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Yansheng Liu, PhD

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Associate Professor of Pharmacology



Associate Professor of Pharmacology


Dr. Yansheng Liu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacology at Yale University School of Medicine and has joined the Department of Biomedical Informatics & Data Science (BIDS) as a secondary faculty member. He is also a group leader in quantitative proteomics at the Yale Cancer Biology Institute and Yale Cancer Center. Dr. Liu received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences from the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2011 and completed his post-doctoral training at ETH Zurich under the mentorship of Ruedi Aebersold. Since joining Yale's faculty in December 2017, Dr. Liu has focused his research on analyzing protein turnover and post-translational modifications to understand cancer aneuploidy, cellular signaling transduction, and biodiversity. His lab is further dedicated to advancing multiplexed data-independent acquisition mass spectrometry (DIA-MS) and recently harnessing MALDI imaging mass spectrometry techniques in clinical applications. Dr. Liu has been recognized with several prestigious awards, including the ASMS Research Award, the HUPO ECR Award, and the US HUPO Robert J. Cotter Award.


Education & Training

Postdoctoral fellowship
ETH Zurich, Switzerland (2017)
Chinese Academy of sciences, Biomedical Sciences (2011)
Beijing Forestry University (2005)



My research goal is to discover quantitative proteomic rules determining cell signaling and phenotypes in diseases such as cancer. Please see GS citations.

Specific Research areas:

1. Impact of post-translational modifications (PTMs) on protein lifetime

Protein turnover is a key parameter in signaling rewiring, but its control by PTMs has not been studied on a large scale. We systematically quantified effects of 6,000-8,000 protein phosphorylation sites on protein turnover using a pioneering method called DeltaSILAC (Developmental Cell, 2021). We found that phosphorylation often reduces protein turnover, which is underappreciated in earlier studies. We continue to develop refined data analysis strategies (Proteomics 2022) for applying this technique in dynamic systems such as the cell-fate decision process.

2. Understanding biodiversity and its origins

Impact of aneuploidy on the proteome in cancer and genetic diseases.

Genotype impacts proteotype in a non-linear fashion. Following my postdoctoral work on human trisomy 21 (Nature Communications 2017), we led a multi-lab investigation that revealed surprising heterogeneity in HeLa cell aneuploidy worldwide (Nature Biotechnology 2019).

We are now studying how cancer aneuploidy leads proteins to acquire new “off-target” cellular activities through altered protein homeostasis and protein-protein interactions.

Quantifying and understanding biodiversity at variable scale.

While our previous studies have characterized proteome variability across humans, we recently extended our analysis to 11 mammalian species (Science Advances 2022). We discovered that RNA metabolism processes in particular show higher inter-species than inter-individual variations, and identified a phosphorylation co-evolution network.

We are deeply interested in summarizing universal quantitative rules governing proteome variabilities across individuals and species.

3. The development of DIA-MS and MALIDI-imaging MS techniques and bioinformatic tools for PTM and turnover analysis

My Yale lab continues to develop cutting-edge quantitative MS techniques and bioinformatic tools. To increase DIA-MS selectivity while keeping analytical throughput, we developed two new DIA-MS methods RTwinDIA (JASMS 2019) and BoxCarmax-DIA (Analytical Chemistry, 2021). My lab also led the development of bioinformatic tools such as NAguideR, which performs/prioritizes 23 missing-value imputation algorithms for proteomics (Nucleic Acids Research, 2020), and developed a workflow for DIA-based protein turnover analysis (Mol. Systems Biology, 2020).

Collaborations at Yale

The proteomics platform developed in my lab has contributed to more than 30 Yale research laboratories through respective collaborations.

Medical Subject Headings (MeSH)

Big Data; Mass Spectrometry; Proteomics

Research at a Glance

Yale Co-Authors

Frequent collaborators of Yansheng Liu's published research.


Featured Publications


Academic Achievements and Community Involvement

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