeting of the Westlake Life Sciences Symposium
The Inaugural Meeting of the Advisory Committee on Life Sciences, Westlake University
Westlake Master Forum Ada Yonath
Westlake Master Mini-symposium Mu-ming Poo
SLS Faculty Work-in-Progress Seminar
PhD Student Work-in-Progress Seminar
Postdocs and Research Fellows Work-in Progress Seminar
Faculty Academic Hour
SLS Seminar Series
The First Meeting of Westlake Laboratory of Life Sciences and Biomedicine Academic Advisory Committee
2020 Academic Meeting of Key Laboratory of Structural Biology of Zhejiang Province
The SLS Staff Union’s Autumn Trip to Nanxun in Huzhou (December 2019)
Water Sports Club Trip to Wuxing in Huzhou (October 2020)
The Magnificent Beauty of Life Exhibit
The SLS Faculty Retreat on the Thousand-Island Lake (September 2020)
The SLS Women of Westlake (WOW) Meeting (October 2020)
The Second Westlake Table Tennis Competition on Yunqi Campus
Westlake University Running Team on Yunqi Campus
Westlake University New Year’s Gala (January 2020)
The SLS Year-end Meeting (January 2021)
PhD Students’ Spring Hike to Tea Mountains at Longwu (April 2021)
PhD Students’ Field Trip to Liangzhu Art Center (March 2021)
Westlake University New Year’s Gala (December 2020)
Westlake University Postdoc Team-building Exercise during the Plum Blossom Week in Jiaxing (October 2020)
SLS Happy Hour (July 2020)
The SLS Hangzhou Tour Series: China Academy of Art (December 2020)
PIs from the SLS Women of Westlake (WOW)
Brainstorming Session Among PI and PhD Students
Faculty and Staff Visit to the Construction Site at the Yungu Campus of Westlake University (October 2020)
Professional Development Training at the SLS Administrative Office