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CAS Overseas Expert Prof. Liu Hung-wen Visits DICP
  English.dicp.cas.cn    Posted:2015-09-29    From:Group 1816

Hung-wen Liu, the George Hitchings Regent Chair in Drug Design, Professor in the Medicinal Chemistry Division of the College of Pharmacy and the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin, visited DICP on September 20-27. Prof. Liu was invited by Prof. Zongbao K. Zhao as the recipient of the CAS Overseas Expert.

Prof. Liu gave two lectures in the conference hall of the Biotechnology Building on September 21 and 25 entitled “Studies of SpnF-catalyzed [4+2]-cycloaddition in the biosynthesis of spinosyn A” and “Biosynthetic studies of thiosugar formation”, respectively. Prof. Zongbao K. Zhao hosted his lectures. Prof. Xueming Yang, the Vice Director of DICP, delivered a welcome speech and awarded the “CAS Overseas Expert” certificate. Faculty and students from Division of Biotechnology, State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, and Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy (DNL) attended the lectures.

During the first lecture, Prof. Liu overviewed the biosynthesis of pesticide compound spinosyn A, focused on the mechanism of SpnF, which apparently catalyzes a [4+2]-cycloaddition, and demonstrated solid evidences to support SpnF as a natural Diels-Alderase. The second lecture first summarized strategies for biosynthesis of sulfur-containing metabolites, followed by the mechanism for 2-thiosugar formation. It turned out that the 2-thiosugar synthase BexX uses a unique mechanism including hijacking sulfur-carrier protein from primary metabolism as sulfur source for C-S bond formation. Active discussions were carried out following the lecture.

Prof. Liu also visited several groups of Division of Biotechnology, State Key Laboratory of Catalysis, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Reaction Dynamics and Dalian National Laboratory for Clean Energy. He had in-depth discussions with faculty, staff and students at DICP.



Prof. Liu's research lies at the crossroads of chemistry and biology, and focuses on the elucidation of the chemical mechanisms of enzymes that catalyze mechanistically unusual and physiologically important steps in the biosynthetic pathways of natural products. His outstanding achievements has earned himself many awards including the NIH Research Career Development Award (1990), the Horace S. Isbell Award (1993), the MERIT Award (1999), the Nakanishi Prize (2007), the Repligen Award (2008), the A. I. Scott Medal (2011), the Arthur C. Cope Late Career Scholars Award (2014), and the CAS Overseas Expert (2015). He is an academician of Academia Sinica (2008) and a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology, the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, and the American Chemical Society. He was an Honorary Professor of the University of Hong Kong, National Tsing Hua University, and Tunghai University. He serves on many review panels and editorial boards. He has been an Associate Editor of Organic Letters since 2004. He is also an active member in many professional societies, and was the chair of the American Chemical Society Biological Division during 2013-2014. Prof. Liu has published over 240 publications including Science, Nature and its series, PNAS, and JACS.

(Text/Wujun Liu, Photo/Xueying Wang)



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