Haitao Yang, Ph.D.


  Haitao Yang, Ph.D.

Deputy Director of SIAIS

Associate Professor 

Principal Investigator

Institute            Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies

                          School of Life Science and Technology


Dr. Yang received his BS degree from Sichuan University (2001), and his Ph.D. degree from Tsinghua University (2006). Following his postdoctoral research at the Yale University (2006-2011), he was promoted to Associate Research Scientist (2011-2013). He joined Tianjin University in 2013, where he became Full Professor and served as Vice Dean of School of Life Sciences (2013-2017). He is also Research Professor of Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biomedicine (Adjunct) and Director of Infectious Disease Drug Discovery Institute. He joined ShanghaiTech University in Sept. 2018 as PI in Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies (SIAIS) and Associate Professor of School of Life Science and Technology.

Research Interests

Viruses are significant pathogens involved in human diseases throughout human history. Many of these virus-related human diseases have zoonotic origins, such as AIDS, bird flu, and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS). We focus on the essential stages of the viral life cycle: cellular entry, replication and transcription of the viral genome, and virion assembly and release to identify the pivotal targets for drug development.

To study the underlying mechanisms of interplay between viruses and their hosts will also help reveal new drug targets. Innate host immunity is the first line of defense against pathogen infection, playing a critical role in host resistance to pathogenic microorganisms. Interestingly, the viruses have evolved a variety of strategies to antagonize host restriction and escape the innate immune response. The interaction between host antiviral proteins and viral antagonizing proteins constitutes a dynamic and sophisticated network. Thus, strategies that boost the roles of host restriction while diminishing viral antagonism may lead to new therapies against viral infection.

Selected Publications

1. Jin Z, Du X, Xu Y, Deng Y, Liu M, Zhao Y, Zhang B, Li X, Zhang L, Peng C, Duan Y, Yu J, Wang L, Yang K, Liu F, Jiang R, Yang X, You T, Liu X, Yang X, Bai F, Liu H, Liu X, Guddat LW, Xu W, Xiao G, Qin C, Shi Z, Jiang H*, Rao Z*Yang H* (2020). Structure of Mpro from COVID-19 virus and discovery of its inhibitors. Nature. DOI: 10.1038/s41586-020-2223-y. (*, corresponding author)

2. Dai W, Zhang B, Su H, Li J, Zhao Y, Xie X, Jin Z, Liu F, Li C, Li Y, Bai F, Wang H, Cheng X, Cen X, Hu S, Yang X, Wang J, Liu X, Xiao G, Jiang H, Rao Z, Zhang LK*, Xu Y*Yang H*, Liu H* (2020). Structure-based design of antiviral drug candidates targeting the SARS-CoV-2 main protease. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.abb4489.

3. Wang Q*, Wu J, Wang H, Gao Y, Liu Q, Mu A, Ji W, Yan L, Zhu Y, Zhu C, Fang X, Yang X, Huang Y, Gao H, Liu F, Ge J, Sun Q, Yang X, Xu W, Liu Z, Yang H, Lou Z, Jiang B, Guddat LW, Gong P*, Rao Z* (2020). Structural basis for RNA replication by the SARS-CoV-2 polymerase. Cell. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.05.034.

4. Jin Z, Zhao Y, Sun Y, Zhang B, Wang H, Wu Y, Zhu Y, Zhu C, Hu T, Du X, Duan Y, Yu J, Yang X, Yang X, Yang K, Liu X, Guddat LW, Xiao G, Zhang L*Yang H*, Rao Z (2020). Structural basis for the inhibition of SARS-CoV-2 main protease by antineoplastic drug carmofur. Nat Struct Mol Biol. doi: 10.1038/s41594-020-0440-6.

5. Gao Y, Yan L, Huang Y, Liu F, Zhao Y, Cao L, Wang T, Sun Q, Ming Z, Zhang L, Ge J, Zheng L, Zhang Y, Wang H, Zhu Y, Zhu C, Hu T, Hua T, Zhang B, Yang X, Li J, Yang H, Liu Z, Xu W, Guddat LW, Wang Q*, Lou Z*, Rao Z* (2020). Structure of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase from COVID-19 virus. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.abb7498.

6. Zhang L, Zhao Y, Gao Y, Wu L, Gao R, Zhang Q, Wang Y, Wu C, Wu F, Gurcha SS, Veerapen N, Batt SM, Zhao W, Qin L, Yang X, Wang M, Zhu Y, Zhang B, Bi L, Zhang X, Yang H, Guddat LW, Xu W, Wang Q*, Li J*, Besra GS*, Rao Z(2020). Structures of cell wall arabinosyltransferases with the anti-tuberculosis drug ethambutol. Science. DOI: 10.1126/science.aba9102.

7. Zhang B, Li J*, Yang X, Wu L, Zhang J, Yang Y, Zhao Y, Zhang L, Yang X, Yang X, Chen X, Liu Z, Jiang B, Jiang H, Guddat L, Yang H*, Rao Z* (2019). Crystal Structures of Membrane Transporter MmpL3, an Anti-TB Drug Target. Cell, 176(3):636–648.

8. Li T, Zhao Q, Yang X, Chen C, Yang K, Wu C, Zhang T, Duan Y, Xue X, Mi K, Ji X, Wang Z, Yang H* (2018). Structural insight into the Zika virus capsid encapsulating the viral genome. Cell Res, 28(4):497-499.

9. Wang F, Chen C, Yang K, Xu Y, Liu X, Gao F, Liu H, Chen X, Zhao Q, Liu X, Cai Y*Yang H* (2017). Michael Acceptor-Based Peptidomimetic Inhibitor of Main Protease from Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea Virus. J Med Chem, 60(7):3212-3216.

10. Chen X, Yang K, Wu C, Chen C, Hu C, Buzovetsky O, Wang Z, Ji X*, Xiong Y, Yang H* (2016). Mechanisms of activation and inhibition of Zika virus NS2B-NS3 protease. Cell Res, 26(11):1260-1263.