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[2010/06/07] Congratulations to Dr. Ting-Fen Tsai, the winner of Y. Z. Hsu Scientific Paper Award 2010

Yang Ming Advances 6 Positions to 41st in the QS Asian University Ranking for 2010

[99/06/07]

Congratulations to Dr. Ting-Fen Tsai, the winner of Y. Z. Hsu Scientific Paper Award 2010

Congratulations to Dr. Ting-Fen Tsai (Department of Life Sciences and Institute of Genome Sciences, National Yang-Ming University) who was selected as one of the two winners in the category of Bio-medical technology for 2010 Y. Z. Hsu Scientific Paper Award. The award is administered by Far Eastern Y. Z. Hsu Science and Technology Memorial Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Taiwan, dedicated to the memorial of Mr. Y. Z. Hsu. The major mission of the foundation is to motivate more science and technology innovative activities in Taiwan.

Dr. Ting-Fen Tsai and colleagues present a new animal model of human Wolfram Syndrome, and effectively link CISD2 gene function, mitochondrial integrity and aging in mammals. The article has published in May 15th issue of Genes & Development in 2009 entitled “Cisd2 deficiency drives premature aging and causes mitochondria-mediated defects in mice”. In addition, this article had been featured as the Cover Story of Genes & Development (May 15, 2009).

The CISD2 gene is located on the long arm of human chromosome number 4, which has been previously implicated in the regulation of human longevity through a comparative genome analysis of centenarian siblings. Dr. Tsai’s research team sought to uncover the physiological function of CISD2.

Dr. Tsai’s research team demonstrated that Cisd2 mediates mitochondrial integrity and life span in mammals. CISD2, the causative gene for Wolfram syndrome 2 (WFS2), is a previously uncharacterized novel gene. Using a mouse genetic approach, Dr. Tsai’s work demonstrated for the first time that Cisd2 is involved in mammalian life span control. Cisd2 deficiency in mice leads to mitochondrial breakdown and dysfunction; this is accompanied by cell death with autophagic features and these events precede the two earliest manifestations of nerve and muscle degeneration. Together, they lead to a panel of phenotypic features suggestive of premature aging. This work effectively links Cisd2 gene function, mitochondrial integrity and aging in mammals.

Furthermore, Dr. Tsai’s group had not only demonstrated that this mutant mouse is an appropriate animal model of Wolfram syndrome 2, but also clarified how deficiency in CIDS2 results in the disease. They also distinguish the disease’s underlying cellular mechanism from that of the highly related disease Wolfram syndrome 1, which is caused by defects in a different cellular organelle and maps to a different disease gene, WFS1.

 


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