Awards and Honors
The 6th C.C.Tan (Jia-Zhen Tan) Life Science Award (谈家桢生命科学创新奖), 2013
National Outstanding Young Scientist Award, 2012
HHMI International Early Career Scientist Award, 2012
Lilly-Asian Scientific Excellence Award, 2006
Major Professional Activities
Associate Editor, Autophagy, 2012-
Board of Reviewing Editors, eLife, 2016-
Editorial Board Member, The Journal of Cell Biology, 2017-
Editorial Board Member, Cell Death and Differentiation, 2016-
Editorial Board Member, Journal of Cell Science, 2015-
Editorial Board Member, EMBO reports, 2013-
Editorial Board Member, JBC, 2011-
Editorial Board Member, Protein & Cell, 2010-
Editorial Board Member, Autophagy, 2009-2012
Major research interests
Autophagy involves the enclosure of cytoplasmic material in the autophagosome and its subsequent delivery to the lysosome for degradation. Studies of autophagy in yeast have laid the groundwork for a molecular understanding of the autophagy pathway, but fail to consider unique multicellular animal-specific mechanisms for the regulation and function of autophagy. The research interest of our lab currently focuses on the molecular mechanism of the autophagic machinery, the regulation of autophagy activity during development and the physiological function of autophagy. First, we are using C. elegans as a model to identify essential components for basal autophagy and tissue specific variants of autophagy. The molecular mechanism of the identified components will be investigated. Second, using degradation of protein aggregates during C. elegans embryogenesis as a model, we are studying how protein aggregates are selectively recognized and removed by autophagy. Third, we are investigating how autophagic machinery integrates signals from other cells and environmental conditions to maintain cell, tissue and organism homeostasis. Fourth, we are characterizing the function of metazoan-specific autophagy genes in neurodegenerative diseases, especially the molecular mechanism underlying the selective vulnerability of certain neuronal populations. These ongoing studies will provide insights into the molecular mechanism of autophagy and also the mechanism of various diseases associated with impaired autophagy such as neurodegeneration.
1. Wang, Z., Miao, G.Y., Xue, X., Guo, X.Y., Yuan, C.Z., Wang, Z.Y., Zhang, G.M., Feng, D., Hu, J.J., and Zhang, H. (2016) The Vici syndrome protein EPG5 is a Rab7 effector that determines the fusion specificity of autophagosomes with late endosomes/lysosomes. Molecular Cell 63, 781-795.
2. Wu, F., Watanabe, Y., Guo, X.Y., Qi, X., Wang, P., Zhao, H.Y., Wang, Z., Fujioka, Y., Zhang, H., Ren, J.Q., Fang, T.C., Shen, Y.X., Feng, W., Hu, J.J., Noda, N.N. and Zhang, H. (2015) Structural basis of the differential function of the two C. elegans Atg8 homologs, LGG-1 and LGG-2, in autophagy. Molecular Cell 60, 914-929.
3. Zhao, G.Y., Sun, L., Mia, G.Y., Ji, C.C., Zhao, H.Y., Sun, H.Y., Miao, L., Yoshii, S.R., Mizushima, N., Wang X.Q., and Zhang, H. (2015) The autophagy gene Wdr45/Wipi4 regulates learning and memory function and axonal homeostasis. Autophagy 11, 881-890.
4. Guo, B., Liang, Q.Q., Li, L., Hu, Z., Wu, F., Zhang, P.P., Ma, Y.F., Zhao, B., Kovács, A.L., Zhang, Z.Y., Feng, D., Chen, S., and Zhang, H. (2014) O-GlcNAc-modification of SNAP-29 regulates autophagosome maturation. Nature Cell Biology 16, 1215-1226.
5. Li, S.H., Yang, P.G., Tian, E, and Zhang, H. (2013) Arginine methylation modulates autophagic degradation of PGL granules in C. elegans. Molecular Cell 52, 421-433.
6. Lin, L., Yang, P.G., Huang, X.X., Zhang, H., Lu, Q., and Zhang, H. (2013) The scaffold protein EPG-7 links cargo/receptor complexes with the autophagic assembly machinery. The Journal of Cell Biology 201, 113-129.
7. Zhao, H.Y., Zhao, G.Y., Wang, X.W., Xu, L.J., Miao, L., Feng, D., Chen, Q., Kovács, A.L. Fan, D.S., and Zhang, H. (2013) Mice deficient in Epg5 exhibit selective neuronal vulnerability to degeneration. The Journal of Cell Biology 200, 731-741.
8. Lu, Q., Yang, P.G., Huang, X.X., Hu, W.Q., Guo, B., Wu, F., Lin, L., Kovács, A.L., Yu, L. and Zhang, H. (2011) The WD40 repeat PtdIns(3)P-binding protein EPG-6 regulates progression of omegasomes to autophagosomes. Developmental Cell 21, 343-357.
9. Tian, Y., Li, Z.P., Hu, W.Q., Ren, H.Y., Tian, E, Zhao, Y., Lu, Q., Huang, X.X., Yang, P.G., Li, X., Wang, X.C., Kovács, A.L., Yu, L. and Zhang, H. (2010) C. elegans screen identifies autophagy genes specific to multicellular organisms. Cell 141, 1042-1055.
10. Zhang, Y.X., Yan, L.B., Zhou, Z., Yang, P.G., Tian E, Zhang, K., Zhao, Y., Li, Z.P., Song, B., Han, J.H., Miao, L., and Zhang, H. (2009) SEPA-1 mediates the specific recognition and degradation of P granule components by autophagy in C. elegans. Cell 136, 308-321.