2022 Asia Pacific Protein Association Young Scientist Award

The 2022 APPA Young Scientist Award winner is Dr. Rui Zhou of Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. Dr. Rui Zhou was chosen from a group of outstanding scientists from around the Asia Pacific region who had many high impact publications between them.

Dr. Zhou’s research has focused on the structural basis of γ-secretase processing of proteins, particularly Aβ to release β-amyloid peptides, which accumulates in plaques in Alzheimer’s Disease. This work involved solving cryo-electron microscopic structures of γ-secretase, including those in complex with β-amyloid peptides and Notch targets, to see what unique features may exist in β-amyloid peptide binding that would allow development of specific drugs for application to Alzheimer’s Disease. She has published first author papers in the high impact journals Nature, Science and Cell, along with the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Current Opinion in Structural Biology and Methods in Enzymology. She presented this outstanding work in the APPA Young Scientist Award lecture at the Asia Biophysics Association—Asia Pacific Protein Association—Taiwan Biophysics Society Joint Congress between June 22–25, 2022.

Congratulations to Dr. Rui Zhou and all the other outstanding applicants who have produced ground-breaking work as well.

Selected publications of Dr. Rui Zhou

  1. Jin Chen#, Jiaoni Wang, Yumeng Wang, Bojun Jia, Xuefei Guo, Guanghui Yang, Peng Xu, Paul Greengard, Rui Zhou*, Yigong Shi*. Modulation of amyloid precursor protein cleavage by gamma-secretase activating protein through phase separation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 2022. In press. (# co-first author, * corresponding author)
  2. Guanghui Yang#, Rui Zhou#, Xuefei Guo, Chuangye Yan, Jianlin Lei, Yigong Shi*. Structural basis of γ-secretase inhibition and modulation by small molecule drugs. Cell. 2021;184(2):521–533.e14. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33373587/)
  3. Rui Zhou#, Guanghui Yang#, Xuefei Guo, Qiang Zhou, Jianlin Lei, Yigong Shi*. Recognition of the amyloid precursor protein by human γ-secretase. Science, 2019; 363(6428): eaaw0930. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30630874/)
  4. Guanghui Yang#, Rui Zhou#, Qiang Zhou, Xuefei Guo, Chuangye Yan, Meng Ke, Jianlin Lei, Yigong Shi*. Structural basis of Notch recognition by human γ-secretase. Nature, 2018; 565(7738):192–197. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30598546/)
  5. Rui Zhou#*, Guanghui Yang#*, Yigong Shi*. Dominant negative effect of the loss-of function γ-secretase mutants on the wild-type enzyme through heterooligomerization. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017: 201713605.
  6. Linfeng Sun#, Rui Zhou#, Guanghui Yang#, Yigong Shi*. Analysis of 138 pathogenic mutations in presenilin-1 on the in vitro production of Aβ42 and Aβ40 peptides by γ-secretase. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2017, 114(4): E476–E485. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/27930341/)
  7. Linfeng Sun#, Lingyun Zhao#, Guanghui Yang#, Chuangye Yan#, Rui Zhou#, Xiaoyuan Zhou, Tian Xie, Yanyu Zhao, Shenjie Wu, Xueming Li, and Yigong Shi#. Structural basis of human γ-secretase assembly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2015,112(19): 6003–6008. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25918421/)
  8. Guanghui Yang*, Rui Zhou*, Yigong Shi*. Cryo-EM structures of human γ-secretase. Current Opinion in Structural Biology, 2017, 46: 55–64. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28628788/)
  9. Rui Zhou*, Yigong Shi*, Guanghui Yang*. Chapter Five-Expression, purification, and enzymatic characterization of intramembrane proteases. Methods in Enzymology, 2017,584: 127–155. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28065261/)
  10. Tian Xie#, Chuangye Yan#, Rui Zhou, Yanyu Zhao, Linfeng Sun, Guanghui Yang, Peilong Lu, Dan Ma, Yigong Shi*. Crystal structure of the γ-secretase component nicastrin. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2014, 111(37): 13349–13354. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25197054/)
  11. Xiao-chen Bai#, Chuangye Yan#, Guanghui Yang#, Peilong Lu, Dan Ma, Linfeng Sun, Rui Zhou, Sjors H.W. Scheres, Yigong Shi*. An atomic structure of human γ-secretase. Nature, 2015, 525(7568): 212. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26280335/)
  12. Peilong Lu#, Xiao-chen Bai#, Dan Ma#, Tian Xie, Chuangye Yan, Linfeng Sun, Yanyu Zhao, Rui Zhou, Sjors H.W. Scheres, Yigong Shi*. Three-dimensional structure of human γ-secretase. Nature, 2014, 512(7513): 166. (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25043039/)

Dr. Rui Zhou