Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, The University of Hong Kong

Professor Yu WANG 汪玉

Professor Yu WANG


Chair, Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee

  • MBChB, MSc, PhD

After obtaining PhD degree in Proteomics and Biomedical Sciences from University of Auckland, Dr Wang worked as a research Fellow in Maurice Wilkins Centre for Molecular Biodiscovery and helped with the establishment of the Proteomics Research Facility. In 2004, Dr Wang joined Genome Research Center [Center for Genomic Sciences] and Department of Biochemistry in the University of Hong Kong. She had made major contributions to the development of Proteomics Research and the establishment of various Biomarker Discovery platforms. In 2008, Dr Wang joined Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy in University of Hong Kong as a Faculty member. Dr Wang has published 12 book chapters and over 155 articles in internationally peer-reviewed journals, with an average citation of 53.2/article, H-index 56 and obtained ten US, European and international patents. Dr Wang is among the top 1% highly cited scientists according to ISI Essential Science Indicators. Her research on aging, obesity, and cardiometabolic renal syndrome has been well recognized internationally.

ORCID ID: 0000-0001-8697-2940

Loop profile: 29101

Links :
Preventing Vascular Ageing as a Means of Life Extension

New targets and novel biomarkers in cardiometabolic diseases
Adipose tissue-derived lipocalin-2 promotes kidney injury

Scientia - Determining the Link between Ageing and Cardiovascular Disease

Professor Yu Wang and her research associates

Professor Yu Wang and her research associates

Memberships & Editorships
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science Professional Section
  • American Chemical Society
  • American Diabetes Association Professional Section
  • American Heart Association Professional Section
  • American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
  • British Pharmacological Society



  • American Journal of Translational Research
  • Journal of Integrated Omics
  • Cardiovascular Pharmacology
  • Journal of Pharmaceutics & Pharmacology
Honours and Awards
  • 2018 Research Output Prize, LKS Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong
  • 2018 Nominated for the Paul M. Vanhoutte lecture by MOVD/EDH2019
  • 2016 Research Output Prize, LKS Faculty of Medicine, the University of Hong Kong
  • 2014 National Science and Technology Awards of Advanced Individual, Shenzhen Virtual University Park
  • 2012 Research Output Prize, the University of Hong Kong
  • 2011 Universitas 21 Fellowship, the University of Hong Kong
  • 2011 Outstanding Young Researcher Award, the University of Hong Kong
  • 2010 Research Output Prize, the University of Hong Kong
  • 2004 Best doctoral thesis award, University of Auckland
  • 2003 & 2000 REF Matthews prize for the best paper publication in cellular and molecular biology, University of Aucklan

Research Interests

During the past 20 years, Dr Wang and the team members have carried out extensive original discoveries of novel biomarkers associated with obesity and related medical complications. A number of protein biomarkers are proved to be of diagnostic and therapeutic values. For example, we discovered the bioactive glycoisoforms of adiponectin(Y Wang, JBC 2002, cited 464 times, US patent No: 7,365,170), and have made a series important contributions in understanding the structural basis, molecular mechanisms and pathophysiological functions of this anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory and anti-atherosclerotic hormone. The work has revealed the therapeutic potentials of adiponectin in fatty liver and breast cancer diseases, and been published in over 45 highly cited articles in journals including Journal of Clinical Investigation(2003, cited >1300 times), Hepatology, Cell Metabolism Cancer Research, Cell Research and British Journal of Pharmacology, and Journal of Biological Chemistry(2004, 2005, 2006, 2015 with >1000 citations).

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In 2007, my group identified lipocalin-2 as a novel adipokine linking obesity, inflammation and metabolic dysfunction(Clin Chem 2007, cited 427 times, US patent 7,645,616). Since then, we have validated the use of lipocalin-2 as a viable diagnostic marker for obesity-related medical conditions, and demonstrated that different forms of this molecule as promising therapeutic targets for cardio-metabolic and renal diseases(JCI Insights 2018, ESC Heart Failure 2017, Journal of Hepatology 2016, JAHA 2014, BJP 2012, Diabetes 2010)

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Using an integrated Omics-based approach, we have also made an exciting discovery on the role of SIRT1 as an anti-ageing molecule to prolong lifespan. We have established a number of in-house animal models with tissue/cell-specific genetic modifications and demonstrated potent anti-vascular ageing as well as anti-metabolic ageing activity of SIRT1. The work has been published in top-ranked journals includingCirculation, Circulation Research, EMBO Reports, Diabetes, Proteomics and Pharmacology and Therapeutics.

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The ongoing research projects include

  • SIRT1 as a promising target for metabolic and vascular ageing diseases
  • Adipokine-based therapeutic development: focusing on adiponectin and lipocalin-2
  • “Omics” biomarker discovery in ageing-related cardiometabolic and cancer diseases

Publications Highlights

Ye D, Yang K, Zang S, Lin Z, Chau HT, Wang Y, Zhang J, Shi J, Xu A*, Lin S*, Wang Y*. Lipocalin-2 mediates non-alcoholic steatohepatitis by promoting neutrophil-macrophage crosstalk via the induction of CXCR2.Journal of Hepatology2016 Nov;65(5):988-997. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2016.05.041.The article has been recommended in F1000Prime as being of special significance in its field

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Journal Impact Factor: 12.486; Rank: 5/79

Hampe L, Radjainia M, Xu C, Harris PW, Bashiri G, Goldstone DC, Brimble MA, Wang Y, Mitra AK*. Regulation and quality control of adiponectin assembly by endoplasmic reticulum chaperone ERp44.Journal of Biological Chemistry2015 Jul 17;290(29):18111-18123. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.663088.
One of the first to be included in a new special section of JBC - Virtual Issue on Protein folding in the cell ( and the Special Virtual Issue “Focus on Australasia” (

Journal Impact Factor: 4.323; Rank:74/290

Bai B, Liang Y, Xu C, Lee MY, Xu A, Wu D, Vanhoutte PM, Wang Y*. CDK5-mediated hyperphosphorylation of SIRT1 contributes to the development of endothelial senescence and atherosclerosis.Circulation2012 Aug 7;126(6):729-740 doi: 10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.112.118778.
Highlighted by the Asia-Pacific International Molecular Biology Network (A-IMBN) Highlighted by International Atherosclerosis Society ( This article is listed in three different areas of Circulation Editors' Picks: Most read articles on studies performed in an animal model. Circulation, 2013,128:e346-e361; Most read articles on the topic of atherosclerosis. Circulation, 2013,128:e328-e335; and Most read articles on the topic of vascular medicine. Circulation, 2013,128:e220-e234.

Journal Impact Factor: 19.309; Rank: 3/126

Zu Y, Liu L, Lee, MY, Xu C, Liang Y, Man RY, Vanhoutte PM*, Wang Y*. SIRT1 promotes proliferation and prevents senescence through targeting LKB1 in primary porcine aortic endothelial cells.Circulation Research2010 Apr 30;106(8):1384-1393. doi:10.1161/CIRCRESAHA.109.215483. Web of Science has ranked the article 401 out of 82181 published between 2010 to 2014.
Featured article (

Journal Impact Factor: 13.965; Rank:5/126

Wang Y*, Lam KS, Kraegen EW, Sweeney G, Zhang J, Tso AW, Chow WS, Wat NM, Xu JY, Hoo RL, Xu A. Lipocalin-2 is an inflammatory marker closely associated with obesity, insulin resistance, and hyperglycemia in humans.Clinical Chemistry2007 Jan;53(1):34-41.
Featured article (

Journal Impact Factor: 7.965; Rank:1/30

Follow-up reports:

Fan P and Wang Y.Adipokines-Toward the Molecular Dissection of Interactions between Stromal Adipocytes and Breast Cancer Cells, in Breast Cancer – Recent Advances in Biology, Imaging and Therapeutics, publisher: InTech press. 2011(Book Chapter)

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Related publications:

Wang Y*, Lam KS, Xu JY, Lu G, Xu LY, Cooper GJ, Xu A. Adiponectin inhibits cell proliferation by interacting with several growth factors in an oligomerization-dependent manner.Journal of Biological Chemistry2005 May 6;280(18):18341-18347.
Highly-cited top 1% within field

Journal Impact Factor: 4.323; Rank:74/290

Xu A*, Wang Y#, Keshaw H, Xu L, Lam KS, Cooper GJ. The fat-derived hormone adiponectin alleviates alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases in mice.Journal of Clinical Investigation2003 Jul;112(1):91-100. (#Co-first author)
Front cover

Journal Impact Factor: 14.415; Rank:4/128; Article citations: 1354.

Wang Y, Xu A*, Knight C, Xu LY, Cooper GJ. Hydroxylation and glycosylation of the four conserved lysine residues in the collagenous domain of adiponectin. Potential role in the modulation of its insulin-sensitizing activity.Journal of Biological Chemistry2002 May 31;277(22):19521-19529.

Journal Impact Factor: 4.323; Rank:74/290; Article citations: 464.


Selected Publications
  • Guo Y, Xu C, Man AWC, Luo C, Huang Y, Xu A, Vanhoutte PM*, Wang Y*. Endothelial SIRT1 prevents age-induced impairment of vasodilator responses by enhancing the expression and activity of soluble guanylyl cyclase.Cardiovascular Research 2019 Mar 1;115(3):678-690. doi: 10.1093/cvr/cvy212.
  • Sun WY, Bai B, Luo C, Yang K, Li Dahui, Wu D, Félétou M, Villeneuve N, Xu A, Vanhoutte PM and Wang Y*. Lipocalin-2 derived from adipose tissue mediates aldosterone-induced renal injury.JCI Insight2018 Sep 6;3(17). pii: 120196. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.120196. [Epub ahead of print]
  • Hampe L, Xu C, Harris PW, Chen J, Ming L, Middleditch M, Radjainia M*, Wang Y*, and Mitra AK*. Obesity-related metabolic disorders mitigated by peptides designed to modulate adiponectin assembly.British Journal of Pharmacology 2017 Dec;174(23):4478-4492. DOI: 10.1111/bph.14050.
  • Yang K, Deng HB, Man AW, Song E, Zhang J, Luo C, Cheung BM, Yuen KY, Jensen PS, Irmukhamedov A, Elie AG, Vanhoutte PM, Xu A, De Mey J, Wang Y*. Measuring non-polyaminated lipocalin-2 for cardiometabolic risk assessment.ESC Heart Failure. 2017 Nov;4(4):563-575. doi: 10.1002/ehf2.12183.
  • Ye D, Yang K, Zang S, Lin Z, Chau HT, Wang Y, Zhang J, Shi J, Xu A*, Lin S*, Wang Y*. Lipocalin-2 mediates non-alcoholic steatohepatitis by promoting neutrophil-macrophage crosstalk via the induction of CXCR2.Journal of Hepatology 2016 Nov;65(5):988-997. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2016.05.041.
  • Bai B, Man AW, Yang K, Guo Y, Xu C, Tse HF, Han W, Bloksgaard M, De Mey JG, Vanhoutte PM, Xu A, Wang Y*. Endothelial SIRT1 prevents adverse arterial remodeling by facilitating HERC2-mediated degradation of acetylated LKB1.Oncotarget. 2016 Jun 28;7(26):39065-39081. doi: 10.18632/oncotarget.9687.
  • Xu C, Cai Y, Fan P, Bai B, Chen J, Deng HB, Che CM, Xu A, Vanhoutte PM, Wang Y*. Calorie restriction prevents metabolic ageing caused by abnormal SIRT1 function in adipose tissues.Diabetes 2015 May;64(5):1576-1590. doi: 10.2337/db14-1180.
  • Song E, Fan P, Huang B, Deng HB, Cheung BM, Félétou M, Vilaine JP, Villeneuve N, Xu A, Vanhoutte PM and Wang Y*. Deamidated lipocalin-2 induces endothelial dysfunction and hypertension in dietary obese mice.JAHA: Journal of the American Heart Association 2014 Apr 10;3(2):e000837. doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.000837

  • General Research Funds (17124718, 17117017, 17153016, 17121714, HKU780613, HKU779712, HKU781311, HKU780410, HKU777908, HKU778007); HMRF (13142651, 04151796)
  • Central Allocation –Group Research Project (C7055-14G, HKU2/CRF/12R, HKU4/CRF/10, HKU2/07C, HKU3CRF/09) from Hong Kong Research Grant Council; Les Laboratoires Servier (RS100503)
  • National “973” basic research project (2010CB945502, 2011CB504004 and 2015CB553603); NSFC-NHMRC Joint Research
  • Area of Excellent Scheme (AoE/M-707/18 and AoE/P-10-01), University Grants Committee, HKSAR
  • UGC One-off Special Equipment Grant Scheme (SEG HKU02)
  • State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, HKU

Other Information
Research Collaborators
  • Prof Alok Mitra, Dr Mazdak Radjainia, Prof Garth JS Cooper, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Auckland
  • Prof Gary Sweeney, Department of Biology, York University, Totonto, Ontario
  • Prof Inkyu Lee, Kyungpook National University Hospital, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University
  • Prof Jo De Mey, Department of Cardiovascular and Renal Research, University of Southern Denmark
  • Prof Stefan Chłopicki, Jagiellonian Center for Experimental Therapeutics, POLAND
  • Prof Weiping Han, Laboratory of Metabolic Medicine, Singapore Bioimaging Consortium, A*STAR
Regular Student Consultation Hours
Every Monday at 8:00am - 9:00am
2/F, 21 Sassoon Road, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Laboratory Block, Faculty of Medicine Building, Hong Kong SAR, China