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Jenny J. Yang

Professor    Distinguished University Professor    

M.S., Chemistry Department, Xiangtan University, Hunan, P.R. China
1992, Ph.D., Florida State University
1992-1993 Research Fellow, Syntex Discovery Research
1993-1995 OCMS Research Fellow, University of Oxford, UK
1995-1996 Harford Research Fellow of MB&B, Yale University


The research in the Jenny J Yang Laboratory focuses on the chemical, biological, material and environmental role of calcium and calcium binding proteins ( We call it calciomics ) using design and engineering approaches. Our goal is to predict and understand the role of metal ions, especially calcium, in biological, chemical and environmental systems, to design novel tools for diagnostics and research, and to create drugs for better health and overall environment. Our multi-disciplinary research projects involve the Structural Biology (NMR and X-ray), Biophysics, Biochemistry, Bioinorganic Chemistry, Cell and Molecular Biology, Biocomputing (Bioinformatics), Physiology, Neuron Sciences and Biomaterial Sciences. Our multidisciplinary approach to these research interests includes site-directed mutagenesis, combinatorial methods, molecular modeling, bacterial and mammalian cell cultures, in cell NMR, various spectroscopic methods (e.g. CD, fluorescence, confocal scanning fluorescence microscopy, NMR, X-ray crystallography, cellular imaging, and MRI imaging) and other techniques such as BiaCore (SPR) and Mass spectrometry. There are several main research concentrations in our group.



2013 Distinguished University Professors, Georgia State University

2011 the Alumni Distinguished Professor Award of Georgia State University.

2004-2005 Medical Research Award from NIH, Southeast Research Center for Emerging Diseases and Biodefense (SERCEB)

2003 Outstanding Faculty Achievement Award, Georgia State University

2003 Featuring Recognition for Outstanding Contribution to McNair Minority Undergraduate Research Program

2001 Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, Georgia State University, Arts & Sciences

1996 Donahue Foundation Research Award

1995 –1996 Hartford Research Award

1993 –1995 Oxford Center for Molecular Sciences Fellowship



NIH: HL042220-20

Gap junctions and ionic currents in developing heart

NIH: GM081749-04S1

Structural biology of receptor-mediated extracellular calcium signaling

NIH: EB007268-04

Designing magnetic resonance protein-based contrast agents with high relaxivity


Representative Publications:

(1) You Zhuo, Kyril M. Solntsev, Florence Reddish, Shen Tang, and Jenny J. Yang. Effect of Ca2+ on the steady-state and time-resolved emission properties of the genetically encoded fluorescent sensor CatchER. Journal of Physical Chemistry B (2014). Accepted

(2). Yanyi Chen, Shenghui Xue,  Juan Zou, Jose R. Lopez, Jenny J. Yang and Claudio F. Perez. Myoplasmic resting Ca2+ regulation by RyR is under control of a novel Ca2+-binding region of the ryanodine receptor. Biochemical Journal (2014), In Press.

(3). Guifeng Qiang, Guanhua Du, Xiaobin Pang, Xiaoting Li, Shenghui Xue, Jenny J. Yang, Chi Bun Chan and Keqiang Ye,. Identification of a small molecular insulin receptor agonist with potent anti-diabetic activity. Diabetes (2014), 014 Apr; 63(4):1394-409. PMID:24651808

(4). Shenghui Xue, Jingjuan Qiao, Jie Jiang, Lixia Wei, Shunyi Li, Kendra Hubbard, Natalie White, Zhiren Liu, Jenny J. Yang, Design of ProCAs (Protein-based Gd3+ MRI Contrast Agents) with High Dose Efficiency and Capability for Molecular Imaging of Cancer Biomarkers. Medical Research Review, (2014), Med Res Rev. 2014 Mar 11. doi: 10.1002/med.21313. PMID:24615853

(5) Chen Zhang,Yun Huang, Yusheng Jiang, Nagaraju Mulpuri, Ling Wei, Donald Hamelberg, Edward M. Brown, and Jenny J. Yang Positive cooperative responses of extracellular calcium to the calcium sensing receptor is globally enhanced by hetero-interaction of L-Phenylalanine, (2014)  Journal of Biological Chemistry,  Feb. 21 issue online Vol. 289, pp. 5296-5309.