Life Science Trio Holds ShanghaiTech BioForum


On November 10-14th, the 2019 ShanghaiTech BioForum wassuccessfully held at ShanghaiTech University. For the first time, the BioForumwas jointly organized by the three life science institutions of ShanghaiTechUniversity - School of Life Science and Technology (SLST), Shanghai Institutefor Advanced Immunochemical Studies (SIAIS) and iHuman Institute (iHuman),which compose the “ShanghaiTech Life Science Complex” devoting to research inlife science field. The organizing committee was comprised of faculty membersfrom the three institutions, including Professors Ernesto Carafoli, Liu Jilong,Liu Zhijie, Luo Zhenge, Raymond Stevens, and Ian Wilson.

This year’s theme was “Cellular Mechanisms in Health andDisease” and 29 distinguished speakers, including the Nobel Laureate MichaelLevitt, were invited from world-renowned institutions, including the ScrippsResearch Institute, Princeton University, Case Western Reserve University,University of Padova, Goethe University Frankfurt, National Institute of BiologicalSciences Beijing, ShanghaiTech University, St. Jude Children’s ResearchHospital, etc. Over 500 attendees from academic, industrial and healthcarecommunities gathered together at ShanghaiTech, sharing their insights onvarious topics in the field of cellular mechanisms.

Dr. Liu Jilong, SLST Vice Dean and professor, chaired theopening ceremony and warmly welcomed all attendees. Dr. Yin Jie, Vice Presidentand Provost of ShanghaiTech University, delivered the opening remarks. Dr. YinJie introduced the mission and vision of ShanghaiTech, demonstrating that as asmall and focused research university, ShanghaiTech is cultivating astimulating environment for innovative research with top-tier faculty,accessibility to large scientific facilities, and a research-orientedcurriculum.

Dr. Yin Jie,ShanghaiTech University

Dr. Liu Jilong,ShanghaiTech University

The BioForum featured three keynote speakers. Dr.Virginijus Siksnys, one of the CRISPR pioneers, delivered the opening keynotelecture. In his lecture entitled “CRISPR-Cas: from bacterial immunity to genomeediting and beyond,” Dr. Siksnys summarized their journey to the discovery ofCRISPR, discussed strategies to overcome the limitations of CRISPR, andforecasted further applications of CRISPR beyond genome editing. Nobel LaureateDr. Michael Levitt spoke on “A wonderful life in science,” and gave a briefreview of the origin of modern biology. Dr. Levitt also discussed the origin,development and future applications of computational biology, and concluded hislecture with advice to students � “be passionate, be persistent, be creative,be kind and good.” Top structural biologist Dr. Xu Wenqing presented hislecture as “Structural and Mechanistic Dissection of Wnt Signaling,” fittingperfectly into the theme of the BioForum. He focused on the structural studieson Wnt signaling pathway, and explored the possibility of applying Wntinhibitors to anticancer therapy and regenerative medicine.

Dr. VirginijusSiksnys, Vilnius University

Dr. MichaelLevitt, ShanghaiTech University & Stanford University

Dr. Xu Wenqing,ShanghaiTech University

The five-day BioForum featured 26 other lectures,focusing on six sub-themes in the field of cellular mechanisms in health anddisease: 1) Mitochondria in Health and Disease, with talks by speakersincluding Dr. Luca Scorrano, Dr. Douglas Wallace, Dr. Liu Ying, and Dr.Alexandra Trifunovic; 2) Organellar Stress and Death, with talks by Dr. KangYibin, Dr. Ivan Dikic, Dr. Ehud Cohen, Dr. Jiang Xuejun, and Dr. Fan Gaofeng;3) Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience, with speakers Dr. Yu Fengwei, Dr. JinYishi, Dr. Xie Ting, Dr. Martin Friedlander, and Dr. Han Chun; 4) Immunity andMetabolism, with speakers Dr. Kole Roybal, Dr. Feng Yongqiang, and Dr. SongBaoliang; 5) Dynamics and Patterning, with talks by Dr. Bai Lu, Dr. Mei Lin,Dr. Tong Xiajing, Dr. Zhou Bin, Dr. Tang Chao, and Dr. Zhao Suwen; 6) Cellularand Molecular Machineries, with talks by Dr. Du Lilin, Dr. Chen Lingling, andDr. Zhao Jian. The speakers and attendees had insightful discussions on thetopics, bringing in new ideas for future research as well as technologytransfer.

BioForum Audience

In addition to the main sessions, the BioForum alsooffered various activities, including an innovative Flash-Talks session, liveperformance by the ShanghaiTech student orchestra, a volunteer appreciationsession, etc. The Flash-Talks session was one of the highlights of theconference, attracting enthusiastic participations from both inside theconference center and on online platforms. The Flash-Talks session lasted 3days, including three sessions - a poster presentation, public vote session andoral presentation. Among 120 posters submitted and presented by young scholarsand students, 10 were voted for poster awards, and 9 were voted as the best ofthe posters to be presented in a 5-minutes presentation competing for the finalawards. The Flash-Talks session was highly appreciated, stimulating thescientific communication between hundreds of attendees, including the speakers,the committee, faculty members and the students.

Dr. Michael Levitt(ShanghaiTech University & Stanford University) and other Flash-Talkscommittee members scoring the presentations

Dr. Lin Haifan(ShanghaiTech University &Yale University) presenting the grand award ofFlash-Talks

The Flash-Talkscommittee presenting awards to the Flash-Talks and poster awards winners

The committeeawarding volunteers certificates

The 2019 ShanghaiTech Bioforum was a resounding success,bringing in the most cutting-edge advances in the field of “Cellular Mechanismsin Health and Disease.” The BioForum was vital to its mission as an educationalplatform with a wide range of topics. The young generation was provided withclose encounters with distinguished scientists to promote their research at theinternational platform and to collect valuable thoughts.

This BioForum is also a grand gathering forShanghaiTech’s Life Science Complex. By bringing the three life scienceinstitutions - SLST, SIAIS and iHuman - together to work closely, the BioForumgreatly improved their communication and set a better foundation for futurecollaborations. “Life Science is the future”, said Dr. Ernesto Carafoli in hisclosing remarks. The ShanghaiTech Life Science Complex will continue toleverage life science and technology to benefit human health and beyond in thefuture.

2019 ShanghaiTech BioForum group photo