Wei Huang, PhD

Department of Pharmacology
School of Medicine

Dr. Huang has dedicated his research to understanding the molecular interactions involved in fundamental biological pathways. His training has been diverse and comprehensive, covering a range of computational and experimental techniques. As a graduate student, he studied RNA biochemistry and biophysics, including nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and molecular dynamics simulations. His graduate research focused on the structure and functional dynamics of the SAM-I riboswitch controlled by small molecules, where Dr. Huang began integrating experimental data with computational simulations to improve the information obtained from both approaches.

After completing his PhD, Dr. Huang continued this approach of integrated structural biology to investigate the structure and dynamics of the estrogen receptor using a variety of techniques, including small angle X-ray scattering, hydroxyl radical protein footprinting, and protein-protein association simulations. During his second postdoctoral training, he worked with Dr. Derek Taylor to study the structure and function of macromolecular assemblies. In Dr. Taylor's lab and the Department of Pharmacology, Dr. Huang has been able to use and expand upon his previous training, including learning cryo-electron microscopy (cryoEM) to study the molecular interactions involved in macromolecular assemblies across the central dogma of biology. By understanding the fundamental functions of these complexes, we can gain insights into potential targets for novel therapeutics.



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Selected Publications   (#: Co-first Authors)

1. Huang, W., Li, H., Kiselar, J., Fink, S.P., Regmi, S., Day, A., Yuan, Y., Chance, M., Ready, J.M., Markowitz, S.D. and Taylor, D.J., 2023. Small molecule inhibitors of 15-PGDH exploit a physiologic induced-fit closing system. Nature communications, 14(1), p.784. Xiang. PMCID: PMC992282 

2. Y.#, Huang, W.#, Liu, H., Sang, Z., Nambulli, S., Tubiana, J., Williams, K.L., Duprex, W.P., Schneidman-Duhovny, D., Wilson, I.A. and Taylor, D.J., 2022. Superimmunity by pan-sarbecovirus nanobodies. Cell Reports, 39(13). PMCID: PMC9174178

3. Abeywansha, T#, Huang, W.#, Ye, X., Nawrocki, A., Lan, X., Jankowsky, E., Taylor, D.J. and Zhang, Y., 2023. The structural basis of tRNA recognition by arginyl-tRNA-protein transferase. Nature Communications, 14(1), p.2232. PMCID: PMC10115844

4. Zhu, J.#, Huang, W.#, Zhao, J., Huynh, L., Taylor, D.J. and Harris, M.E., 2022. Structural and mechanistic basis for recognition of alternative tRNA precursor substrates by bacterial ribonuclease P. Nature Communications, 13(1), p.5120. PMCID: PMC9433436

5. Leonard, D.#, Huang, W.#, Izadmehr, S., O’Connor, C.M., Wiredja, D.D., Wang, Z., Zaware, N., Chen, Y., Schlatzer, D.M., Kiselar, J. and Vasireddi, N., 2020. Selective PP2A enhancement through biased heterotrimer stabilization. Cell, 181(3), pp.688-701. PMCID: PMC7243596