Imperial College London


Faculty of MedicineDepartment of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction

Senior Lecturer in Glycosciences



+44 (0)20 7594 2598yan.liu2 Website




Burlington DanesHammersmith Campus





Yan Liu is a chemist by training. Following a B.Sc. degree in chemistry at Peking University, China, she undertook her Ph.D. in organic chemistry at the University of Bristol under the guidance of Professor Tim Gallagher.

Yan joined the Glycosciences Laboratory directed by Professor Ten Feizi FRS at Imperial College in 2005 as one of the postdoc researchers funded by the UK Glycoarray Consortium. Having initially focused on the development of novel glycan probes for microarrays, her work has been extended to microarray analyses of different proteins/pathogens of biomedical interest during the follow-on EPSRC Translational grant, 

Since 2013, Yan is the Microarray Project Leader of the Wellcome Trust-funded Carbohydrate Microarray Facility. In 2018, Yan became a co-investigator in the 5-year Imperial College-March of Dimes (MOD) European Preterm Birth Research Centre programme. She was appointed as a Lecturer in Glycosciences in 2019 and promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2023.

As the PI of a Wellcome Trust Biomedical Resource Grant (£1.34M; 2019-2024), Yan is leading a team dedicated to maintaining a vibrant Carbohydrate Microarray Facility at Imperial College for the broad scientific community and upholding its world-leading position in Glycosciences. Continuing to advance glycan array technologies is a central focus for her team. This involves further expanding the scope of the glycan libraries, enhancing the precision of array readouts, and extending their applications to encompass recognition studies of whole microbes.

Yan's current research places a special emphasis on unraveling glycan-mediated interactions at the host-microbiota interface, encompassing a range of systems including the respiratory, digestive, and reproductive systems. She is a partner leader of the Horizon Europe-funded GlycoTWINNG Network and an Imperial College co-investigator participating in the UK 'FluMAP' research consortium. 



Clark LC, Atkin KE, Whelan F, et al., 2023, Staphylococcal Periscope proteins Aap, SasG, and Pls project noncanonical legume-like lectin adhesin domains from the bacterial surface, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Vol:299, ISSN:0021-9258, Pages:1-11

Sorin MN, Di Maio A, Silva LM, et al., 2023, Structural and functional analysis of natural capsid variants reveals sialic-acid independent entry of BK polyomavirus, Cell Reports, Vol:42, ISSN:2211-1247, Pages:1-18

Shahin M, Sheppard D, Raynaud C, et al., 2023, Characterization of a glycan-binding complex of minor pilins completes theanalysis of Streptococcus sanguinis type 4 pili subunits, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of Usa, Vol:120, ISSN:0027-8424

Akune Y, Arpinar S, Silva LM, et al., 2022, CarbArrayART-An update on the software tool for carbohydrate microarray data, storage, processing, presentation and reporting, Glycobiology, Vol:30, ISSN:0959-6658, Pages:1031-1031

Correia VG, Trovao F, Pinheiro BA, et al., 2021, Mapping Molecular Recognition of β1,3-1,4-Glucans by a Surface Glycan-Binding Protein from the Human Gut Symbiont <i>Bacteroides ovatus</i>, Microbiology Spectrum, Vol:9, ISSN:2165-0497

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