Anti-TB Structure Center Opens at ShanghaiTech


On May 8, 2020, the Founding Ceremony was held for the Anti-Tuberculosis (TB) Structure Center (A-TB Center) of Shanghai Institute for Advanced Immunochemical Studies (SIAIS) at ShanghaiTech University. The ceremony was followed by the First Academic Symposium of the A-TB Center at SIAIS. President Jiang Mianheng and Professor Rao Zihe at SIAIS, Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), jointly unveiled the center.

President Jiang Mianheng and Professor Rao Zihe jointly unveiled the center

The vision of the A-TB center is to establish a systematic and specialized anti-TB research complex. Affiliated with SIAIS, the A-TB center will focus on the structures of anti-TB targets, in efforts to reveal the mechanism of tuberculosis, and develop new drugs and novel therapies to combat the disease. With Mycobacterium tuberculosisthe pathogenic bacterium of tuberculosis, as the study object, future studies planned by the A-TB center will be concentrated on seven research areas: 1) Cell wall synthesis system; 2) Energy metabolism system; 3) Gene regulation system; 4) Secretion system; 5) Cross-scale whole cell imaging; 6) Host-pathogen interactions; 7) Anti-TB drug design and vaccine development. Led by Professor Rao Zihe, the A-TB center will attract a group of distinguished young scientists and researchers from academic, clinical and industrial communities, to form a multidisciplinary joint team concentrated on protein machinery and new drugs.  

Group photo of all attendees

The ceremony was hosted by Dr. Jiang Ge, Executive Director of SIAIS and Vice Provost of ShanghaiTech. Professor Rao Zihe briefly introduced the A-TB center as part of the ceremony.  

Jiang Ge hosted the ceremony


Professor Rao Zihe gave the introduction

Guests in attendance, including Wen Yumei (Professor, School of Medicine, Fudan University; Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering), Pei Gang (Professor, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, CAS; Member of the CAS), Jiang Hualiang (Distinguished Adjunct Professor, SIAIS, ShanghaiTech; Member of the CAS), Sun Xidong (Vice President, Shanghai Alliance Investment), Zhang Xianen (Professor, Institute of Biophysics, CAS), Yang Xiaohong (Vice President of Academic and Government Affairs, Springer Nature) and others, each delivered congratulatory speeches. A congratulation letter from Li Liang, Chairman of Society for Tuberculosis of Chinese Medical Association, was also read to the attendees. Li Ruxin, Secretary of the Party Committee of ShanghaiTech and Member of the CAS, offered congratulations on the founding of the center and encouraged the team to continue delivering groundbreaking research in the future. Finally, President Jiang Mianheng delivered a speech encouraging researchers to continue making achievements in technology innovations.  

President Jiang Mianheng gave a speech

After the ceremony, Professor Rao Zihe hosted the first academic symposium of the ATB center. Professor Yang Haitao (Associate Professor of SIAIS, ShanghaiTech), Dr. Ge Baoxue (Director, Shanghai Tuberculosis (pulmonary) Key Laboratory, and Dr. Zhang Wenhong (Director, Infectious Diseases Department, Huashan Hospital) delivered lectures on Protein machinery and new drugs: a structural perspective on tuberculosis drug discovery, Molecular mechanisms underlying the interactions between tuberculosis infection and host immune system, and Challenges and strategies to end tuberculosis respectively, summarizing the current efforts in anti-TB work from both research and clinical perspectives. 

Dr. Zhang Wenhong was appointed as a member of SIAIS academic committee during the symposium.  

Yang Haitao, ShanghaiTech University


Ge Baoxue, Shanghai Tuberculosis (pulmonary) Key Laboratory 

Zhang Wenhong, Huashan Hospital

The establishment of the A-TB center presents a new era for anti-TB research. Taking full advantage of the high level of anti-TB research at SIAIS and the rich industrial resources of Zhangjiang Biomedical Industry Base (Shanghai), the A-TB center is expected to boost new anti-TB drug development and accelerate transformation from bench to bedside.