Bruce Yu

Yu Group



Call: (240) 314-6155


  • Postdoctoral Research, Protein Engineering, University of Alberta, CANADA, 1997-2000
  • Postdoctoral Research, NMR Spectroscopy, SUNY Buffalo, 1996-1997
  • Ph.D., Biophysics, Johns Hopkins University, 1996
  • B.S., Biochemistry, Peking University, CHINA, 1987


Dr. Yu is a biophysicist and biochemist by training. He has worked on protein biophysics, the development of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) agents, and biomaterials engineering.

Dr. Yu has synthesized dendrimer imaging agents for multi-color F-19 MRI and advanced MRI technology to evaluate the mechanical properties of soft materials and biological tissues.  He is also interested in the link between molecular chirality and material mechanical properties, and how chirality can be exploited to create biomaterials with novel mechanical properties for cell growth and differentiation. Dr. Yu is an inventor of several new technologies and holds six issued patents, including for dendrimer synthesis, biomaterials engineering, and noninvasive analytical technologies.


Flow wNMR setup in the Yu lab

Current research in the Yu lab involves regulatory science for biologics and nano-drugs. Specifically, the Yu group is developing nondestructive analytical technologies for pharmaceutical solutions of drug substances and drug products and for product inspection, using a variety of physicochemical techniques.

Process Analytical Technology

Biomanufacturing requires process analytical technologies (PATs) for monitoring and control. Dr. Yu’s group develops contact-free in-line PAT for real-time monitoring of bioprocessing. The PAT is based on flow water proton nuclear magnetic resonance (flow wNMR). He is collaborating with pharma/biotech companies to implement flow wNMR in industrial settings. Vaccine manufacturing is a major focus.    

Contrast between destructive and nondestructive analytics

Nondestructive Analytics

Dr. Yu’s group develops nondestructive analytics for biologics and other complex drugs. The nondestructive analytics are based on wNMR, and applications include drug formulation, drug substance characterization, and drug product inspection. The unique capability of wNMR is that it can quantitatively inspect finished drug products without opening the vials. The Yu group has applied wNMR to insulin products and vaccines.

Excipient Innovation Through Precompetitive Research.
Rapid and Noninvasive Quantification of Capsid Gene Filling Level Using Water Proton Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.
Knockout of Anopheles stephensi immune gene LRIM1 by CRISPR-Cas9 reveals its unexpected role in reproduction and vector competence.
All vials are not the same: Potential role of vaccine quality in vaccine adverse reactions.
Inspecting Insulin Products Using Water Proton NMR. I. Noninvasive vs Invasive Inspection.
Evaluation of the Physicochemical Properties of the Iron Nanoparticle Drug Products: Brand and Generic Sodium Ferric Gluconate.
Grand Challenges in Pharmaceutical Research Series: Ridding the Cold Chain for Biologics.
Monitoring of the sedimentation kinetics of vaccine adjuvants using water proton NMR relaxation.
Quality assurance at the point-of-care: Noninvasively detecting vaccine freezing variability using water proton NMR.
Magnetic Resonance Relaxometry for Determination of Protein Concentration and Aggregation.
Flow Water Proton NMR: In-Line Process Analytical Technology for Continuous Biomanufacturing.
Correction to: Nondestructive Quantitative Inspection of Drug Products Using Benchtop NMR Relaxometry-the Case of NovoMix® 30.
Nondestructive Quantitative Inspection of Drug Products Using Benchtop NMR Relaxometry-the Case of NovoMix® 30.
Use of Water Proton NMR to Characterize Protein Aggregates: Gauging the Response and Sensitivity.
Monitoring dendrimer conformational transition using 19 F and 1 H2 O NMR.
Identification of amino acid residues critical for the B cell growth-promoting activity of HIV-1 matrix protein p17 variants.
Water proton NMR detection of amide hydrolysis and diglycine dimerization.
Kröhnke pyridines: Rapid and facile access to Mcl-1 inhibitors.
Transcriptional and post-translational changes in the brain of mice deficient in cholesterol removal mediated by cytochrome P450 46A1 (CYP46A1).
Improving Biopharmaceutical Safety through Verification-Based Quality Control.