Alvin Yu

Picture of Alvin Yu
Assistant Professor, Physiology & Biophysics
School of Medicine
Ph.D., Johns Hopkins University, 2018, Molecular Biophysics
B.S., California Institute of Technology, 2011, Physics
Phone: (626) 283-2924
University of California, Irvine
Department of Physiology and Biophysics
Irvine Hall 252 A
Irvine, CA 92617
Research Interests
molecular biophysics, statistical mechanics, theory and computation, biological macromolecules
postdoc - University of Chicago, Department of Chemistry
Research Abstract
Many cellular processes that are considered the hallmarks of living systems undergo physical and chemical processes ranging from atomic-scale phenomena, including the quantum chemistry of bond cleavage, to micrometer-sized processes such as the self-assembly of proteins. These processes are innately multiscale and span time and length scales from the molecular to mesoscopic. Our research group investigates the mechanisms by which biological processes function and elucidates them using theory, computational modeling, and simulations.
Awards and Honors
2022 – NIH K99/R00 Pathway to Independence Award
2019 – NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein, National Research Service Award (NRSA, F32)
2018 – Yen Postdoctoral Fellowship, The University of Chicago
2014 – Thomas J. Kelly and Mary L. Kelly Young Scholar Fellowship
2011 – Francis D. Carlson Graduate Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University
2011 – Graduated with Honors, Caltech, Pasadena CA
2010 – Rose Hills Scholarship
2006 – Caltech Scholarship, Pasadena, CA
Short Biography
Alvin Yu is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Physiology and Biophysics. As a Ruth L. Kirschstein postdoctoral fellow in the Dept. of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, he studied the molecular basis for replication in viruses, including HIV and SARS-CoV-2. In his Ph.D. at Johns Hopkins University, he studied the physical and chemical basis for neural activity in glutamate receptor ion channels. He earned his B.S. in Physics from Caltech. He is a recipient of the K99/R00 grant from the National Institutes of Health. His research interests include developing and applying multiscale simulations to provide physical insight into living systems. He uses theory and computation to understand biological phenomena that have a direct impact on human health.
1. "Strain and rupture of HIV-1 capsids during uncoating"
A Yu, EMY Lee, JAG Briggs, BK Ganser-Pornillos, O Pornillos, GA Voth
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 119 (10), e2117781119 4 (2022)

2. "A multiscale coarse-grained model of the SARS-CoV-2 virion"
A Yu, AJ Pak, P He, V Monje-Galvan, L Casalino, Z Gaieb, AC Dommer, RE Amaro, GA Voth
Biophysical journal 120 (6), 1097-1104 (2021)

3. Atomic-scale characterization of mature HIV-1 capsid stabilization by inositol hexakisphosphate (IP6)
A Yu, EMY Lee, J Jin, GA Voth
Science Advances 6 (38), eabc6465 (2020)

4. "TRIM5a self-assembly and compartmentalization of the HIV-1 viral capsid"
A Yu, KA Skorupka, AJ Pak, BK Ganser-Pornillos, O Pornillos, GA Voth
Nature communications 11 (1), 1-10 (2020)

5. "Neurotransmitter funneling optimizes glutamate receptor kinetics"
A Yu, H Salazar, AJR Plested, AY Lau
Neuron 97 (1), 139-149. e4 (2018)

See the Google Scholar link (above) for a full publication list.
NIH K99/R00-AI167034 "Theory and Simulation of Viral Replication"
NIH F32-AI150208 "Computational and Theoretical Studies of Retroviral Replication"
Professional Societies
Biophysical Society
American Physical Society
American Chemical Society
Graduate Programs
Cellular and Molecular Biosciences
Mathematical and Computational Biology
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