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Prof. He Chuan awarded 2023 Wolf Prize in Chemistry
Feb 09, 2023
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Peking University, February 9, 2023: The 2023 Wolf Prize in Chemistry was awarded to chemical biologist Professor He Chuan on the evening of February 7 (Beijing Time), for “discovering reversible RNA methylation and its role in the regulation of gene expression.” The award recognized Professor He Chuan's groundbreaking work in the field of RNA epigenetics and his contributions towards promoting human well-being. 
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The inauguration ceremony of the Synthetic and Functional Biomolecules Center (SFBC) at Peking University in August 2011

Professor He Chuan is a well-respected Chinese-American scientist and currently serves as the John T. Wilson Distinguished Service Professor at the University of Chicago and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He is also a visiting professor at Peking University's College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering since 2009 and the founding director of the Synthetic and Functional Biomolecules Center (SFBC) at Peking University. His contributions have helped establish and grow the Department of Chemical Biology at Peking University.

A world-class expert studying RNA’s post-transcriptional modifications, Professor He has opened up a new frontier in the field of RNA biology. He was the first to discover that RNA modifications are reversible and can control gene expression. His research covers a wide range of areas, including chemical biology, nucleic acid chemistry, biology, epigenetics, and bioinorganic chemistry, with a focus on understanding both RNA and DNA’s modifications and their roles in regulating gene expression. 

Currently, his team is exploring the ways in which RNA modifications control gene expression pathways and their broad impact on mammalian development and human diseases. In recent times, his team's method for RNA demethylation has improved the yield and drought tolerance of plants, and these findings are being applied in clinical settings by laboratories and pharmaceutical companies.

The Wolf Prize has been awarded annually since 1978, with its scientific categories consisting of Medicine, Agriculture, Mathematics, Chemistry, and Physics. This year’s Wolf Prize in Chemistry is jointly awarded to Professors He Chuan, Jeffery W. Kelly, and Hiroaki Suga “for pioneering discoveries that illuminate the functions and pathological dysfunctions of RNA and proteins and for creating strategies to harness the capabilities of these biopolymers in new ways to ameliorate human diseases,” according to the Wolf Foundation.

Edited by: Meng Bin
Source: College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering; The Wolf Foundation