Yan Yu received her B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University (Beijing, China) in 2004. She pursued her Ph.D. degree in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign from 2004 to 2009 under the direction of Professor Steve Granick. Her research focused on lipid-based biomaterials and their interactions with nanoparticles and proteins. Subsequently, she started her postdoctoral research at the University of California at Berkeley with Professor Jay T. Groves and changed her research direction to biophysics of primary immune cells. She joined the faculty at IU in July 2012.
Research in the Yu laboratory is at the interface of materials, bioanalytical, and physical chemistry. The research vision is to quantify and control cell behavior with novel materials and chemical approaches. Specific research projects in the Yu group include: (1) self-assembly and interactions of lipid membranes; (2) biomaterials-cell interactions: develop biomimetic materials to manipulate cell behavior; and (3) cell-cell interactions: quantify how molecular interactions and dynamics in membranes determine cell functions.