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Junying Yuan
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Dr. Junying Yuan, 

Elizabeth D. Hay Professor of Cell Biology,

Harvard Medical School


Dr. Junying Yuan received her Ph.D. in Neuroscience from Harvard University in 1989 and her undergraduate degree from Fudan University, Shanghai, China, in 1982. Dr. Yuan carried out her Ph.D. thesis work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the laboratory of H. R. Horvitz. She was first appointed as Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School in 1992, when she became a Principal Investigator of the Cardiovascular Research Center at Massachusetts General Hospital. She joined the Department of Cell Biology in 1996 and was appointed a Professor of Cell Biology at Harvard Medical School in 2000. In 2014, Dr. Yuan was appointed as Elizabeth D. Hay Professor of Cell Biology, a Professorship honors the late Professor Elizabeth D. Hay, the first female full professor in the history of Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Yuan is a pioneer and a leader in the cell death field. Dr. Yuan made transformative discoveries on two distinct forms of cell death, apoptosis and necroptosis in mammalian cells. Her discovery of mammalian caspases led to a molecular era in apoptosis research. Her development of necrostatins demonstrated the existence and significance of a regulated necrosis mechanism, termed necroptosis, in human degenerative diseases. Dr. Yuan’s accomplishments have been honored by many awards including the Innovator Award for Breast Cancer Research and NIH Director’s Pioneer award. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences and a member of the National Academy of Sciences (US).


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