Wei Yang, Ph.D.

NIH Distinguished Investigator

Mechanism of DNA Repair, Replication, and Recombination Section, Laboratory of Molecular Biology


Building 5, Room B107
5 Memorial Drive
Bethesda, MD 20814



Research Topics

Current Research

My group is interested in studying DNA recombination, repair, and replication. In particular, we are interested in V(D)J recombination, mismatch repair, nucleotide excision repair, and translesion DNA synthesis.  We use X-ray crystallography, molecular biology, and various biochemical and biophysical approaches to find out the molecular mechanisms in these biological processes.


  • Ph.D., Columbia University, 1991
  • M.A., Columbia University, 1985
  • B.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1985
  • B.A., State University of New York at Stony Brook, 1983

Selected Publications

  1. Gao Y, Yang W. Capture of a third Mg²⁺ is essential for catalyzing DNA synthesis. Science. 2016;352(6291):1334-7.

  2. Nakamura T, Zhao Y, Yamagata Y, Hua YJ, Yang W. Watching DNA polymerase η make a phosphodiester bond. Nature. 2012;487(7406):196-201.

  3. Gupta S, Gellert M, Yang W. Mechanism of mismatch recognition revealed by human MutSβ bound to unpaired DNA loops. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2011;19(1):72-8.

  4. Zhao Y, Biertümpfel C, Gregory MT, Hua YJ, Hanaoka F, Yang W. Structural basis of human DNA polymerase η-mediated chemoresistance to cisplatin. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012;109(19):7269-74.

  5. Lee YS, Gao Y, Yang W. How a homolog of high-fidelity replicases conducts mutagenic DNA synthesis. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2015;22(4):298-303.

This page was last updated on March 30th, 2017