Associate Professor College of Science

Dr. Deng earned her B. S. from Shandong University in 1996 and received her Ph.D. from Ruhr-University Bochum (Germany) in 2002. From 2003 to 2008, She did her postdoctoral research in Dr. Cathy L. Jackson lab (NICHD) and Dr. Caroline Philpott Lab (NIDDK) at NIH, where she worked in the field of membrane trafficking and cargo sorting. She then worked in Prof. Randy YC Poon lab at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology as a research associate during 2009-2011, and in Prof. Gang Xu lab in The Chinese University of Hong Kong from 2011 to 2012. In 2012, Dr. Yi Deng was appointed an Associate Professor at the Department of Biology, Southern University of Science and Technology in 2012.

Personal Profile


Extracellular Matrix (ECM) is a significant part of cellular microenvironment. My lab is interested in understanding the molecular mechanisms that regulate cell-ECM interactions, and thus cell adhesion, spreading and migration. We combine cell biology (e.g. Time-lapse live cell imaging and fluorescence-based technologies) and biochemical approaches to investigate cell adhesion, spreading and migration at different spatial scales. We believe that mechanistic understanding of how cell adhesion, spreading and migration are regulated is significant for identifying novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of human diseases such as cancer and fibrotic diseases.


Prof. Yi Deng is currently the principle lecturer of the course of Molecular Biology (BIO320), Cell Biology (BIO206), Advanced Cell Biology (BIO323) and Introduction to Life Sciences (BIO102B)for undergraduate students. She is also engaged in the teaching of Frontier in Life Science (BIO308) for undergraduate students.

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publications at SUSTech

1. Wang CD, Guo XF, Wong TCB, Wang H, QI XF, Cai DQ, Deng Y, Zhao H (2019) Developmental expression of three prmt genes in Xenopus. Zool Res. Mar 18;40(2):102-107.

2. Shi Z, Xin H, Tian D, Lian J, Wang J, Liu G, Ran R, Shi S, Zhang Z, Shi Y, Deng Y, Hou C, Chen Y (2019) Modeling human point mutation diseases in Xenopus tropicalis with a modified CRISPR/Cas9 system. FASEB J. Mar 7: fj201802661R. doi: 10.1096/fj.201802661R. [Epub ahead of print]

3. Sun Y, Ding Y, Guo C, Liu C, Ma P, Ma S, Wang Z, Liu J, Qian T, Ma L, Deng Y, Wu C (2019) -Parvin promotes breast cancer progression and metastasis through interaction with G3BP2 and regulation of TWIST1 signaling. Oncogene. Feb 25. doi: 10.1038/s41388-019-0762-1. [Epub ahead of print].

4. Ke M, Liu J, Chen W, Chen L, Gao W, Qin Y, He A, Chu B, Tang J, Xu R, Deng Y#, Tian R# (2018) Integrated and Quantitative Proteomic Approach for Charting Temporal and Endogenous Protein Complexes. Anal Chem. 90: 12574. (# Corresponding author).

5. Li T*, Deng Y*, Shi Y, Tian R, Chen Y, Zou L, Kazi JU, Rönnstrand L, Feng B, Chan SO, Chan WY, Sun J, Zhao H (2018) Bruton's tyrosine kinase potentiates ALK signaling and serves as a potential therapeutic target of neuroblastoma. Oncogene. Jul 16. doi: 10.1038/s41388-018-0397-7. [Epub ahead of print] (*co-first author).

6. Liu W, Zhong X, Cheng L, Wang J, Sun Y, Deng Y#, Zhang ZT# (2018) Cellular and compositional insight into the sludge dewatering process using enzyme treatment. Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. Aug 14. doi: 10.1007/s11356-018-2854-9. [Epub ahead of print] (#Corresponding authors).

7. Guo L, Cai T, Chen K, Wang R, Wang J, Cui C, Yuan J, Zhang K, Liu Z, Deng Y, Xiao G, Wu C (2018) Kindlin-2 regulates mesenchymal stem cell differentiation through control of YAP1/TAZ. J Cell Biol. 217: 1431.

8. Li H*, Deng Y*, Sun K, Yang H, Liu J, Wang M, Zhang Z, Lin J, Wu C, Wei Z, Yu C (2017) Structural basis of kindlin-mediated integrin recognition and activation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 114: 9349. (*Co-first authors).

9. Liu Z, Kwan T, Cheng, Shi Z, Liu Z, Lei Y, Wang C, Shi W, Chen X, Qi X, Cai D, Feng B, Deng Y, Chen C and Zhao H (2016) Efficient genome editing of genes involved in neural crest development using the CRISPR/Cas9 system in Xenopus embryos. Cell Biosci. 6: 22.

10. Wang C, Kam RK, Shi W, Xia Y, Chen X, Cao Y, Sun J, Du Y, Lu G, Chen Z, Chan WY, Chan SO, Deng Y, Zhao H (2015) The Proto-oncogene Transcription Factor Ets1 Regulates Neural Crest Development through Histone Deacetylase 1 to Mediate Output of Bone Morphogenetic Protein Signaling. J Biol Chem. 290: 21925.

11. Shi W, Xu G, Wang C, Sperber SM, Chen Y, Zhou Q, Deng Y#, Zhao H# (2015) Heat Shock 70-kDa Protein 5 (Hspa5) Is Essential for Pronephros Formation by Mediating Retinoic Acid Signaling. J Biol Chem. 290:577. (#Co-corresponding authors).

12. Lei Y, Guo X, Deng Y, Chen Y, Zhao H (2013) Generation of gene disruptions by transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs) in Xenopus tropicalis embryos. Cell Biosci. 3: 21.

13. Kang ZF, Deng Y, Zhou Y, Fan RR, Chan JC, Laybutt DR, Luzuriaga J, Xu G (2013) Pharmacological reduction of NEFA restores the efficacy of incretin-based therapies through GLP-1 receptor signalling in the beta cell in mouse models of diabetes. Diabetologia 56: 423.

14. Lei Y, Guo X, Liu Y, Cao Y, Deng Y, Chen X, Cheng CH, Dawid IB, Chen Y, Zhao H (2012) Efficient targeted gene disruption in Xenopus embryos using engineered transcription activator-like effector nucleases (TALENs). Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 109: 17484.

publications prior to SUSTech

15. Kam RK, Deng, Y, Chen Y, Zhao H (2012) Retinoic acid synthesis and functions in early embryonic development. Cell Biosci. 2: 11.

16. Deng Y, Guo Y, Watson H, Au WC, Shakoury-Elizeh M, Basrai MA, Bonifacino JS, Philpott CC (2009) GGA2 mediates sequential ubiquitin-independent and -dependent steps in the trafficking of ARN1 from the trans-golgi network to the vacuole. J Biol Chem. 284: 23830.

17. Deng Y, Golinelli-Cohen M, Smirnova E, and Jackson CL (2009) A COPI coat subunit interacts directly with an early-Golgi localized Arf Exchange Factor. EMBO Rep. 10: 58.

18. Kim Y*, Deng Y*, Philpott CC (2007) GGA2- and Ubiquitin-dependent Trafficking of Arn1, the Ferrichrome Transporter of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Mol Biol Cell. 18: 1790. (* co-first author).

19. Deng Y, Schmidtmann A, Kruse S, Filatov V, Heilmeyer LM Jr, Jaquet K Thieleczek (2003) Phosphorylation of human cardiac troponin I G203S and K206Q linked to familial hypertrophic cardiomyopathy affects actomyosin interaction in different ways. J Mol Cell Cardiol. 35: 1365.

20. Wang JX, Zhao XF, Deng Y, Qi HY, Wang ZJ (2003) Chromosomal polymorphism of mandarin vole, Microtus mandarinus (Rodentia). Hereditas 138: 47.

21. Wang JX, Zhao XF, Koh HS, Deng Y, Qi HY (2003) Chromosomal polymorphisms due to heterochromatin growth and pericentric inversions in white-bellied rat, Niviventer confucianus, from China. Hereditas 138: 59.

22. Deng Y, Schmidtmann A., Redlich A., Westerdorf B., Jaquet K, Thieleczek R (2001) Effects of Phosphorylation and Mutation R145G on Human Cardiac Troponin I Function. Biochemistry 40: 14593.

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Welcome to the Department of Biology! Since its establishment in 2012, the Department of Biology has attracted internationally renowned professors to join as leaders and dozens of young scientists to start their independent academic career here pursuit of excellence in research and teaching. The research interests of our faculty members include diverse topics such as systems biology, plant biology, neurobiology, structural biology and molecular cell biology. The primary goals of our faculty are to address the most significant fundamental biological questions and to develop new strategies to treat various complex diseases. Such efforts will benefit from the shared inter-disciplinary collaborative spirit deeply rooted in the minds of all the faculty members working in different departments at SUSTech.

Mentoring the next generation biologists with the highest standards is another primary task of the Department of Biology. Our professors choose internationally acclaimed textbooks to teach core courses biological sciences, biotechnology and bioinformatics. Undergraduates are encouraged to join the laboratory early to get firsthand working experience in basic and/or applied biological research, which helps them to consolidate the mastering of basic techniques, to broaden their knowledge horizons and to acquire the capabilities of problem identifying, hypothesis formulating and problem solving.

Life science, one of the fastest developing natural scientific disciplines, has been the driving force behind the growth of the world economy and provides the know for the development of new technologies serving to improve the human health and welfare at large. Wit generous financial support from the Shenzhen municipal government, we are confident that the Department of Biology in SUSTech will surely grow into a top tier globally-renowned research and teaching center!

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