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[2013/01/15] 8th TienTe Lee Biomedical Awards Recipients at Yang Ming University
8th TienTe Lee Biomedical Awards Recipients at Yang Ming University


8th TienTe Lee Biomedical Awards Recipients at Yang Ming University

Dr. Tz-Chuen Ju (Institute of Neuroscience), Dr. Wen-Hao Yang (Institute of Clinical Medicine),Dr. Wei-Lun Hwang (Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology),and Dr. Chun-Yu Wei (Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology) receive the 8th TienTe Lee Biomedical Awards-- Distinguished Thesis Awards.

Dr. Tz-Chuen Ju graduated from the Institute of neuroscience at National Yang-Ming University under the supervision of Dr. Yijuang Chern. Dr. Ju receives this award based on her Ph.D. thesis entitled "Nuclear translocation of AMPK-alpha1 potentiates striatal neurodegeneration in Huntington's disease". Dr. Ju demonstrated that the alpha1 isoform of AMPK was specifically activated and translocated into the nuclei of neurons in a mouse model of Huntington's disease. Further stimulation of AMPK-alpha1 also greatly enhanced the death of striatal neurons. Importantly, a beneficial reagent (CGS21680) significantly enhanced the expression of a survival protein (Bcl2) by attenuating the detrimental role of AMPK-alpha1 via a cAMP/PKA-dependent pathway.

Dr. Wen-Hao Yang graduated from Institute of Clinical Medicine, and his adviser is Dr. Muh-Hwa Yang. The title of the awarded thesis is "RAC1 activation mediates Twist1-induced cancer cell migration". He proposed that the EMT inducer Twist1 cooperates with Bmi1 to suppress let-7i expression, which results in upregulation of NEDD9 and DOCK3, leading to RAC1 activation and enabling mesenchymal-mode movement in three-dimensional environments. This study provides a reasonable explanation for the clinical observation that HNSCC results in severe local tissue destruction with a relative low frequency of distal organ metastasis.

Dr. Wei-Lun Hwang was admitted to the TIGP-Molecular Medicine program and registered with the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, National Yang-Ming University under the supervision of Dr. Hsei-Wei Wang (Professor, Institute of Microbiology and Immunology, National Yang-Ming University). His research entitled "SNAIL Regulates Interleukin-8 Expression, Stem-Cell-Like Activity, and Tumorigenicity of Human Colorectal Carcinoma Cells" is selected for TienTe Lee Award this year. Dr. Hwang found that degree of cell dedifferentiation is correlated with a poor prognosis and tumor recurrence. To characterize stemness properties of colon cancer stem cells (Co-CSCs) for developing novel therapeutic approaches, Dr. Hwang deciphered the genetic networks of Co-CSCs by systems biology approaches and defined the transcription factor Snail is the most dominant epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) regulator that maintains embryonic stem cell-related gene expression and stem-cell properties of Co-CSCs by activating Interleukin-8 (IL8) expression.

Dr. Chun-Yu Wei was instructed by Dr. Yuan-Tsong Chen from the Institute of Biomedical Sciences, Academia Sinica and Dr. Shuen-Iu Hung from the Institute of Pharmacology, Yang-Ming University. The title of the award paper is "Direct interaction between HLA-B and carbamazepine activates T cells in patients with Stevens-Johnson syndrome". Their research demonstrated that HLA-B*1502 can present CBZ to specific cytotosic T cells. Furthermore, the surface plasmon resonance analysis showed that HLA-B*1502 not only interacted with CBZ but also showed binding affinity toward chemicals sharing 5-carboxamide on the tricyclic ring, as with CBZ. This study demonstrates a direct interaction of HLA with drugs, provides a detailed molecular mechanism of HLA-associated drug hypersensitivity and has clinical correlations for CBZ-related drug-induced SJS/TEN.



Dr. Tz-Chuen Ju


Dr. Wen-Hao Yang


Dr. Wei-Lun Hwang


Dr. Chun-Yu Wei