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下一个颜宁就在这7位获得3千万大奖的青年学者中

2018-11-28 10:49:06

2017年5月9日,美国霍华德休斯医学研究所(HHMI)联合盖茨基金会等组织宣布,从世界各地1500名独立PI中,评选出来自16个国家的41位青年学者,授予其International Research Scholar荣誉称号,每人并荣获高达65万美金的研究经费奖金,以表彰他(她)们在生物医学研究领域所表现出来的巨大潜力。

近日因加盟普林斯顿大学而引发热议的颜宁教授,曾于2012年荣获霍华德休斯医学研究所的类似奖励。而今天获奖的各国青年才俊中,有以下7位来自中国大陆,其中中科院4人、清华2人、和北大1人,凸显我国在生物医学领域的巨大进步:

付巧妹

中国科学院古脊椎动物与古人类研究所DNA实验室主任。曾作为作者,在Nature发表论文,揭示了该时段欧亚地区完整的人口动态变化情况,绘制出冰河时代欧亚人群的遗传谱图,呈现史前人类演化的复杂性细节,而入选2016中国新锐科技人物。

Qiaomei Fu is exploring the genetic roots of humankind. Her work has helped untangle the early history of modern humans and Neanderthals, and reveal how early agriculture affected European farmers. She wants to illuminate the human prehistory of Asia by investigating the ancient genomes of both humans and pathogens.

刘颖

北京大学分子医学研究所研究员。2006年毕业于南京大学生物化学系,2011 年获得美国德克萨斯大学西南医学中心生物化学博士学位。2013年入选中组部“青年千人计划”。曾作为通讯作者,在Cell Research发表论文,揭示了细胞非自主性的线粒体UPR新机制,而入选2016中国新锐科技人物。

Mitochondria, which generate energy for cells and regulate programmed cell death, are vulnerable to damage. Ying Liu is using worm genetics and biochemistry to investigate the cellular pathways that sense mitochondrial dysfunction and activate stress responses. Defects in these pathways may contribute to metabolic disorders, neurodegenerative diseases and cancer.

颉伟

清华大学生命科学学院研究员。2003年毕业于北京大学生命科学学院生物科学专业,2008年获得美国加州大学洛杉矶分校分子生物学博士学位。2013年入选中组部青年千人计划。曾作为通讯作者和共同通讯作者,在Molecular Cell和Nature发表论文中组,首次报道了哺乳动物组蛋白修饰是否能从父代和母代分别遗传到子代,以及传递的模式,揭示了早期胚胎发育的表观遗传图景,而入选2016中国新锐科技人物。

Immediately after an egg is fertilized, DNA and its packaging proteins (histones) undergo drastic reorganization so that cells can acquire new identities in early embryos. However, how this is achieved remains poorly understood due to the extremely scarce experimental samples. By developing ultrasensitive tools for chromatin analysis, Wei Xie is working to decipher how such reprogramming occurs and whether chromatin associated "epigenetic" information can be passed on to the next generation.

陈玲玲

中科院上海生命科学研究院生物化学与细胞生物学研究所研究员。Ling-Ling Chen is discovering new and unusual classes of RNA molecules called long noncoding RNAs. She’s figuring out how these molecules form, what role they play in gene regulation, and how they may influence disease. She has found that some of these RNAs are conspicuously absent in people with the neurodevelopmental genetic disorder Prader-Willi syndrome.

李国红

中科院生物物理研究所研究员。Human genomic DNA is packaged with histone proteins into tightly-wound bundles of fiber called chromatin. Guohong Li has used an imaging technique called cryo-electron microscopy to visualize these twisted fibers in 3D at a detail previously unseen. Now, he wants to view the fibers at atomic resolution, and figure out the role of the histones wrapped inside.

祁海

清华大学教授。Hai Qi is exploring how the immune system generates and maintains memory cells that remember past infections and stay poised to produce antibodies against returning pathogens. His research may open new avenues for vaccine development and suggest better ways to control autoimmune diseases.

王艳丽

中科院生物物理研究所研究员。Yanli Wang is studying mechanisms of two bacterial anti-virus defense systems. She is using structural biology to learn how the CRISPR-Cas and Argonaute systems use small molecules of RNA or DNA to find and cleave foreign genetic material. She is also looking for ways to modify their RNA/DNA-cleaving components to increase their efficiency as genome editing tools.

应该说,霍华德休斯医学研究所与中国生物界颇有渊源。施一公教授当年就曾放弃HHMI Investigator这一崇高职位,从普林斯顿海归清华,也带回了颜宁。这几天因归海普林斯顿而引起热议的颜宁,在2012年,也曾荣获霍华德休斯医学研究所首届International Early Career Scientists称号,经费奖金也是65万美金。霍华德休斯医学研究所项目首页展示了颜宁教授作为获奖者的照片,并引用她的访谈称,霍华德休斯所给予的经费,和其他项目相比,比较少,但他可以让你自由决定做什么:

The amount of money providedby Hughes is relatively small compared to other programs, but it has the advantage that you can freely decide what to do with it

而颜宁这两天被人翻出的2014年的旧博客,也对霍华德休斯医学研究所所给予的支持赞赏有加:

说到这儿,忍不住感谢一下HHMI,三年前在我连XylE都还没做出来,一丁点前期结果都没有,就大放厥词说要做GLUT1-4时,他们还是选择相信我。也许,创新如同风险投资。你可以说,中国的纳税人金钱不允许失败,HHMI是私人机构无所谓。但我们终要比较的是所有经费这个大盘子产出了多少成果,而不是某一个具体资助的成功或失败,不是吗?

不过这些都是题外话了。今天,我们热烈祝贺获奖的7位科技新锐,也祝福他(她)们不为基金所困,在这个项目支持下,自由自在地探索他(她)们感兴趣的课题,做出改变世界的成果。


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