Yi Jin


  • G.023, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, John Garside Building, The University of Manchester, 131 Princess Street

    M1 7DN Manchester

    United Kingdom

  • MIB Stores, The Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, Drover Lane, off Sackville Street

    M1 6NG Manchester

    United Kingdom

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Personal profile


Yi (金轶)had a First-Class Hons BSc degree in Chemistry and an MSc degree in Organic Chemistry after completing her Master's thesis on the synthesis of transition state analogue inhibitors of phosphoserine phosphatase and phosphopeptides in the group of Professor Yufen Zhao at Xiamen University, China. In 2008, she was awarded the Overseas Research Studentship (ORS) by British Council to pursue a PhD under the supervision of Professors Jon Waltho and Mike Blackburn at the University of Sheffield, UK. During this period, she expanded the usage of metal fluoride complexes as mimics of the phosphoryl group in various key enzymes in cellular signal transduction in NMR and crystallography. She stayed in the same lab as a postdoc for two years, working on the strain catalysis of DNA repairing enzyme UNG using multi-dimensional NMR. In 2014, she joined the group of Prof. Gideon Davies, FRS, FMedSci, in York Structural Biology Laboratory (YSBL), University of York, working on various carbohydrate processing enzymes, including glycosyl hydrolases in sulfoglycolytic pathways, and using activity-based-probes to trap glucuronidases in action. In May 2017, she became a group leader in Chemical Biology at Cardiff University, allowing her to start her independent research group. In August 2021, she was appointed as a Wellcome Trust Sir Henry Dale Fellow at Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), The Univesity of Manchester.

Her research focuses on mechanistic enzymology to address antibiotic ineffectiveness in bacteria and target cancer-causing enzymes, in particular, small G proteins, kinases and phosphatases, to advance treatments for human cancers. Her research covers a wide range of techniques, including organic synthesis, chemical biology, molecular biology, microbiology, protein NMR, protein X-ray crystallography, and bioinformatics e.g. Comparative Genomics and Genomic Enzymology (Enzyme Function Initiative - EFI tools)



Research interests

We perform mechanistic studies at molecular and atomistic levels to improve our understanding of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and human cancers, in order to inform drug discovery and design.

1. Advancing the fight against antibiotic resistance and bacterial persistence by conducting comprehensive investigations into the molecular mechanisms governing antibiotic effectiveness


  • Q. Zhou*, P. Catalan*, H. Bell*, P. Baumann, R. Evans, J. Yang, Z. Zhang, D. Zappala, Y. Zhang, G. M. Blackburn, Y. He†, Y. Jin†. An Ion-Pair Induced Intermediate Complex Captured in Class D Carbapenemase Reveals Chloride Ion as a Janus Effector Modulating Activity. ACS Central Science 2023, 9, 2339–2349
  • A.J. Lander*, L.D. Mercado*, X. Li, I.M. Taily, B.L. Findlay†, Y. Jin†, L. YP Luk†. Roles of inter- and intramolecular tryptophan interactions in membrane-active proteins revealed by racemic protein crystallography. Comm. Chem., 2023, 6, DOI:10.1038/s42004-023-00953-y
  • Y. Zhang*, J. E. Lei, Y. He†, J. H. Yang, W. J. Wang, A. Wasey, J. R. Xu†, Y. Lin, H. M. Fan, G. Y. Jing, C. Zhang, Y. Jin. Label-free visualization of carbapenemase activity in living bacteria. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 2018, 57, 17120-17124
  • Q. Wang*, Y. He†, R. Lu, W. M. Wang, K. W. Yang†, H. M. Fan, Y.  Jin, G. M. Blackburn. Thermokinetic profile of NDM-1 and its inhibition by small carboxylic acids. Biosci. Rep. 2018, DOI: 10.1042/BSR20180244

2. Expanding the application of metal fluoride complexes and protein fluorine labelling as investigative tools in the study of phosphoryl transfer enzymes, with the objective of deepening our understanding of cancer biology (small G proteins, phosphatases, and kinases) and informing drug discovery efforts


  • P. Baumann*, Y. Jin†. Far-reaching Effects of Tyrosine64 Phosphorylation on Ras Revealed with BeF3 complexes. Comm. Chem., 2023 DOI:10.1038/s42004-024-01105-6
  • R. W. Molt Jr.*, E. Pellegrini*, Y. Jin†. A GAP-GTPase-GDP-Pi intermediate crystal structure analyzed by DFT shows GTP hydrolysis involves serial proton transfers. Chem. Eur. J. 2019, 25, 8484-8488
  • Y. Jin*, R. W. Molt Jr.*, E. Pellegrini*, M. J. Cliff, M. W. Bowler, N. G. J. Richards, G. M. Blackburn, J. P. Waltho. Assessing the influence of mutation on GTPase transition states using X-ray, 19F NMR, and DFT approaches. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 1-5
  • Y. Jin, R. W. Molt, Jr., G. M. Blackburn. Metal Fluorides: Tools for structural and computational analysis of phosphoryl transfer enzymes. Topics Curr. Chem. 2017, 375, 36
  • Y. Jin, J. P. Waltho, N. G. J. Richards, G. M. Blackburn. Metal Fluorides as analogs for studies on phosphoryl transfer enzymes. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 4110-4128
  • Y. Jin*, R. W. Molt, Jr.*, J. P. Waltho, N. G. J. Richards, G. M. Blackburn19F NMR and DFT Analysis reveal structural and electronic transition state features for RhoA-catalyzed GTP hydrolysis. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 3318-3322
  • Y. Jin*, D. Bhattasali*, E. Pellegrini*, S. M. Forget, N. J. Baxter, M. J. Cliff, M. W. Bowler, D. L. Jakeman, G. M. Blackburn, J. P. Waltho. α-Fluorophosphonates reveal how a phosphomutase conserves transition state conformation over hexose recognition in its two-step reaction. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2014, 111, 12384-12389
  • Y. Jin*, M. J. Cliff, N. J. Baxter, H. R. W. Dannatt, A. M. Hounslow, M. W. Bowler, G. M. Blackburn, J. P. Waltho. Charge-balanced metal fluoride complexes for protein kinase A with adenosine diphosphate and substrate peptide SP20. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 12242-12245

3. Investigating naturally occurring organo-sulfur metabolism pathways by marine, soil, and gut bacteria through characterising enzymes and defining their molecular mechanisms - In collaboration with Spencer Williams's Group, University of Melbourn, Bio21 Institute, Australia.   


  • M. Sharma*, P. Abayakoon*, R. Epa, Y. Jin, J. Lingford, T. Shimada, M. Nakano, A. Ishihama, J. Mui, E. Goddard-Borger, G. Davies, S. Williams. Molecular basis of sulfosugar selectivity in sulfoglycolysis. ACS Cent. Sci. 2021, 7, 476-487 
  • M. Sharma*, P. Abayakoon*, J. Lingford, R. Epa, A. John, Y. Jin, E. Goddard-Borger, G. Davies, S. Williams.  Dynamic structural changes accompany the production of dihydroxypropanesulfonate by sulfolactaldehyde reductase. ACS Catal. 2020, 10, 2826-2836 
  • A. Palika*, Y. Jin*, J. Lingford, M. Petricevic, A. John, E. Ryan, J. Mui, D. Pires, D. Ascher, G. J. Davies, E. Goddard-Borger, S. Williams. Structural and biochemical insights into the function and evolution of sulfoquinovosidases.  ACS Cent. Sci. 2018, 4, 1266-1273 
  • P. Abayakoon*, J. P. Lingford, Y. Jin, C. Bengt, G. J. Davies, S. G. Yao, E. D. Goddard-Borger, S. J Williams, Discovery and characterization of a sulfoquinovose mutarotase using kinetic analysis at equilibrium by exchange spectroscopy. Biochem.  J. 2018, 475, 1371–1383 
  • G. Speciale*, Y. Jin*, G. J. Davies, S. J. Williams, E. D. Goddard-Borger. YihQ is a sulfoquinovosidase that cleaves sulfoquinovosyl diacylglyceride sulfolipids. Nat. Chem. Biol. 2016,12, 215-217 


CHEM20421 Fundamentals of Drug Discovery - 1st Semester

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

2007 – present             Member of Biochemical Society
2009 – present             Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)
2018 – present             Member of the American Chemical Society (ACS)
2021 – present             Chartered Chemist of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

Supervision information

We are currently looking for creative and motivated MPhil, PhD and junior fellowship applicants and researchers with skills in organic chemistry, biochemistry, biophysical chemistry, microbiology, chemical biology and structural biology. You will have opportunities to work on a wide range of projects in the Jin Lab. 

If you are interested in joining us, please get in touch by sending an email to yi.jin@manchester.ac.uk with your academic CV and your one-page personal statement attached. Please also state your means of funding. The self-funded UK and overseas students are welcome.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land
  • SDG 17 - Partnerships for the Goals

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Protein NMR and Enzymology, The University of Sheffield

Oct 2008Mar 2012

Master in Science, Organic Chemistry, Xiamen University

Sept 2005Aug 2008

Bachelor of Science, Chemistry, Xiamen University

Sept 2001Aug 2005

Areas of expertise

  • QD Chemistry
  • Chemical Biology
  • Biotechnology
  • Organic chemistry
  • Protein NMR
  • Protein Crystallography
  • Enzymology
  • Inhibitor design
  • Pathway engineering
  • Enzyme engineering

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Biotechnology
  • Global inequalities
  • Manchester Institute of Biotechnology


  • Small G proteins
  • Glycosciences
  • Host/pathogen interactions
  • Mechanistic biochemistry
  • Antibiotic Resistance
  • DNA repair


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