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[2013/12/11] Congratulations to Prof. Zee-Fen Chang on Receiving the 57th Academic Award of Ministry of Education

[2013/12/11]

Congratulations to Prof. Zee-Fen Chang on Receiving the 57th Academic Award of Ministry of Education

Prof. Zee-Fen Chang, Director of the Institute of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, has won this year's Academic Award for "Biology and Medical and Agricultural Science" category. The award ceremony will be held on December 31, 2013 at the National Taiwan Library. The Academic Award was established by the Ministry of Education to encourage academic research and enhance academic standards. This award is bestowed upon domestic researchers who have been recognized by academia for their significant contributions or outstanding accomplishments in academic research.

Prof. Chang's research has been focused on the regulation of deoxynucleotide metabolism in the cell cycle of human cells. Her works have discovered that TK1 and TMPK, two important enzymes in dTTP synthesis, are degraded in the mitotic phase. This mitotic proteolytic control of cellular level of dTTP is critical for the maintenance genome stability. Her laboratory also established TMPK inhibition as a way increase doxorubicin sensitivity in a variety of tumor cell lines and developed TMPK inhibitor for anti-cancer conjunction treatment. Her mechanistic study elucidates a new concept that TMPK and RNR are recruited to the DNA damage site for providing balanced dNTPs for DNA repair. When blocking TMPK, the high level of RNR in tumor cells causes DNA repair toxicity due to erroneous nucleotide incorporation, thereby sensitizing tumor cells to doxorubicin. Normal proliferating cells are devoid of this repair toxicity because of low level of RNR present in the cells.

The general genome toxicity of TMPK inhibitors invented by Prof. Chang's laboratory is much lower than conventional thymidylate synthase inhibitor, such as 5FU. Therefore, TMPK inhibitor can be used in conjunction with low dose of chemotherapeutic agent for developing a mild therapy in cancer treatment.

Prof. Chang is grateful for all the colleagues in the laboratory and her collaborators in accomplishing the current research work. She also acknowledged her gratitude to the grant supports by National Science Council and National Health Research Institute.

 Prof. Zee-Fen Chang

Prof. Zee-Fen Chang


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