Shirley ShiDu Yan, MD

Professor of Surgical Sciences (in Surgery)

Shirley ShiDu Yan, MDContact

Phone: (212) 342-0494


Shirley ShiDu Yan, MD, is a Professor of Surgical Sciences in Surgery. Dr. Yan’s research focuses on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of cellular stress and survival in aging and neurodegenerative disorders relevant to Alzheimer’s disease and diabetes.

Dr. Yan is a leader in mitochondrial research in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). She was the first to report amyloid pathology in mitochondria.  She was the first identified the specific cellular targets (RAGE, receptor for advanced glycation end product and mitochondrial proteins-mediated mitochondrial and neuronal degeneration. She has developed several novel transgenic human diseases mouse model relevant to aging, diabetes, AD to test the role of cellular cofactors and mitochondrial protein in genotoxin- and amyloid-mediated mitochondrial perturbation and neurodegeneration.

Her research has been repeatedly highlighted in world-wide leading journals, including Nature, Nature Medicine, Science, Brain, and PNAS. Her research has won multiple awards, including the Dolph C. Simons Award in Biomedical Science, the NIH MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging “ in recognition of sustained contribution to aging and leadership and commitment to the field” and the Zenith Fellow Award from Alzheimer’s Association that is among the most prestigious in Alzheimer’s research worldwide. She currents sits on the editorial board for several prominent research publications, including Current Alzheimer’s Research and Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease.

She also serves on the research grant review committee for National Institute of Health and multiple research foundations. After receiving her medical degree from Fujian Medical College, Dr. Yan completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Physiology and Cellular Biophysics at Columbia. She returns to Columbia after nine years with the University of Kansas, where she was the Howard Mossberg Distinguished Professor in the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of School of Pharmacy at University of Kansas.


  • MS: Fujian Medical College (Histopathology and Anatomy), Fujian, China 
  • MD: Fujian Medical College (Medicine), Fujian, China


  • 2017: Recipient of the Dolph C. Simons, Sr Award in the Biomedical Science in recognition of research achievement in the biomedical sciences to an individual who has had a major and substantial impact and who has been of national and/or international interest. 
  • 2017: Chair of the section of Molecular & Cell Biology: Metabolic and Other cellular Progresses in neurodegeneration at Alzheimer's Association International Conference 2017 (AAIC), London, the world largest of Alzheimer’s Disease Community. 
  • 2016-2022: Permanent member of NIH grant review committee for Neural Oxidative Metabolism and Death Study Section, National Institutes of Health
  • 2010-2020: NIH MERIT Award from the National Institute on Aging "in recognition of sustained contribution to aging and leadership and commitment to the field." MERIT award is one of the most prestigious awards presented by the NIH and provide long-term support to exceptional outstanding and experienced investigators who contribute significantly to the research field.
  • 2018: International Scientific Advisory Board of the 13th International Symposium on the Maillard Reaction (September 10-13, Montreal od Canada)
  • 2016: Co-Chair of Cell death and Cell Stress Social, Annual Neuroscience Conference of Society of Neuroscience, San Diego
  • 2015: Alzheimer’s research featured at the TechConnect World Conference and Expo in Washington, DC
  • 2015: Editor Review Board Member, Current Alzheimer Research
  • 2007-2019: Associate Editor, Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • 2013-Present: Editorial Advisory Board Member for Current Alzheimer Research               


Peer Reviewed Research Publications

  1. Du F, Yu Q, Chen D, and ShiDu Yan S*. Astrocyte attenuate mitochondrial dysfunction in human dopaminergic neurons derived from iPSC. Stem Cell Report  2018 Feb 13; 10(2):366-374. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2017.12.021. Epub 2018 Jan 27. PMID: 2939618.
  2. Yu Q, Wang Y, Du F, Yan S, Hu G, Origlia N, Rutigliano G, Sun Q, Yu H, Ainge J, Yan SF, Gunn-Moore F, Yan SS*. Overexpression of Endophilin A1 exacerbates synaptic deficits in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Nature Communication, 2018 (accepted).
  3. Fang F, Yu Q, Arancio O, Chen D, Gore SS, Yan SS*, Yan SF. RAGE mediates Aβaccumulation in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease via modulation of β- and g-secretase activity. Hum Mol Genet. 2018 Jan 10. doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddy017. [Epub ahead of print] *Co-corresponding author
  4. Du F, Yu Q, Yan S, Hu G, Lue, LF, Douglas W, Tue K, Yan SS*. PINK1 signaling rescues amyloid pathology and mitochondrial dysfunction in Alzheimer’s disease. Brain, 2017 Dec1;140(12):3233-3251. This article has been selected as an Editor's Choice article for the month of December 2017 and was be highlighted on our website of the Brain. This article is also highlighted on Nature Review Neurology, Published online 10 Nov 2017: doi:10.1038/nrneurol.2017.160.
  5. Yu Q, Du F, Douglas JT, Yu H, Yan SS*, and Yan SF. Mitochondrial dysfunction triggers synaptic deficits via activation of p38 MAP kinase signaling in differentiated Alzheimer’s disease trans-mitochondrial cybrid cells. J Alzheimer Dis. 2017;59(1):223-239. Doi: 10.3233/JAD-170283. *Co-corresponding author
  6. Criscuolo C, Frontebasso V, Middei S, Stazi M, Ammassari-Teule M, Yan SS, and Origlia N. Entorhinal Cortex dysfunction can be rescued by inhibition of microglial RAGE in an Alzheimer’s disease mouse model. Scientific Reports. 7:42370, 2017
  7. *Yan S, Du F, Wu L, Zhang Z, Zhong C, Yu Q, Wang Y, Lue LF, Walker DG, Douglas JT, Yan SS*. F1F0 ATP synthase-cyclophilin D interaction contributes to diabetes-induced synaptic dysfunction and cognitive decline. Diabetes. 2016 Nov;65(11):3482-3494, PMID: 2755467. Report on Diabetes Week (Nov. 28, 2016) p134 “Finding from University of Kansas has provided new data immunophilins (F1F0ATP synthase-cyclophilin D interaction contributes to diabetes-induced synaptic dysfunction and cognitive decline)
  8. Fang D, Qing Y, Yan S, Chen D, Yan SS*. Development and Dynamic regulation of mitochondrial network in human midbrain dopaminergic neurons differentiated from iPSCs. Stem Cell Reports. 2016 Oct 11;7(4):678-692. doi: 10.1016/j.stemcr.2016.08.014. PMID: 27666790
  9. Yu Q, Fang D, Swerdlow RH, Yu H, Chen JX, Yan SS*. Antioxidants rescue mitochondrial transport in differentiated Alzheimer’s disease trans-mitochondrial cybrid cells. J Alzheimers Dis. 2016 Sep6;54(2):679-90. doi: 10.3233/JAD-160532. PMID: 27567872. This paper was selected one of the best publications in JAD in 2016 (Top 20).
  10. Fang D, Yan S, Yu Q, Chen D, Yan SS*. Mfn2 is required for mitochondrial development and synapse formation in human induced pluripotent stem cells/hiPSC derived cortical neurons. Sci Rep. 2016 Aug 18;6:31462. doi: 10.1038/srep31462. PMID: 27535796

Invited Peer Reviewed Review Articles

  1. Akhter F, Chen D, Yan SF, Yan SS*. Mitochondrial perturbation in Alzheimer’s Disease and Diabetes. Prog Mol Biol Transi Sci, 146:341-361, 2017
  2. Gan X, Huang S, Liu Y, Yan SS, Yu H. The potential role of damage-associated molecular patterns derived from mitcohondria in osteocyte apoptosis and bone remodeling. Bone. 2014 May;62:67-8. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2014.01.018. Epub 2014 Feb 3. No abstract available. PMID:2450321
  3. Carlson, E.A. and Yan, S.S*. (2014) Disrupting cancer cell function by targeting mitochondria. Integrative Cancer Science and Therapeutics 1: doi:10.15761/ICST.1000105
  4. Rao VK, Carlson EA, Yan SS*. Mitochondrial permeability transition pore is a potential drug target for neurodegeneration. Biochim Biophys Acta. 2014 Aug;1842(8):1267-72. doi: 10.1016/j.bbadis.2013.09.003.  Epub 2013 Sep 18
  5. Borger, E., Aitken, L., Du, H., Zhang, W., Gunn-Moore, F. J., Yan, S. S*. Is Amyloid Binding Alcohol Dehydrogenase a Drug Target for Treating Alzheimer’s Disease?” Current Alzheimer Research.  Vol. 10, No. 1, 2013.
  6. Carlson EM, Valasani KR, and Yan SS*. From a Cell’s Viewpoint: Targeting Mitochondria in Alzheimer’s disease. Drug Discovery Today Therapeutic Strategy, 2013 Summer; 10(2):e91-e98
  7. *Yan SS, Chen D, Yan S, Guo L, Du H, Chen JX. RAGE is a key cellular target for Abeta-induced perturbation in Alzheimer’s disease. Front Biosci (Schol Ed) 2012 Jan 1;4:240-50. PMID: 22202057
  8. Du H, Guo L, and Yan SS*. Synaptic mitochondrial pathology in Alzheimer’s Disease. Antioxid Redox Signal. 2012, June 15;16(12):147-75. PMID: 21942330
  9. Chen JX, Yan SS*: Role of mitochondrial amyloid-beta in Alzheimer’s disease. J Alzheimers Disease 2010:20 Suppl:S560-78.
  10. Du H, Yan SS*.  Unlocking the Door to Neuronal Woes in Alzheimer’s Disease: Aβ and Mitochondrial Permeability Transition Pore. Pharmaceuticals 2010, 3, 1936-1948; doi:10.3390/ph3061936