Professor Yu Wang
Dr. Yu Wang
Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy
The University of Hong Kong
HKU Hubs
Dr. Yu Wang and her research associates
Dr. Yu Wang and her research associates


Professor Yu Wang (汪玉)


  • American Society for Pharmacology & Experimental Therapeutics
  • 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
  • British Pharmacological Society


  • PLoS One
  • American Journal of Translational Research
  • Journal of Integrated Omics
  • ISRN Nutrition
  • Physiology Journal
  • Cardiovascular Pharmacology
  • World Journal of Diabetes
  • Journal of Pharmaceutics & Pharmacology
  • Pharmacologia


After obtaining PhD degree in Proteomics and Biomedical Sciences from the 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 University of Hong Kong. She had made a major contribution 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 seven book chapters and over 130 research articles in internationally peer-reviewed journals, with an average citation of 36.78/article, H-index 40 and obtained five US patents and one European patent. Her research on aging, obesity and diabetes has been well recognized internationally. Dr Wang is among the top 1% highly cited scientists according to ISI Essential Science Indicators.

Honours and Awards

  • 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 Auckland

My Research Interests

During the past 15 years, Dr Wang and the team members have carried out extensive original discoveries of novel biomarkers associated with obesity and the development of Type 2 Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. A number of protein biomarkers are proved to be of therapeutic and diagnostic values in various cardiometabolic complications. After identifying each protein biomarker, Dr Wang’s team continued the functional characterization and drug development using integrated molecular, cellular, animal and clinical approaches.

Research associates and their projects. Click to view

In particular, the structure and function of adiponectin [an anti-diabetic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-atherosclerotic hormone produced from fat cells] has been extensively studied in her laboratory. The work has led to the discovery of therapeutic potentials of adiponectin in fatty liver diseases and obesity-related metaplastic breast cancer [Oncotarget 2013; Cell Metabolism 2013; PLoS One 2012; Cell Metabolism 2011; Journal of Hepatology 2010; Diabetes 2010; PLoS One 2009; Hepatology 2008; Carcinogenesis 2008; Biochemical Journal 2008; Cell Research 2007; Cancer Research 2006; Journal of Biological Chemistry 2006, 2005, 2004, 2002; Proteomics, 2006, 2004; Journal of Clinical Investigation 2003; US Patent 7,365,170].

Detailed background information of our research projects Click to view

Dr Wang’s current research focuses on cardiometabolic diseases associated with chronological ageing and accelerated ageing [a condition induced by obesity]. The ongoing research projects include

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


Reserach highlights - Click to view

Research photos

Publications Highlights

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. Circulation. 2012;126(6):729-40

Click to view

IAS commentary:

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 Research. 2010;106(8):1384-93

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Editorial Highlight:

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 Chemistry. 2007, 53(1):34-41.

Click to view

Editorial Highlight:

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)

Click to view

Related publications:


Selected Publications


  • Sun WY and Wang Y*. Calorie restriction mimetics from functional foods: impact on promoting healthy lifespan, in Nutrition and Functional Foods for Healthy Aging, publisher: Elsevier. 2016 (Book Chapter)
  • Bai B, Man AW, Yang K, Guo Y, Xu C, Tse HF, Han W, Bloksgaard M, De Mey JG, Vanhoutte P, Xu A, Wang Y*. Endothelial SIRT1 prevents arterial remodeling by facilitating HERC2-mediated degradation of acetylated LKB1. Oncotarget 2016 in press
  • Wang Y*, Song E, Bai B, Vanhoutte PM. Toll-like receptors mediating vascular malfunction: Lessons from receptor subtypes. Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2016 Feb;158:91-100. doi: 10.1016/j.pharmthera.2015.12.005. Epub 2015 Dec 15
  • Guo Y, Xu A and Wang Y*. SIRT1 in endothelial cells as a novel target for the prevention of early vascular ageing. Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology. 2015 Nov 26 [Epub ahead of print]
  • 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 Chemistry. 2015; 290:18111-18123 First Published On June 9, 2015
  • Lee SJ, Jeong JY, Oh CJ, Park S, Kim JY, Kim HJ, Doo Kim N, Choi YK, Do JY, Go Y, Ha CM, Choi JY, Huh S, Ho Jeoung N, Lee KU, Choi HS, Wang Y, Park KG, Harris RA, Lee IK. Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Kinase 4 Promotes Vascular Calcification via SMAD1/5/8 Phosphorylation. Sci Rep. 2015;12;5:16577. doi: 10.1038/srep16577
  • Mingming Li, Pengcheng Fan and Yu Wang* (2014) Lipidomics in Health and Diseases- Beyond the Analysis of Lipids. Journal of Glycomics & Lipidomics 4: 126. doi: 10.4172/2153-0637.1000126.
  • 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;3:e000837; originally published April 10, 2014 doi: 10.1161/JAHA.114.000837.
  • Yu Wang*. Molecular Links between Caloric Restriction and Sir2/SIRT1 Activation. Diabetes & Metabolism Journal 2014;38:321-329.
  • Chen J and Wang Y*. Metaplastic breast cancer – a rare but challenging entity. Trends in Cancer Research 2013;9:65-71
  • Bai B, Vanhoutte PM and Wang Y*. Loss-of-SIRT1 function during vascular ageing: hyperphosphorylation mediated by cyclin-dependent kinase 5. Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine 2014;24:81-84.
  • Liang Y, Huang B, Song E, Bai B and Wang Y*. Constitutive activation of AMPK α1 in vascular endothelium promotes high fat diet-induced fatty liver injury: role of cyclooxygenase-2 induction. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2014;171:498-508.
  • Liu J, Xu A, Lam KS, Wong NS, Chen J, Shepherd PR, Wang Y*. Cholesterol-induced mammary tumorigenesis is enhanced by adiponectin deficiency: role of LDL receptor upregulation. Oncotarget. 2013;4:1804-18.
  • Xu C, Bai B, Fan P, Cai Y, Huang B, Law IK, Liu L, Xu A, Tung C, Li X, Siu FM, Che CM, Vanhoutte PM, Wang Y*. Selective overexpression of human SIRT1 in adipose tissue enhances energy homeostasis and prevents the deterioration of insulin sensitivity with ageing in mice. Am J Transl Res. 2013;5:412-26.
  • Bai B and Wang Y*. Methods to investigate the role of SIRT1 in endothelial senescence. Methods in Molecular Biology. 2013;965:327-39.
  • Liu JT, Song E, Xu A, Berger T, Mak TW, Tse HF, Law IK, Huang B, Liang Y, Vanhoutte P M, and Wang Y*. Lipocalin-2 deficiency prevents endothelial dysfunction associated with dietary obesity: role of cytochrome P450 2C inhibition. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2012;165:520-31.
  • Wang Y*, Xu C, Liang Y, Vanhoutte PM. SIRT1 in metabolic syndrome: where to target matters. Pharmacology & Therapeutics. 2012;136:305-18.
  • Wang Y*, Lam KS, Xu A. Adiponectin and chronic liver diseases: an update, in Adiponectin: Production, Regulation and Roles in Disease, publisher: Nova Science. 2012 (Book Chapter)
  • Wang Y. Small lipid-binding proteins in regulating endothelial and vascular functions: focusing on adipocyte fatty acid binding protein and lipocalin-2. British Journal of Pharmacology. 2012;165(3):603-21.
  • Wang Y*, Liang Y, Vanhoutte PM. SIRT1 and AMPK in regulating mammalian senescence: A critical review and a working model. FEBS Letters 2011,585:986-94.
  • Law IK, Xu A, Lam KS, Berger T, Mak TW, Vanhoutte PM, Liu JT, Sweeney G, Zhou M, Yang B, Wang Y*. Lipocalin-2 deficiency attenuates insulin resistance associated with ageing and obesity. Diabetes. 2010;59(4):872-82
  • Wang Y, Lam KS, Yau MH, Xu A. Post-translational modifications of adiponectin: mechanisms and functional implications. Biochem J. 2008;409:623-33.
  • Zhou M, Xu A, Tam PK, Lam KS, Chan L, Hoo RL, Liu J, Chow KH and Wang Y*. Mitochondria dysfunction contributes to the increased vulnerabilities of adiponectin knockout mice to liver injury. Hepatology, 2008;48:1087-96.
  • Wang Y*, Lam KS, Xu A. Adiponectin as a negative regulator in obesity-related mammary carcinogenesis. Cell Research. 2007, 17:280-2.



  • General Research Funds (17121714, HKU780613, HKU779712, HKU781311, HKU780410, HKU777908, HKU778007); HMRF (13142651)
  • Central Allocation –Group Research Project (HKU2/07C, HKU3CRF/09, HKU4/CRF/10) 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/P-10-01), University Grants Committee, HKSAR
  • UGC One-off Special Equipment Grant Scheme (SEG HKU02)
  • State Key Laboratory of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, HKU

Research Collaborators

  • Dr Alok Mitra, Dr Mazdak Radjainia, Prof Garth JS Cooper, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Auckland
  • Prof. Edward Kraegen, Garvan Institute of Medical Research, The University of New South Wales Sydney
  • Dr Gary Sweeney, Department of Biology, York University, Totonto, Ontario
  • Prof Inkyu Lee, Dr Sungmi Park, Kyungpook National University Hospital, School of Medicine, Kyungpook National University
  • Prof Jo De Mey, Department of Cardiovascular and Renal Research, University of Southern Denmark
  • Dr Weiping Han, Laboratory of Metabolic Medicine, Singapore Bioimaging Consortium, A*STAR

Useful Links


2/F, 21 Sassoon Road, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Laboratory Block, Faculty of Medicine Building, Hong Kong SAR, China