Zemin Yao

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Zemin Yao
Full Professor

B.Sc. (E. Chin. Normal)
M.Sc. (UBC)
Ph.D. (ibid)

Roger Guindon Hall, Rm. 4210D (Office) Rm 4210 (lab)

Office: 613-562-5800 ext. 8665

Work E-mail: zyao@uottawa.ca

Zemin Yao

Biography

Research Interests:

Dr. Zemin Yao is a Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Immunology and the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at the University of Ottawa. Born in Shanghai, China, Dr. Yao obtained his MSc and PhD in Biochemistry at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, and his postdoctoral research training at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, and at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Diseases at the University of California, San Francisco. In 1991, Dr. Yao was appointed as an Assistant Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Alberta where he established his first independent research program at the Lipid and Lipoprotein Research Group of the University of Alberta with support from the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta, and the Medical Research Council of Canada (now the Canadian Institutes of Health Research). In 1994, Dr. Yao joined the University of Ottawa Heart Institute to direct the Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory of the CIHR Lipoprotein and Atherosclerosis Group. Dr. Yao has occupied the position of Chairman of the Department of Biochemistry, Microbiology and Immunology of the University of Ottawa for ten years.

Dr. Yao has a broad research interest in the metabolism of lipids and lipoproteins, and in the relationships between various diseases and the abnormalities in the metabolism of lipoproteins and lipoprotein receptors. Lipoproteins are microscopic particles that carry the majority of cholesterol and triglycerides in the circulation. Elevation of the disease-causing lipoproteins, known as LDL or "bad cholesterol," is often associated with metabolic syndromes (such as diabetes and obesity) and with premature coronary heart disease. On the other hand, increase in the atherosclerosis-protecting lipoproteins, known as HDL or "good cholesterol," lowers the incidence of premature coronary heart disease in man. Dr. Yao has investigated the lipid and protein factors that regulate the biosynthesis of LDL and HDL, and his research has yielded insights into the molecular mechanisms responsible for various diseases, including familial defective apoB (that causes high blood concentration of LDL), familial hypobetalipoproteinemia and familial abetalipoproteinemia (both have abnormally low blood concentration of LDL), and familial combined hyperlipidemia (caused by overproduction of disease-causing lipoproteins). Dr. Yao is currently investigating several enzymes and proteins that are produced in the liver and adipose tissue, and is also investigating the role of lipoprotein receptor in the development of cancer. His research directly relates to the development of pharmacological interventions in the treatment of dyslipidemia (abnormal blood lipoproteins) and relates to the prevention of metabolic disorders and coronary heart diseases.

Dr. Yao´s research utilizes modern molecular and cellular biology techniques including genetically inactivating (known as "knockout") or expressing (known as transgenic) specific genes in mice, novel lipodomics approaches, and electron microscopic tomography.

Currently, Dr. Yao's active research program is funded through operating grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, grant-in-aids from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, research & development grant from the National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and personnel awards from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario. Dr. Yao has received numerous recognitions and awards from international and national organizations. He was the recipient of the Alberta Heritage Foundation for Medical Research Scholarship Award, the McDonald Scholarship of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada, and the Scientist Award of the Medical Research Council of Canada. Dr. Yao was the Finalist for the Irvine H. Page Arteriosclerosis Award of the American Heart Association, and was the recipient of the Simon Pierre Noel Lectureship Award and the Senior Investigator Award of the Canadian Lipoprotein Conference. Dr. Yao publishes his experimental results in scientific journals and regularly presents his discoveries at national and international conferences. Dr. Yao is also an active teacher who mentors postgraduate students in the laboratory and teaches undergraduate, postgraduate, and medical school students annually. Dr. Yao is currently the recipient of a Career Investigator Award from the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Ontario.

For further information, please contact Dr. Zemin Yao at 613-562-5800(8665) or zyao@uottawa.ca

Keywords:

lipids, lipid-binding proteins and lipid-modifying enzymes; lipoprotein assembly and secretion, metabolic syndrome

Fields of Interest

  • Metabolism
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