Professor Li Min (second from right) with her research team members, Dr Song Juxian (second from left), Mr Liu Liangfeng (right) and Ms Chen Leilei attend the 7th International Symposium on Autophagy


李敏教授(右二)與研究團隊的宋聚先博士(左二)、劉亮鋒先生(右)和陳蕾蕾女士出席第七屆國際細胞自噬會議

Date: 16 Apr 2015 (Thursday)

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SCM research team wins Best Poster Award at the 7th International Symposium on Autophagy

中醫藥學院研究團隊獲國際細胞自噬會議頒發最佳海報獎

Professor Li Min and her research team from Mr and Mrs Ko Chi Ming Centre for Parkinson’s Disease Research, School of Chinese Medicine (SCM), recently won the Best Poster Award at the 7th International Symposium on Autophagy held in Huangshan, China. Entitled “A synthesised curcumin derivative activates TFEB to promote autophagy and lysosome biogenesis, and protect neurons independent of mTOR inhibition”, the poster presented by Dr Song Juxian, Research Assistant Professor, at the symposium was selected as one of the two best posters from about 100 posters.
 
Autophagy is a process by which unwanted proteins and damaged organelles are transported to lysosomes for degradation. Professor Li’s team has been actively engaged in the identification and development of novel autophagy regulators derived from Chinese medicines for the prevention and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease. 
 
Transcription factor EB (TFEB), a master regulator of autophagy and lysosome biogenesis, has been shown to be a very promising target for neuroprotective drugs. Professor Li said: “We have discovered a small molecule activator of TFEB, which is independent of mTOR inhibition. Our discovery points towards the development of new drugs for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases. This award attests to the hard work and advances made by SCM in the field of autophagy, neurodegenerative diseases and drug discovery at the international advanced level.”
 

中醫藥學院高智明伉儷柏金遜症研究中心李敏教授研究團隊最近出席在中國黃山舉行的第七屆國際細胞自噬會議,研究助理教授宋聚先博士於會上發表題為「不依賴於抑制mTOR而激活TFEB的一種薑黃素衍生物,促進自噬與溶酶體生物合成以保護神經元」的研究海報,成功從近百篇研究海報中脫穎而出,贏得「最佳海報獎」,成為其中兩篇得獎作品之一。
 
「自噬」是細胞一種高度保守的內環境穩定機制,細胞通過「自噬」將受損的蛋白質和細胞器運送到溶酶體進行降解,以維護細胞的正常功能和新陳代謝。李敏教授的團隊一直致力篩選和開發源自中草藥的新型細胞自噬調節劑,以預防和治療包括柏金遜症和阿爾茨海默病在内的神經退行性疾病。
 
轉錄因子EB(TFEB)作為調節細胞自噬與溶酶體的「開關」分子,在神經保護作用方面是目前頗具潛力的藥物靶點之一。李教授說:「我們團隊發現的TFEB小分子激活劑為不依賴於抑制mTOR的TFEB直接激活劑,這個發現在神經退行性疾病的治療方面頗具開發潛力。該獎項充分證明了浸大中醫藥學院在細胞自噬、神經退行性疾病與藥物研發領域處於國際先進水平。」