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Jenny J. Yang

Regents' Professor

M.S., Chemistry Department, Xiangtan University, Hunan, P.R. China
1992, Ph.D., Florida State University
1992-1993 Research Fellow, Syntex Discovery Research
1993-1995 OCMS Research Fellow, University of Oxford, UK
1995-1996 Harford Research Fellow of MB&B, Yale University


Protein design, protein engineering, structural biology, molecular cell and animal imaging, calcium signaling, various biochemical, biophysical, and spectroscopy methods, cell biology, metal coordination, bioinformatics.


Jenny Yang lab applies various methodologies including bioinformatics, spectroscopy, protein and coordination chemistry, imaging, cell biology and animal models to address following hot research topics. 1) We develop computational and biochemical approaches to identify Ca2+ binding proteins and visualize calcium signaling pathways, to dissect key determinants for metal affinity, selectivity,& regulation, and to establish molecular basis of metal toxicity (we called calciomics). 2) We investigate the molecular basis of various human diseases associated to Ca2+ signaling. We work on structural, regulation and function of several key proteins in integrating extracellular with intracellular Ca2+ signaling & cell-cell communication. 3) We develop biosensors such as Ca2+ and protease sensors to monitor rapid subcellular events with preclinical applications. 4) We strive to create MRI contrast agents to diagnose and cure human diseases with  unprecedented sensitivity and accuracy. 5) We design protein drugs with improved therapeutic effects to against cancer, diabetes and virus infection.



2013 Distinguished University Professors, Georgia State University

2011 the Alumni Distinguished Professor Award of Georgia State University.

2004-2005 Medical Research Award from NIH, Southeast Research Center for Emerging Diseases and Biodefense (SERCEB)

2003 Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award, Georgia State University

2003 Featuring Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to McNair Minority Undergraduate Research Program

2001 Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Georgia State University, Arts & Sciences

1996 Donahue Foundation Research Award

1995 –1996 Hartford Research Award

1993 –1995 Oxford Center for Molecular Sciences Fellowship



NIH: HL042220-20

Gap junctions and ionic currents in developing heart

NIH: GM081749-04S1

Structural biology of receptor-mediated extracellular calcium signaling

NIH: EB007268-04

Designing magnetic resonance protein-based contrast agents with high relaxivity


Recent publications:
Pu,F., Qiao,J., Xue,S.,Yang,H., Patel,A., Wei,L., Heckmataryar,K., Grossniklaus,HE., Liu,ZR., and Yang, JJ. GRPR-targeted Protein Contrast Agents for Molecular Imaging of Receptor  Expression in Cancers by MRI. Scientific Reports, Nature (2015), 2015 PMID:26577829
Xue,S., Yang,H., Qiao,J., Pu,F., Jiang,J., Harburd,K., Hekmatarya,K., Langley,J.,Salarian,M., Long,R., Bryant,RR., Hu,XP., Grossniklaus,HE., Liu,ZR., and Yang, JJ. A Protein MRI contrast agent with unprecedented metal selectivity and sensitivity for liver cancer imaging. PNAS (2015) PMID: 25971726
Zhang,C., Mulpuri,N., Hannan,FN, Nesbit,MA., Thakker,RV., Hamelberg,D., Brown,EM., and Yang, JJ. Role of Ca2+ and LPhe in Regulating Functional Cooperativity of Disease-Associated “Toggle” Calcium-Sensing Receptor Mutations. PLoS One 9(11) 2014. PMID: 25420019
Tang,S., Wong,HC., Wang,ZM., Huang,Y., Zou,J., Pennati,A., Gadda,G., Delbono,O.,Yang,JJ., Design and Application of a Class of Sensors to Monitor Ca2+ dynamics in high Ca2+ concentration Cellular Compartments. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (2011).108(39):16265-70. PMID: 21914846