Elsa Chui-Ying Yan

Elsa Chui-Ying Yan's picture
Professor of Chemistry
225 Prospect St, New Haven, CT 06511-8499
203 436 2509

Member of Yale faculty since 2007

Research We are interested in understanding biological phenomena related to biomembranes at the molecular level.  We focus on protein folding at membrane surfaces and signal transduction across biomembranes through G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs). Using techniques in molecular biology and chemical biology, we express and purify recombinant soluble and membrane proteins. We then apply second-order laser spectroscopy and biophysical methods to obtain thermodynamic and kinetic information to investigate structure and functions of the proteins.


B.S. Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1995
Ph.D. Columbia University, 2000
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley, 2000-2004
Visiting Fellow, HHMI, Rockefeller University, New York, 2000-2004
Research Assistant Professor, Rockefeller University, New York, 2004-2007


Sir Edward Youde Memorial Scholarship, Hong Kong, 1994
First Class Honors for B.Sci., Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, 1995
Distinction for Ph.D., Columbia University, New York, 2000
Pegram Award for graduate research, Columbia University, New York, 2000
Petroleum Research Fund Award, American Chemical Society, 2009-2011
Starter Grant Award, Spectroscopy Society of Pittsburgh, 2009-2010
NSF CAREER Award, National Science Foundation, 2010-2015
Tour speaker, Society of Applied Spectroscopy, 2011
The Greer Memorial Prize for Achievement in Research in Nature Sciences, Yale University, 2011
Early Excellent in Physical Organic Chemistry, Journal of Physical Organic Chemistry, 2012
Elected Vice Chair, Gordon Research Conference: Vibrational Spectroscopy, 2014
Elected Chair, Gordon Research Conference: Vibrational Spectroscopy, 2016

Recent Publications

Y. Guo, S. Sekharan, J. Liu, V.S. Batista, J.C. Tully, & E.C.Y. Yan. Role of Unusual Temperature-Dependent Kinetics of Thermal Reactions of Rhodopsin in Vertebrate Dim-Light Vision. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 2014, 108, 26111.

E.C.Y. Yan, L. Fu, Z. Wang, & W. Liu. Biological Macromolecules at Interfaces Probed by Chiral Sum Frequency Generation Spectroscopy. Chem. Rev. 2014,114, 8471.

M.Y. Liu, J. Liu, D. Mehrotra, E.C.Y. Yan. Thermal Stability of Rhodopsin and Progression of Retinitis Pigmentosa: A Comparison of S186W and D190N Rhodopsin Mutants. J. Biol. Chem. 2013, 288, 17698.

L. Fu, D.Q. Xiao, Z. Wang, V.S. Batista, E.C.Y. Yan. Chiral Sum Frequency Generation for In Situ Probing Proton Exchange in Antiparallel b-Sheet Peptides at Interfaces. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 3592.

N. Mitra, Y. Liu, J. Liu, E. Serebryany, V. Mooney, B.T. DeVree, R. Sunahara, E.C.Y. Yan. Calcium-Dependent Ligand Binding and G-protein Signaling of Family B GPCR Parathyroid Hormone 1 Receptor Purified in Nanodiscs. ACS Chem. Biol.2013, 8, 617.

Research Interests

Room Number: 
KCL 116