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Wenqian Yu

Wenqian Yu, MD

Research Instructor

Department: Neurobiology & Anatomy


  • MD - Shanghai Medical University

Dr. Yu is a research instructor in the Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy at Drexel University College of Medicine.

Research Interests

Microtubules, Neuronal development


Dr. Yu is the chief cell biologist in Peter Baas's laboratory, and is involved in several of the lab's ongoing projects as well as the training of graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. She has published on a number of topics, including:

  • The role of the centrosome in generating axonal microtubules
  • The regulation of the dendritic microtubule array
  • The fragmentation of microtubules underlying collateral branch formation
  • The role of microtubule severing proteins and molecular motor proteins in regulating key events in the establishment of neuronal polarity


"Mitotic motors coregulate microtubule patterns in axons and dendrites"
Lin S, Liu M, Mozgova OI, Yu W, Baas PW
J Neurosci. 32(40):14033-49, Oct 3, 2012

"Septin-driven coordination of actin and microtubule remodeling regulates the collateral branching of axons"
Hu J, Bai X, Bowen JR, Dolat L, Korobova F, Yu W, Baas PW, Svitkina T, Gallo G, Spiliotis ET.
Curr Biol. 22(12):1109-15, Jun 19, 2012

"Inhibition of kinesin-5, a microtubule-based motor protein, as a strategy for enhancing regeneration of adult axons"
Lin S, Liu M, Son YJ, Himes BT, Snow DM, Yu W, Baas PW.  
Traffic. 12:269-286, Jan 17, 2011

"Kinesin-12, a mitotic microtubule-associated motor protein, impacts axonal growth, navigation, and branching"
Liu M, Nadar VC, Kozielski F, Kozlowska M, Yu W, Baas PW
J Neurosci. 30(44):14896-906, Nov 3, 2010

"Basic Fibroblast Growth Factor Elicits Formation of Interstitial Axonal Branches via Enhanced Severing of Microtubules"
Qiang L, Yu W, Liu M, Solowska JM, and Baas, PW
Mol Biol Cell. 21(2):334 –344, Jan 15, 2010

"The microtubule-severing proteins spastin and katanin participate differently in the formation of axonal branches"
Yu W, Qiang L, Solowska JM, Karabay A, Korulu S, Baas PW
Mol Biol Cell. Apr 2008;19(4):1485-98. Epub Jan 30, 2008

"Tau protects microtubules in the axon from severing by katanin"
Qiang L, Yu W, Andreadis A, Luo M, Baas PW
J Neurosci. 26(12):3120-9, Mar 22, 2006

"Role of cytoplasmic dynein in the axonal transport of microtubules and neurofilaments"
He Y, F Frances, KA Myers, W Yu, M Black, and PW Baas
J. Cell Biol. 168: 697-703, 2005

"Regulation of microtubule severing by katanin subunits during neuronal development"
Yu W, JM Solowska, L Qiang, A Karabay, D Baird, and PW Baas
J. Neurosci. 25: 5573-5583, 2005

"Axonal Growth Is Sensitive to the Levels of Katanin, a Protein That Severs Microtubules"
Arzu Karabay, Wenqian Yu, Joanna M. Solowska, Douglas H. Baird, and Peter W. Baas
J. Neurosci., 24(25): 5778-5788, 2004

"Expression of the Mitotic Kinesin KIF15 in Postmitotic Neurons: Implications for Neuronal Migration and Development"
DW Buster, DH Baird, W Yu, JMS Baird, M Chauviere, A Mazurek, M Kress, and PW Baas
J. Neurocytol., 32:79-96, 2003.

"Microtubule Reconfiguration during Axonal Retraction Induced by Nitric Oxide"
Y He, W Yu, and PW Baas
J. Neurosci., 22(14):5982-5991, 2002

"Microtubule Reconfiguration during Axogenesis"
W Yu, C Ling, and PW Baas
J. Neurocytol., 30:861-875, 2001

"Inhibition of a microtubule-associated motor protein induces the loss of dendritic identity"
W Yu, C Sauter, C Cook, R Kuriyama, FJ Kaplan, and PW Baas
J. Neurosci., 20: 5782-5791, 2000

"An essential role for Katanin in severing microtubules in the neuron"
FJ Ahmad, W Yu, FJ. McNally, and PW Baas
J. Cell Biol. 145(2): 305-315, 1999

"Inhibition of a mitotic motor compromises the formation of dendrite-like processes from neuroblastoma cells"
W Yu, DJ Sharp, R Kuriyama, P Mallik, and PW Baas
J. Cell Biol. 136(3): 659-668, 1997

"Identification of a Microtubule-associated motor protein essential for dendritic differentiation"
DJ Sharp, W Yu, L Ferhat, R Kuriyama, DC Rueger, and PW Baas
J. Cell Biol. 138(4): 833-843, 1997

"Microtubule assembly in growing dendrites"
Wang J, Yu W, PW Baas, and MM Black
J. Neurosci., 16(19):6065-6078, 1996

"Microtubule transport and assembly during axon growth"
Yu W, MJ Schwei, and PW Baas
J. Cell Biol. 133: 151-157, 1996

"A composite model for establishing the microtubule arrays of the neuron"
Baas PW, and Yu W
Molecular Neurobiology 12: 145-161, 1996

"Transport of dendritic microtubules establishes their nonuniform polarity orientatation"
Sharp DJ, W Yu, and PW Baas
J. Cell Biol. 130: 93-104, 1995

"The growth of the axon is not dependent upon the net assembly of microtubules at its distal tip"
Yu W and PW Baas
J. Neurosci. 15: 6827-6833, 1995

"An in vitro model for the effects of estrogen on neurons employing estrogen receptor-transfected PC12 cells"
Lustig RH, P Hua, W Yu, FJ Ahmad, and PW Baas
J. Neurosci. 14: 3945-3957, 1994

"Microtubule fragmentation and partitioning in the axon during collateral branch formation"
Yu W, FJ Ahmad, and PW Baas
J. Neurosci. 14: 5872-5884, 1994

"Changes in microtubule number and length during axon differentiation"
Yu W, and PW Baas
J. Neurosci. 14: 2818-2829, 1994

"Microtubule nucleation and release from the neuronal centrosome"
Yu W, VE Centonze, FJ Ahmad, and PW Baas
J. Cell Biol. 122: 349-359, 1993

Contact Information

Research Office

Department of Neurobiology & Anatomy
2900 W. Queen Lane
Philadelphia, PA 19129
Phone: 215.991.8280
Fax: 215.843.9082