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BSC expert named laureate of L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science International Awards

Updated: 2024-05-22

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization and the Foundation L’Oréal announced recipients of the 2024 L’Oréal-UNESCO for Women in Science International Awards on May 14. 

Among the five distinguished laureates is Yan Ning, an academician with the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and chair professor at the School of Life Sciences, Tsinghua University.

She is also founding president of the Shenzhen Medical Academy of Research and Translation, director of the Shenzhen Bay Laboratory, and a committee member of the Cellular Calcium Signaling Academic Subgroup of the Biophysical Society of China (BSC).


File photo shows Yan Ning (C) in the workplace. [Photo/WeChat account: BSC] 

The award recognizes Yan's efforts in paving the way for the development of new therapies. She has revealed the atomic structures of multiple transmembrane proteins, which regulate the cross-membrane transport of glucose and ions. Utilizing the groundbreaking technique of cryo-electron microscopy, which allows scientists to observe the composition and structures of transmembrane channels at the atomic level, she has elucidated the principles of transmembrane transport.

Yan’s research has explained cellular dysfunctions or mutations that may lead to pain, epilepsy and arrhythmia, inspired research into and development of new therapies and drugs such as non-addictive painkillers, and comprehensively revealed how drugs or toxins interact with proteins.