Biography & Introduction
1984B.Sc. Xiamen University;
1991Ph.D., UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas;
1991-1995Postdoctoral Fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, UCSD;
1995-2001Principal Investigator, IMCB, Singapore;
2001-2006Assistant Professor/Associate Professor (tenured), Hong Kong University of Science and Technology;
2003 to Present Dean, School of Life Sciences, Xiamen University;
2001 to Present Professor, Cheung Kong Scholar, Xiamen University.
Our research lies in the broad area of the molecular mechanisms that underlie metabolic homeostasis and its relationship to cell growth control. We have discovered a signaling pathway comprising the protein kinase GSK3, acetyltransferase TIP60, and protein kinase ULK1, which activates autophagy in cells deprived of serum, elucidating the molecular mechanism linking nutritional starvation to autophagy. More recently, we have that the low-energy signal AMP can autonomously initiate assembly of an activating complex for the energy sensor kinase AMPK. Current interests include further exploration of how AMPK is regulated at the molecular biology, subcellular organelle, and organismal levels, and study of how the autophagy cross-talks to the overall metabolic control or reprogramming. Our ultimate goal is to reveal a unifying mechanism that governs metabolic homeostasis in response to metabolic stresses, and the metabolic checkpoint for cell growth.