Dr. Nieng Yan is a professor in the School of Medicine at Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. After finishing her bachelor’s degree at Tsinghua University, she joined Yigong Shi’s laboratory at Princeton University, where she completed her graduate and postdoctoral training. During this time, she successfully solved the X-ray crystallography structure of several proteins involved in cell death, and started working on solving the structure of membrane proteins, a big challenge at the time.
Currently, her laboratory uses a combination of structural biology and biochemistry to elucidate the mechanisms of substrate recognition and transport. Her focus and determination helped her laboratory to be the first group to solve the crystal structure of glucose transporters. Given her scientific contributions, she was selected as a HHMI International Early Career Scientist in 2012, and was awarded the Protein Science Young Investigator Award by the Protein Society and the Raymond & Beverly Sackler International Prize in Biophysics in 2015.