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Wang Yanli, Li Guohong named as HHMI International Early Career Scientists

Updated: 2017-10-25

Wang Yanli and Li Guohong, members of the Biophysical Society of China and research fellows of the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, were recently elected to the second group of HHMI International Early Career Scientists. HHMI will provide them with a total fund of $650,000 over five years.

HHMI (the Howard Hughes Medical Institute) was established in 1953. As one of the largest non-profit private medical institutes in the world, it spends over $800 million per year for biomedical research. It initiated the HHMI International Early Career Scientist award in 2012 to subsidize distinguished scientists from nearly 20 countries other than the United States. The recipients must have received scientific research training in the US, have established their own research institutes within last seven years and have the potential to play leading scientific roles in their home countries. 

Wang Yanli, HHMI International Early Career Scientist

Research experience

2002-2004: Doctor, University of Science and Technology of China

2005-2006: Assistant research fellow, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

2006-2011: Post-doctor, associate research fellow and senior research fellow of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center

2011 until now: Research fellow of the Hundred Talents Program of the Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences


2016 the Award for the Women of Science

2016 the ninth Tan Jiazhen Life Sciences Innovation Award

2015 Cell Press Paper of the Year in China

2015 Hundred Excellent Scientists Award

2015 Excellent Graduate Advisor Award of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Research direction

Study on the mechanism of action of CRISPR/Cas system

Structural biology study on the gene silencing by small molecules

Representative papers
1. Liu L, Li X …Wang Y. Two distant catalytic sites are responsible for C2c2RNase activities. Cell 2017,168:121-134. 
2. Liu L, Chen P … Wang Y. C2c1-sgRNA complex structure reveals RNA-guided DNA cleavage mechanism. Molecular Cell  2017, 65. 
3. Wang J, Ma J … Wang Y. A CRISPR evolutionary arms race: structural insights into viral anti-CRISPR/Cas responses. Cell Research 2016, 26:1165–1168. 
4. Wang J, Li J… Wang Y., Structural and mechanistic basis of PAM-dependent spacer aquisition in CRISPR-Cas system. Cell 2015, 163: 840-853.   
5. Zhao H, Sheng G … Wang Y. Crystal structure of the RNA-guided immune surveillance Cascade complex in Escherichia coli. Nature 2014, 151: 147-150.   
6. Swarts DC, Makarova K, Wang Y et al. The evolutionary journey of Argonaute proteins. Nature structural & molecular biology 2014, 21: 743-753.   
7. Sheng G, Zhao H …Wang Y. Structure-based cleavage mechanism of Thermus thermophilus Argonaute DNA guide strand-mediated DNA target cleavage. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2014,111(2): 652-657.   
8. Rüdel S, WangY, et al. Phosphorylation of human Argonaute proteins affects small RNA binding. NucleicAcids Res 2011,39:2330-43.   
9. Wang Y,et al. Structural and functional insights into 5'-ppp RNA pattern recognition by the innate immune receptor RIG-I. Nat Struct Mol Biol. 2010, 17:781-787. 
10. Wang Y, et al. Nucleation, propagation and cleavage of target RNAs in Ago silencing complexes. Nature 2009, 461:754-761.   
11. Wang Y, et al. Structure of an argonaute silencing complex with a seed-containing guide DNA and target RNA duplex. Nature 2008, 56:921-926.   
12. Wang Y, et al. Structure of the guide-strand-containing argonaute silencing complex. Nature 2008, 456: 209-213.   
13. Wang Y, et al. Seeing the process of histidine phosphorylation in human bisphosphoglycerate mutase. J Biol Chem. 2006, 281:39642-8.   
14. Wang Y, et al. Crystal structure of human B type phosphoglyceratemutase bound with citrate. Biochem Biophys Res Commun 2005, 331:1207-15.   
15. WangY, et al. Crystal structure of human bisphosphoglycerate mutase. J Biol Chem 2004, 279: 39132-8.

Li Guohong, HHMI International Early Career Scientist

Research experience

1991-1995: Bachelor of Science, Wuhan University

1995-1998: Master of Science, Peking University Health Science Center

1998-2003: Doctor, Max Planck Institute/ Heidelberg University in Germany

2003-2009: Post-doctor, Howard Hughes Medical Institute

2009 till now: Research fellow of Hundred Talents Program of Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Sciences

Research direction

1. Study on the assembly, structure and regulation mechanism of 30nm chromatin fibers

2. Study on the structure and function of centromeric chromatin

3. Study on the molecular mechanism of chromatin structure and cell fate decision

Representative papers
1. W Li, P Chen … G Li. (2016) FACT remodels the tetranucleosomal unit of chromatin fibers for gene transcription. Molecular Cell 64(1),120-133. 
2. Q Zhao, J Zhang …G Li, J Wong (2016) Dissecting the precise role of H3K9 methylation in crosstalk with DNA maintenance methylation in mammals. Nature Communications.7,12464. 
3. Q Fang, P Chen… G Li, RM Xu. (2016) Human cytomegalovirus IE1 protein alters the higher-order chromatin structure by targeting the acidic patch of the nucleosome. Elife. 5,e11911. 
4. J Fang, Y Liu …G Li. (2015) Structural transitions of centromeric chromatin regulate the cell cycle-dependent recruitment of CENP-N. Genes & Development. 29 (10),1058-73. 
5. Z Yu, X Zhou … G Li. (2015) Dynamic Phosphorylation of CENP-A at Ser68 orchestrates Its cell-cycle-dependent deposition at centromeres. Developmental Cell 32(1), 68-81. 
6. F Song, P Chen … G Li. (2014) Cryo-EM study reveals a double helix of the 30 nm chromatin fiber twisted by tetra-nucleosomal units. Science 344 (6182), 376-380. 
7. P Chen, J Zhao … G Li. (2013) H3.3 actively marks enhancers and primes gene transcription via opening higher-ordered chromatin. Genes & Development v27(19), 2109-2124. 
8. CP Liu, C Xiong … G Li, RM Xu. (2012)Structure of the variant histone H3.3-H4 heterodimer in complex with its chaperone DAXX. Nature Structural and MolecularBiology. 19(12), 1287-1292.