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Yuh Min Chook, Ph.D.

  • Professor, Pharmacology | Biophysics
  • Luis Leib, Malfred and Mabel Gilman Chair in Molecular Pharmacology.D.
  • Eugene McDermott Scholar in Biomedical Research
  • Winner, 2015 TAMEST Edith and Peter O'Donnell Award in Science
  • Director, Molecular Biophysics T32; Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Scholar Award
“Always do your best, make a difference, and make the world a better place.”

Contributions to STEMM

Dr. Chook is a scientist and educator who joined the Department of Pharmacology in 2001. The Chook laboratory “studies how thousands of different proteins are carried in and out of the nucleus of a human cell by a family of transporter proteins named Karyopherins or “Kaps.” Each Kap carries a unique set of protein cargos by recognizing individual 'zip codes' in the cargos that specify either entry or exit from the nucleus,” Dr. Chook said. “We seek to uncover the many zip codes that are currently obscured and to map the vast traffic in and out of the nucleus. Diseases arise when transport goes awry and understanding the normal traffic will be key for attempts to correct dysfunctional disease-causing traffic.”

Early Influences

Dr. Chook listed her teachers and mentors as her most impactful influences in STEMM. She prepared for a career in science by “working really hard and surrounding myself with curious and kind people.” She advised the next generation of women in STEMM to “make your mistakes (and learn from them), fast.”

The UT Southwestern Difference

“Learning about the natural world, the thrill of discovery, the joy of well-executed experiments/analysis, amazing colleagues, and trainees who keep me young,” are Dr. Chook’s favorite aspects of her career at UT Southwestern. She sees her inclusion in the Celebrating Breakthroughs Together Project as an opportunity to be recognized alongside many “inspiring women.”

Outside of her role in the Pharmacology Department, Dr. Chook enjoys “spending time with family and friends, cooking, and reading restaurant reviews and food blogs.”

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