Dr. Ye received his undergraduate training in Organic Chemistry at Jilin University, China (BS, 1990); Graduate training in Polymer Chemistry at Beijing University, China (MS, 1993); and Graduate training in Biochemistry at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA (Ph.D. 1998); Postdoctoral training with Dr. Solomon H. Snyder at Johns Hopkins University (1998-2001). At the end of 2001, he joined the faculty of Emory University School of Medicine (Assistant Professor in Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, 2001-2007; Associate professor, 2007-2010; Full Professor, 2010-Present). Dr. Ye is the recipient of numerous professional honors, including the Distinguished Scientist Award from the Sontag Foundation (2003) and American Cancer Research Scholar (2004), and he is also one of the semi-finalists for Keck Foundation (2004). He has published approximately 140 papers with numerous papers in top journals including: Cell, Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Cell Biology, Nature Neuroscience, Neuron, Mol. Cell, EMBO J, PNAS etc. Dr. Ye has made a unique contribution to the anti-cancer drug arsenal in 1998, when he was a graduate student at Emory. He discovered a novel opium alkaloid, noscapine, as an anti-cancer drug. He has shown that noscapine binds to tubulin, affects microtubule assembly, and arrests mammalian cells in mitosis. Furthermore, noscapine causes apoptosis and has potent antitumor activity. His discovery was broadly reported by numerous major media including ABC News, CNN and Science Magazine in 1998. He has several patents on this drug. In 2000, Dr. Ye disclosed a long-awaited nuclear GTPase, PIKE, which specifically regulates nuclear PI 3-kinase signaling cascade. This finding provides insight into the molecular mechanism of how nuclear PI 3-kinase is activated in the nucleus. Moreover, he found that PLC-1 acts as a guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) for PIKE GTPase. In 2001, he was nominated as an assistant professor at Emory University. In 2003, he found that PIKE-L isoform can mediate mGluR’s anti-apoptotic action by binding to its adaptor protein Homer. This finding indicates that the PIKE-L/Homer complex mediates the well-known ability of agonists of Group I mGluRs to prevent neuronal apoptosis. Dr. Ye also discovered that PIKE is amplified in numerous human cancers and acts as a proto-oncogene by activating Akt in 2004. His lab established the nuclear signaling of NGF in promoting neuronal survival. In 2008, he discovered a novel asparagine proteinase (AEP) that mediates neuronal cell death during stroke, and PIKE robustly inhibits this protease activation, preventing neuronal damage in stroke. He also finds that PIKE binds netrin receptors UNC5B and DCC and exerts neuroprotective functions. In 2010, he identified numerous novel TrkA and TrkB agonists. These small molecules exhibit potent neurotrophic effect and display great therapeutic potentials for various neurological diseases including AD. Now, one of the small TrkB agonists is in IND drug development stage for treating AD. Most recently, he has also discovered oral insulin mimetic compounds for treating diabetes. Most recently, he found that AEP acts as a novel delta-secretase that cleaves both APP and Tau and mediates AD pathogenesis. It is an innovative drug target for treating AD. His lab has identified the small molecular inhibitors that display promising therapeutic efficacy toward AD.
Research Interests: 1. The molecular mechanisms in Neurodegenerative diseases including Alzherimer’s disease and Parkinson’s diseases 2. Drug discovery and development for neurological diseases including depression, Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease and human cancers 3. Neurotrophin signalings in neuronal survival and glioblastoma progression