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Prof. Helen H. Hobbs from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center delivered the BEI Shizhang Lecture.

Author: Update time: 2018-06-14

On Sep 21th, 2018, Prof. Helen H. Hobbs from University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, invited by Prof. Pingsheng Liu, visited IBP and gave a BEI Shizhang Lecture entitled “Fatty Liver Disease: Ancient Mutations for a common disease”. Before the lecture, she was awarded by “BEI Shizhang International Award” for her contribution to the study on lipid metabolism associated diseases.

Fatty liver disease (FLD) is a burgeoning health problem that affects one-third of adults and an increasing number of children in the world. Hobbs’s team screened the genomes of these individuals, looking for genes that contribute to the disease. They discovered that the I148M mutation in Patatin-Like Phospholipase Domain-Containing 3 (PNPLA3) gene are strongly associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, steatosis, fibrosis/cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma on a background of metabolic, alcoholic, and viral insults. The genetically-modified mice study show that neither ablation nor overexpression of wild-type PNPLA3 affects liver fat content in mice, whereas hepatic overexpression of the human 148M transgene causes steatosis. They found that physiological expression of PNPLA3 148M variant but not its apparent physiologic function disruption causes FLD, and the accumulation of catalytically inactive PNPLA3 on the surfaces of lipid droplets(LDs) is associated with the accumulation of TG in the liver.

The 2016 Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences awarded to her for the discovery of human genetic variants that alter the levels and distribution of cholesterol and other lipids. She discovered the link between a mutation in the PCSK9 gene and low levels of cholesterol. This discovery led to the swift development of a drug to lower refractory high cholesterol and thus prevent heart disease.

Prof. Helen H. Hobbs gave the lecture with rigorous logic and great passion, which is a lively scientific stroy for the audience. After the lecture, Prof. Helen H. Hobbs and the audience shared their views on the issues of common interest. 

Prof. LIU Pingsheng was introding the BEI Shizhang Lecture

Prof. ZHU Bin issued the "BEI Shizhang International Award" to Prof. Hobbs

Prof. Helen H. Hobbs is giving the lecture

The Audience



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