Yu Shi

Staff Scientist

Molecular and Cell Biology Laboratory

Salk Institute for Biological Studies - Yu Shi

Yu Shi

Cell-cell communication ensures proper coordination and regulation of fundamental cellular activity as well as responses to environment changes at cellular and organismal levels, and is essential for normal physiology and evolution of multicellular organisms, yet far from well understood due to its high dynamics and context dependence. My longstanding interest is to understand the molecular mechanisms of intercellular communication, especially under pathological conditions such as cancer. I obtained Ph.D. with major in Genetics and Development from Columbia University, where I have studied the central and autonomous regulation of bone remodeling by leptin, parasympathetic nervous system, and miR-34s, and developed stronger interest in physiological function and regulation of intercellular communication. To perform scientific research with better potential of translational application, he joined in Salk Institute, switched my research focus on tumor microenvironment and chose the pancreatic tumor as the specific model to explore the intercellular interactions between the cancer and stroma cells. I have investigated the paracrine cross-talk between pancreatic cancer cells and stellate cells, a predominant stromal cell type, about its physiological effects at distinct stages of tumorigenesis as well as the underlying molecular mechanisms. My study integrates multidisciplinary strategy, combining genetically engineered mouse models, physiological evaluation, molecular and cellular biology assays, and omic techniques e.g. proteomics and RNA-seq, to carry out both in vitro and in vivo assays to explore molecular mechanisms of cell-cell interaction in many aspects.


Postdoctoral Fellow, Salk Institute, CA, U.S.A.
PhD, Genetics and development, Columbia University, NY, U.S.A.
BSc, Biology, Inner Mongolia University, Hohhot, China

Awards & Honors

  • SU2C Summit Young Investigator, Stand Up To Cancer Foundation, 2017
  • AACR Scholar-in-Training Award, American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Special Conference in Pancreatic Cancer: Advances in Science and Clinical Care, 2016
  • Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust Postdoc Fellowship, 2014-2016

Selected Publications

  1. Shi Y*, Gao W, Lytle NK, Huang P, Yuan X, Dann AM, Ridinger M, DelGiorno KE, Antal CE, Liang G, Atkins AR, Erikson G, Sun H, Meisenhelder J, Terenziani E, Woo G, Fang L, Santisakultarm TP, Manor U, Xu R, Becerra CR, Borazanci E, Von Hoff DD, Grandgenett PM, Hollingsworth MA, Leblanc M, Umetsu SE, Collisson EA, Scadeng M, Lowy AM, Donahue TR, Reya T, Downes M, Evans RM, Wahl GM, Pawson T, Tian R*, Hunter T*. Targeting LIF-mediated paracrine interaction for pancreatic cancer therapy and monitoring. Nature. 569(7754):131–135   [* corresponding author]
  2. Tian R, Wang H, Gish GD, Petsalaki E, Pasculescu A, Shi Y, Mollenauer M, Bagshaw RD, Yosef N, Hunter T, Gingras AC, Weiss A, Pawson T. (2015) Combinatorial proteomic analysis of intercellular signaling applied to the CD28 T-cell costimulatory receptor. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 112(13): E1594–E1603
  3. Ma L, Aslanian A, Sun H, Jin M, Shi Y, Yates JR 3rd, Hunter T. (2014) Identification of SUMO Substrates with Diverse Functions Using the Xenopus Egg Extract System. Mol Cell Proteomics. 13: 1659-1675
  4. Zhang QC, Petrey D, Deng L, Qiang L, Shi Y, Thu CA, Bisikirska B, Lefebvre C, Accili D, Hunter T, Maniatis T, Califano A, Honig B. (2012) Structure-based prediction of protein-protein interactions on a genome-wide scale. Nature. 490(7421):556-560
  5. Wei J, Shi Y, Zheng L, Zhou B, Inose H, Wang J, Guo XE, Grosschedl R, Karsenty G. (2012) miR-34s inhibit osteoblast proliferation and differentiation in the mouse by targeting SATB2. J Cell Biol. 197(4):509-521
  6. Shi Y, Oury F, Yadav VK, Wess J, Liu XS, Guo XE, Murshed M, Karsenty G. (2010) Signaling through the M3 muscarinic receptor favors bone mass accrual by decreasing sympathetic activity. Cell Metab. 11(3):231-238
  7. Shi Y#, Yadav VK#, Suda N, Liu XS, Guo XE, Myers MG Jr, Karsenty G. (2008) Dissociation of the neuronal regulation of bone mass and energy metabolism by leptin in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 105(51):20529-20533   [# co-first authors]