Elsa Yan, PhD

Professor of Chemistry

Departments & Organizations

Yale Combined Program in the Biological and Biomedical Sciences (BBS): Biochemistry, Quantitative Biology, Biophysics and Structural Biology (BQBS)


Elsa Yan was born and grew up in Hong Kong. She graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 1995. Working with Kenneth Eisenthal on nonlinear optics and surface sciences, she obtained her Ph.D. at Columbia University in 2000. From 2000-2004, she was a postdoctoral fellow in Richard Mathies's lab at UC Berkeley and a visiting fellow in Thomas Sakmar's lab at the Rockefeller University. She combined Raman spectroscopy with techniques in molecular biology to understand the molecular mechanism of signal transduction in the G-protein coupled receptor rhodopsin. In 2004, she joined The Rockefeller University, where she continued to develop methods in expression and purification of membrane proteins. In 2007, Elsa became an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Yale. She was promoted to Associate Professor of Chemistry in 2012.

Education & Training

PhD Columbia University, Chemistry (2000)
BS Chinese University of Hong Kong, Chemistry (1996)
Postdoctoral Fellow Rockefeller University
Postdoctoral Fellow University of California, Berkeley

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