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PKU Professor Xiaoliang Sunney Xie awarded Qiu Shi Outstanding Scientist Award of 2017

SEP . 30 2017
Peking University, Sep.16, 2017: Professor Xiaoliang Sunney Xie of PKU was awarded 2017 Qiu Shi Outstanding Scientist Award for his outstanding contributions in single-molecule biology and precision medicine. Professor Xie is the director of Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics (ICG) of PKU, director of Biodynamics Optical Imaging Center (BIOPIC) of PKU, member of US National Academy of Sciences, member of US National Academy of Medicine, chair professor at Harvard University.

The 2017 Qiu Shi Awards Presenting Ceremony was held in Guanghua building of Fudan University, September 16. Mr. Mou Sing Cha, Chairman of Qiu Shi Science & Technologies Foundation, Chen-Ning Franklin Yang and Han Qide, advisors of the foundation were at the ceremony, which was also attended by renowned scientists from all academic fields. Qiu Shi Awards was set up by the Qiu Shi Science & Technologies Foundation, which was established by Mr. Chi-Ming Cha and his family in Hong Kong in 1994 with 20 million dollars. Qiu Shi awards is conferred to Chinese scientists with distinguished achievements in science on a yearly basis.

Through evaluations by 2017 Qiu Shi Awards reviewing committee, the advisory board and executive committee of the foundation, the Outstanding Scientist Award is conferred to Xiaoliang Sunney Xie of Peking University and Chen Shiyi of Southern University of Science and Technology. Outstanding Scientific Research Team Award goes to the research team of Molecular Genetics of Rice, led by professor Li Jiayang from Institute of Genetics and Development Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences. In addition, ten eminent young scientists received the Outstanding Young Scholar Award.

2017 Qiu Shi Outstanding Scientist Award Recipient Xiaoliang Sunney Xie

Professor Xie received a B.S. in chemistry from Peking University, followed by his Ph.D. in 1990 from the University of California at San Diego. He conducted postdoctoral research at the University of Chicago and in 1992 joined Pacific Northwest National Laboratory(PNNL), becoming the first scientist from the People's Republic of China(PRC) ever since PNNL’s foundation in 1965. In 1999, he became the first lifetime professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard University from PRC after reform and opening up. Since 2009, Xie has been the Mallinckrodt Professor at Harvard University, the first Chinese scholar receiving such an honor.

The awarding words for Professor Xie goes like this: Xiaoliang Sunney Xie is a founding father of single-molecule enzymology and single-molecule biophysical chemistry, the pioneer of CARS (coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering) microscopy and single-molecule genomics. He adopted techniques of chemistry and physics to study the life process, becoming the leading scholar in single-molecule single-cell biology. His creative research work and innovation in biotechnology have changed the research way of many basic questions in biology. Xie also made distinguished contributions in fundamental research and transfer of clinical medicine, especially in the field of precision medicine.

In 1998, Xie’s group adopted fluorescence microscope to observe the catalytic cycle of a single-molecule enzyme for the first time, which was considered as a milestone in single-molecule enzymology by the academia. In 1999, they developed CARS (coherent anti-Stokes Raman Scattering) microscopy, which was a brand-new research area. In 2006, Xie’s group captured the real-time protein production in live cells and conducted quantitative description of central dogma of biology. In 2012, they made a breakthrough in single-molecule biology and developed a quasilinear whole genome amplification method----multiple annealing and looping based amplification cycles (MALBAC) technology. In medical area, MLBAC technology can be used in vitro fertilization to screen embryos before implantation and help couples with monogenetic diseases to have healthy offspring.

In collaboration with Qiao Jie's group at Peking University Third Hospital and Tang Fuchou's group at BIOPIC, Peking University, the first baby screened with multiple annealing and looping based amplification cycles (MALBAC) technology was born in the Peking University Third Hospital on September 19, 2014, which marked the leading status of China’s pre-implantation screening technology. Up to now, hundreds of Chinese families with monogenetic diseases have benefited from MALBAC technology and successfully prevented disease transmission to the next generation.

Professor Xie has been working as a part-time teacher at Peking University from 2008. In 2010, Xie, together with several other professors from PKU proposed and led to establish Biodynamics Optical Imaging Center (BIOPIC) at Peking University, which has become a world-famous technology-driven biomedical research center after many years’ efforts. In 2016, Beijing municipality appointed and supported Xie to establish Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Genomics (ICG) in order to promote the development of precision medicine in the area of genomics.

Xiaoliang Sunney Xie said that, at Peking University, he not only had the chance to carry out leading basic scientific research, but more luckily, he can have the opportunity to promote the transferring from advanced technology to clinical medicine and make contributions to improving people’s health at both home and abroad.

As mentioned in the awarding words of the Qiu Shi foundation, Xiaoliang Sunney Xie has been working hard through the years, and he has the courage to break the boundaries of disciplines. His study covers a great range, including physical-chemistry, biophysics, biochemistry, molecular biology, genomics and clinical medicine. He epitomizes great Chinese scientist.

Written by: Wu Chaochao
Edited by: Wang Yuqing
Source: PKU News(Chinese)