Dr Hong Zhang; Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Hong Zhang is an Investigator in the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. Our molecular understanding of autophagy mainly originates from studying Atg (autophagy-related) genes identified in yeast. Dr. Hong Zhang’s research has greatly advanced our understanding of the unique steps in the much more complex autophagy pathway in multicellular organisms. Zhang’s group has established C. elegans as a model for genetic screens to study autophagy and identified a set of metazoan-specific autophagy genes, called Epg genes. Subsequent analysis of these genes has allowed us to understand the unique autophagy steps in multicellular organisms. Dr. Zhang will talk about his group’s recent findings that liquid–liquid phase separation (LLPS) plays important roles in multiple aspects of autophagy, including specification of the autophagosome formation sites in response to ER calcium transients, and triaging of protein cargos for selective degradation.
Dr. Hong Zhang is a New Cornerstone Investigator, and also an Investigator in the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine and had his postdoc training in the MGH Cancer Center, Harvard Medical School. Zhang’s lab demonstrated that during C. elegans embryogenesis, specialized protein aggregates, called PGL granules, are removed by autophagy in somatic cells. Using this as a model, his lab carried out the first systematic genetic screens in multicellular organisms and identified a set of metazoan-specific autophagy genes, called Epg genes. His lab further revealed that Epg genes act at steps unique to the autophagy pathway in multicellular organisms. Currently, the research in Zhang’s lab focuses on the mechanism and role of phase separation of autophagy proteins and regulators in various aspects of autophagy, including execution and regulation of autophagy and also degradation of protein aggregates. The awards he has won in recent years include the VCANBIO Award for Biosciences and Medicine-Achievement Award, the Second Prize of The State Natural Science Award, the Outstanding Achievement Award of the Chinese Society for Cell Biology, and an HHMI International Early Career Scientist Award. Dr. Hong Zhang is an Associate Editor for Autophagy and is also on the Editorial Board for Trends in Biochemical Sciences, Journal of Cell Biology, eLife, EMBO reports, JCS and Cell Death & Differentiation.
Event Time & Dates