Name: Yajun Wang
Office: Room 1343, Yunxuan Building, Pharmaceutical Sciences
Lab: Room 1406 and 1410, Yunxuan Building, Pharmaceutical Sciences
一、学习和工作经历ACADEMIC TRAINING & CAREER
Professor, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Soochow University, Suzhou, China, 2020-11 to present
Postdoctoral fellow, Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of California, Irvine, CA, USA, 2016.06 -2020.09, Advisor: Prof. John C. Chaput
Ph. D in Chemistry, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2010.09-2016.05, Advisor: Prof. David M. Perrin
二、研究方向STATEMENT OF RESEARCH INTEREST
My major interest of research has been focused at the interface of chemical and synthetic biology to develop artificial nucleic acids with ligand binding (aptamers) and catalytic activities (nucleic acid enzymes), aiming to create artificial nucleic acid based tools gaining both bio-stability and diversified functionalities for biotechnology and medicine. Possibly, such molecules would also help advance our understanding of the origins of life. Towards these goals, we work on the following projects in the Wang lab:
1. Expanding the chemistry of nucleic acid through chemical modification of nucleobase and sugar backbone
2. Creating biological toolkit that can process artificial genetic materials, including nucleic acid polymerases, kinases, ligases, and so on, to support in vitro SELEX of functional molecules
3. Developing automated approaches that enable the rapid discovery of nucleic acid aptamers and catalysts to advance the understanding and applications of nucleic acids as functional molecules
4. Constructing a biorthogonality in vivo, to ultimately take advantage of the metabolism machinery of living organism (e.g. E. coli), for the sustainable biosynthesis of artificial nucleic acid based therapeutic and diagnostic reagents
1. Yajun Wang#, Kim Nguyen#, Robert C. Spitale, John C. Chaput*. A Biologically Stable DNAzyme that Efficiently Silences Gene Expression in Cells. Nat. Chem., 2021, In press (# co-first author).
2. Kim Nguyen#, Yajun Wang#, Whitney England, John C. Chaput*, Robert C. Spitale*. Allele-Specific RNA Knockdown with a Biologically Stable and Catalytically Efficient XNAzyme. J. Am. Chem. Soc.,2021, In revision (# co-first author).
3. Hui Mei, Yajun Wang,Eric J. Yik, John C. Chaput*. Synthesis and polymerase recognition of a pyrrolocytidine TNA triphosphate. Biopolymers, 2021, 112, e23388.Special issue honoring Eric T. Kool.
4. Yajun Wang,Alexander Vorperian, Mouhamad Shehabat, John C. Chaput*. Evaluating the Catalytic Potential of a General RNA-Cleaving FANA Enzyme. ChemBioChem, 2020, 21, 1001-1006. Very Important Paper for the special issue themed Xenobiology 2020, and highlighted by ChemistryViews.
5. Yajun Wang, Arlene Ngor, Ali Nikoomanzar, John Chaput*. Evolution of a general RNA-Cleaving FANA enzyme. Nat. Commun. 2018, 9, 5067. Recommended and highlighted by F1000 Prime.
6. Yajun Wang, Erkai Liu, Curtis Lam, David Perrin*. A densely modified M2+-independent DNAzyme that cleaves RNA efficiently with multiple catalytic turnover. Chem. Sci., 2018, 9, 1813-1821.
7. Hui Mei, Jen-yu Liao, Randi M. Jimenez, Yajun Wang, Saikat Bala, Cailen McCloskey, Christopher Switze, and John C. Chaput*. Synthesis and evolution of a threose nucleic acid aptamer bearing 7-deaza-7-substituted guanosine residues. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140, 17, 5706-5713.
8. Yajun Wang, Nicole Ng, Erkai Liu, Curtis Lam, David Perrin*. Systematic study of constraints imposed by modified nucleoside triphosphates with protein-like side chains for use in in vitro selection. Org. Biomol. Chem., 2017, 15, 610-618.
9. Hui Mei, Changhua Shi, Randi Jimenez, Yajun Wang, Kardouh, Miramar, John, Chaput*.Synthesis and polymerase activity of a fluorescent cytidine TNA triphosphate analogue. Nucleic Acid Research, 2017, 45(10): 5629–5638.
四、学术奖励FELLOWSHIPS AND SCHOLARSHIPS
1. Life Sciences-Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2017-2020, Simons Foundation, USA
2. Four Year Doctoral Fellowship, 2010-2014, University of British Columbia, CANADA
3. Gladys Estella Laird Research Fellowship, 2009-2016, University of British Columbia, CANADA
4. Travel Fellowship for RiboClub 2014, RiboClub Society, CANADA
1. Academic Startup, Soochow University, 2021-2025
2. Life Sciences-Simons Collaboration on the Origins of Life, Simons Foundation, New York, USA, 2017-2020, Award ID: 488559
Associate professor, Research Scientist,
Graduate students of all levels
Undergrads that are interested in research