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Academic Staff

Professor YU, Cheng-Han 游承翰

Professor YU, Cheng-Han 游承翰

  • BSc (NTU, Taiwan); PhD (UC Berkeley)
  • Associate Professor
L1-49, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong
+852 3917 9205
+852 2817 0857
  • Integrin-mediated adhesion and mechanobiology
  • Lipid signalling in the podosome and invadopodium
  • Advanced fluorescence microscopy and image analysis
  • Research Fellow, Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore, Singapore (2010-2014)
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Berkeley, CA, USA (2008-2009)
  • Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA (2002-2007)
  • B.Sc., National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan (1996-2000)

Cell-matrix adhesion is the interface to sense and to translate extracellular mechanobiological signals into various cellular events. In particular, mechano-sensitive integrin-mediated adhesions on the plasma membrane are the signalling hub and orchestrate cytoskeletal reorganizations, tissue regenerations, and stem cell differentiations. While extracellular ligands bind and trigger the activation of integrin receptors, activated integrin heterodimers can dynamically assemble into completely different adhesion structures with distinct functions, including focal adhesion, reticular adhesion, hemidesmosome, podosome, and invadopodium. Thus, it is particularly important to broaden our understanding of adhesion regulations in the context of fundamental cell biology, as well as disease-related circumstances, such as cancer metastasis and atherosclerosis.

My research team aim to reveal the molecular basis of integrin-mediated adhesion, cell motility, and beyond. While cell adhesion is one of the most fundamental processes in cell biology, many grand challenges remain unsolved. Currently, we focus on the functional impact of spatiotemporal regulation factors, including phosphatidylinositol lipid biogenesis, small GTPase activation, and membrane curvature modulation, on the adhesion transformation, receptor trafficking, and invasive cell migration. With the cutting-edge tools of fluorescence microscopy and gene editing, my team will seek new opportunities to implement scientific discoveries into impactful biomedical applications.

Please directly contact Dr Cheng-han Yu ( for project details and opportunities. The project of PhD study will be eligible for the prestigious HKPF and HKU-PS fellowship.

  1. Pamela Swiatlowska#, Brian Sit#, Zhen Feng#, Emilie Marhuenda, Ioannis Xanthis, Simona Zingaro, Matthew Ward, Xinmiao Zhou, Qingzhong Xiao, Cathy Shanahan, Gareth E Jones, Cheng-han Yu*, and Thomas Iskratsch*. “Matrix stiffness and blood pressure together regulate vascular smooth muscle cell phenotype switching”. Science Advances 2022, 8, eabm3471. *corresponding author
  2. Zhen Feng and Cheng-han Yu*. “PI(3,4)P2-mediated membrane tubulation promotes integrin trafficking and invasive cell migration”. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 2021, 118 (19). e2017645118. *corresponding author
  3. Chao Dong, Liwei An, Cheng-han Yu*, and Michael SY Huen*. “A DYRK1B-dependent pathway suppresses rDNA transcription in response to DNA damage”. Nucleic Acids Research 2021, 49 (3), 1485-1496. *corresponding authors
  4. Yuhuan Zhou, Zhen Feng, Fakun Cao, Xiaoting Liu, Xiaojie Xia, and Cheng-han Yu*. “Abl-mediated PI3K activation regulates macrophage podosome formation”. Journal of Cell Science (2020) 133, jcs234385. doi:10.1242/jcs.234385. *corresponding author
  5. Fakun Cao, Yuhuan Zhou, Xiaoting Liu, and Cheng-han Yu*. “Podosome formation promotes plasma membrane invagination and integrin-β3 endocytosis on a viscous RGD-membrane.” Communications Biology 2020, 3(1):117. *corresponding author
  6. Yage Zhang, Fakun Cao, Yuhuan Zhou, Zhen Feng, Brian Sit, Mira Krendel, and Cheng-han Yu*. “Tail domains of myosin-1e regulate phosphatidylinositol signaling and F-actin polymerization at the ventral layer of podosomes”. Molecular Biology of the Cell 2019, 30(5): 622-635. *corresponding author
  7. Yangzi Chen, Junshi Li, Fakun Cao, Jason Lam, Clooney CY Cheng, Cheng-han Yu*, and Michael SY Huen*. “Nucleolar residence of the seckel syndrome protein TRAIP is coupled to ribosomal DNA transcription”. Nucleic Acids Research 2018, gky775. *corresponding authors
  8. Cheng-han Yu*, Nisha Bte Mohd Rafiq, Yuhuan Zhou, Fakun Cao, Anitha Krishnasamy, Kabir Hassan Biswas, Andrea Ravasio, Zhongwen Chen, Yu-Hsiu Wang, Keiko Kawauchi, Gareth E. Jones, and Michael P. Sheetz*. “Integrin-beta3 clusters recruit clathrin-mediated endocytic machinery in the absence of traction force”. Nature Communications 2015, 6, 8672. *corresponding authors
  9. Cheng-han Yu*, Nisha Bte Mohd Rafiq, Anitha Krishnasamy, Gareth E. Jones, Alexander D. Bershadsky, Michael P. Sheetz*. “Integrin-Matrix Clusters Form Podosome-like Adhesions in the Absence of Traction Forces”. Cell Reports 2013, 5, 1456-1468. *corresponding authors
  • RGC GRF #17120021 (2022-2024)
  • RGC GRF #17118620 (2021-2023)
  • GC GRF #17122019 (2020-2022)
  • RGC GRF #17124218 (2019-2021)
  • RGC GRF #17124117 (2018-2020)
  • Health and Medical Research Fund #04152266 (HMRF 2016/17)
  • RGC ECS Grant #27110615 (2015-2018)