Dr. Yu is an associate professor of Bioengineering at the University of Utah, and a recipient of Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) and NSF CAREER award. Previously, he was an associate professor of Materials Sci. & Eng. at the Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Yu received his doctoral degree in Polymer Science and Engineering from University of Massachusetts at Amherst working on liquid crystalline properties of recombinant proteins under the guidance of Prof. David Tirrell. Subsequently, he had post-doc training at the University of Wisconsin at Madison with Prof. Samuel H. Gellman, synthesizing novel surfactants, beta-peptides and poly(beta-amino acids). Dr. Yu’s research interests lie in the synthesis, characterization, and application of organic materials that are either inspired by, or derived from biological systems. In particular, his group has focused on applying principles of protein folding and assembly to development of a wide variety of materials that range from piezoelectric polymers to tissue engineering scaffolds and diagnostic/therapeutic molecules. Recently, Dr. Yu’s research group has developed a new peptide probe-based technology for targeting denatured collagens. This work is considered a breakthrough in collagen detection (published in over 20 peer-reviewed journals in the last 5 years, including PNAS, Nature Commnun. JACS) for its ability to specifically bind to collagens denatured by proteinase or by mechanical damage both in vitro and in vivo.
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