Assistant Professor Department of Biology

Kaige Yan obtained his Ph.D. degree from Tsinghua University, 2016. After a four-year postdoctoral training supervised by Prof. David Barford at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, Dr. Yan joined the Department of Biology in SUSTech as an assistant professor in October 2020. His research has been focused on understanding the mechanisms and regulations of chromosome segregation in mitosis, and ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex assembly and transport, by using a combination of structural and biochemical techniques with an emphasis on high-resolution electron microscopy.

Personal Profile

Professional Experience:

◆ 2020 – Present Assistant Professor in Southern University of Science and Technology of China, Shenzhen, China.

◆ 2016 – 2020 Postdoctoral scientist in MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge, United Kingdom.

Group Leader: Prof. David Barford


Educational Background:

◆ 2011 – 2016 Ph.D. candidate majored in Structural Biology, Biophysics. Received Ph.D. Degree from School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University, China.

Advisor: Prof. Ning Gao & Jianlin Lei

◆ 2007 – 2011 Majored in Biophysics. Received B.S. Degree from Department of Applied Physics and School of Physics, Nankai University, China


◆Mechanisms and regulations of chromosome segregation in mitosis

◆Ribonucleoprotein (RNP) complex assembly and transport

Publications Read More

1.Yan, K. †, Yang, J. †, Zhang, Z. †, McLaughlin, S.H., Chang, L., Fasci, D., Ehrenhofer-Murray, A.E., Heck, A.J.R. and Barford, D.. (2019) Structure of the inner kinetochore CCAN complex assembled onto a centromeric nucleosome. Nature, 574, 278-282. († contributed equally to this work).

2.Yan, K. †, Zhang, Z. †, Yang, J., McLaughlin, S.H. and Barford, D.. (2018) Architecture of the CBF3-centromere complex of the budding yeast kinetochore. Nature structural & molecular biology, 25, 1103-1110.

3.Zhang, D. †, Yan, K. †, Liu, G., Song, G., Luo, J., Shi, Y., Cheng, E., Wu, S., Jiang, T., Lou, J., Gao, N. and Qin, Y.. (2016) EF4 disengages the peptidyl-tRNA CCA end and facilitates back-translocation on the 70S ribosome. Nature structural & molecular biology, 23, 125-131.

4.Zhang, D. †, Yan, K. †, Zhang, Y. †, Liu, G., Cao, X., Song, G., Xie, Q., Gao, N. and Qin, Y.. (2015) New insights into the enzymatic role of EF-G in ribosome recycling. Nucleic acids research, 43, 10525-10533.

5.Zhang, X. †, Yan, K. †, Zhang, Y., Li, N., Ma, C., Li, Z., Feng, B., Liu, J., Sun, Y., Xu, Y., Lei, J. and Gao, N.. (2014) Structural insights into the function of a unique tandem GTPase EngA in bacterial ribosome assembly. Nucleic acids research, 42, 13430-13439.

6.Wang, W., Li, W., Ge, X., Yan, K., Mandava, C.S., Sanyal, S. and Gao, N.. (2020) Loss of a single methylation in 23S rRNA delays 50S assembly at multiple late stages and impairs translation initiation and elongation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A, 117, 15609-15619.

7.Ma, C., Wu, S., Li, N., Chen, Y., Yan, K., Li, Z., Zheng, L., Lei, J., Woolford, J.L.J. and Gao, N.. (2017) Structural snapshot of cytoplasmic pre-60S ribosomal particles bound by Nmd3, Lsg1, Tif6 and Reh1. Nature structural & molecular biology, 24, 214-220.

8.Wu, S., Tutuncuoglu, B., Yan, K., Brown, H., Zhang, Y., Tan, D., Gamalinda, M., Yuan, Y., Li, Z., Jakovljevic, J., Ma, C., Lei, J., Dong, M., Woolford, J.L.J. and Gao, N.. (2016) Diverse roles of assembly factors revealed by structures of late nuclear pre-60S ribosomes. Nature, 534, 133-137.

9.Gu, J., Wu, M., Guo, R., Yan, K., Lei, J., Gao, N. and Yang, M.. (2016) The architecture of the mammalian respirasome. Nature, 537, 639-643.

10.Ma, C., Yan, K., Tan, D., Li, N., Zhang, Y., Yuan, Y., Li, Z., Dong, M., Lei, J. and Gao, N.. (2016) Structural dynamics of the yeast Shwachman-Diamond syndrome protein (Sdo1) on the ribosome and its implication in the 60S subunit maturation. Protein & cell. 7,187-200.

11.Zhang, J., Pan, X., Yan, K., Sun, S., Gao, N. and Sui, S.F.. (2015) Mechanisms of ribosome stalling by SecM at multiple elongation steps. eLife, 4.

12.Yang, Z., Guo, Q., Goto, S., Chen, Y., Li, N., Yan, K., Zhang, Y., Muto, A., Deng, H., Himeno, H., Lei, J. and Gao, N.. (2014) Structural insights into the assembly of the 30S ribosomal subunit in vivo: functional role of S5 and location of the 17S rRNA precursor sequence. Protein & cell, 5, 394-407.

Lab members Read More

Join us

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 to pursuit of excellence in research and teaching.

The research interests of our faculty members include diverse topics, such as systems biology, neurobiology, plant biology, structural biology, and molecular cell biology. The faculty of the department has strong academic ability and is exposed to perfect scientific research platform facilities. It has major research teams such as the Guangdong Provincial Key Laboratory, Guangdong Provincial "Pearl River Talent Program" Innovation and Entrepreneurship Team. In addition, it is supported by advanced research platforms such as Cryo-EM center, Plant and Food Research Institute, Neuroscience Research Institute and Experimental Animal Center and etc. 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 of biologists with the highest standards is another primary task of the Department of Biology. The life science was approved to be the Guangdong Provincial key discipline in 2016. In 2018, it obtained the right to confer doctoral and master degrees in first-level disciplines and was confirmed as a key discipline to be developed in Guangdong Province. In 2019, the approval was granted for one post-doctoral research station in 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 identifying a problem, formulating hypothesis and solving a problem.

Life science has become the frontiers of natural sciences in the 21st century, and its development is related to people’s health and well-being. Today, life and health industry has become a new driving force to promote the development of the world economy. It is also the focus of China and Shenzhen to foster strategic emerging industries.

Read More

Contact Us

Contact Address

Room 207, Building B, Southern University of Science and Technology, No. 1088, Xueyuan Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen 518055, China

Office Phone


Copyright © 2018 All Rights Reserved.