AWARDEE OF LIFE SCIENCES PRIZE
Li Zaiping， molecular biologist, member of Chinese Academy of Engineering, research professor of Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, was born on Aug. 17, 1925 in Beijing. He graduated from Peking University, Department of Chemistry in 1947, and was as an assistant then a lecturer thereafter in Section of Biochemistry, Medical School of Peking University , He was an associate professor since 1960, professor and director of Laboratory of Molecular Genetics, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, since 1978.
Li Zaiping is one of the pioneer scientists started his research in molecular biology of the gene as well as genetic engineering in China, His major contribution came from the following projects.
1. He and his group was the first in getting the full-length genomic DNA clone pADR-1 of hepatitis B virus (HBV) subtype adr, the most prevalent HBV subtype in China. The complete sequence of pADR-1 was also the first sequencing data of virus genome being determined in China. From the large family of pADR clones he found that there exist distinct variations in sequence, indicating strains of different pathogenicities may exist due to their polymorphism in genome strcture. An immune escape mutant S 144 Asp→Ala had been identified. For the gene regulation of HBV, a new enhancer element ENII had been identified, which is of key importance in the replication of HBV genome. He and his group also developed recombinant HBV vaccine with high protective efficacy.
2. A secretive expression system in E.coli had been successfully worked out which gave high yield of human EGF and human GM-CSF.The products were all in native conformation and good in biological activities. Both of these products had been approved for production.
3. Functional genomics studies: A new gene LPTS (liver-related putative tumor suppressor) in chromosome 8p23 had been identified.
Li Zaiping published over180 papers,and won a national Natural Science Prize of 2 class in 1989, a National Prize of Progress in Science and Technology of 1st calss in1993.