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2018 Taiwan Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting & Summer Workshop will be held on August 24- 26, 2018.

2018 Taiwan Society of Plant Biologists Annual Meeting & Summer Workshop will be held on August 24- 26, 2018.



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German Plant Molecular Biologist Wolf B. Frommer receives the 11th Tsungming Tu Award

German Plant Molecular Biologist Wolf B. Frommer receives the 11th Tsungming Tu Award

The 11th Tsungming Tu Award was awarded to Professor Wolf B. Frommer by Minister of Science and Technology Liang-Gee Chen in a ceremony held on May 8, 2018 at Academia Sinica. The Tsungming Tu Award honors foreign scholars who cooperate with researchers in Taiwan. Professor Frommer was the sole recipient of this year's award.

The Tsungming Tu Award is the highest academic honor that can be awarded to an international scientist in Taiwan, and is given to acknowledge outstanding academic achievements and contributions to the scientific community. The award was set up jointly by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany and the Ministry of Science and Technology in Taiwan in 2006 in order to recognize the two countries respective scholars and promote international collaboration and Taiwan-German academic cooperation in research. To date 16 German academics have received the prize. This year's award winner will also carry out academic exchanges with Taiwan in the future, the Ministry said.

Professor Frommer holds the Humboldt Professorship at Heinrich Heine University Dusseldorf and the Max Plank Institute for Breeding Research in Koln, Germany. He was elected as a member of the German National Academy of Sciences in 2015 and was awarded the German Humboldt Research Award in 2017. His outstanding research in the field of life sciences led to the discovery of the SWEET-family of sugar membrane proteins and the exploration of their roles in plants, animals and cancer cells. In addition, he has also developed many innovative tools for bio-application such as fluorescent biosensors for rapid discovery of unknown proteins, and recently developed new protein-active tools that can visually monitor tissues or organs.

Attendees at the award ceremony included Academia Sinica President James C. Liao, and Deputy Director-General of the German Institute Taipei, Ms. Sabrina Schmidt-Koschella.

Award ceremony photos
Award ceremony video

English news coverage:
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2018/05/09/2003692778
http://focustaiwan.tw/news/ast/201805080024.aspx


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The 11<sup>th</sup> Tsungming Tu Award Ceremony will be held at 9:00 am on May 8, 2018 at the 2<sup>nd</sup> Conference Room, Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Academia Sinica

The 11th Tsungming Tu Award Ceremony will be held at 9:00 am on May 8, 2018 at the 2nd Conference Room, Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Academia Sinica

The Tsungming Tu Award is the highest academic honor to the international scientists for their outstanding academic achievements and contributions to the scientific community. This award is set up jointly by the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany and the Ministry of Science and Technology, Taiwan. MOST is very pleased to announce this year's only one honoree, Prof. Dr. Wolf B. Frommer (Humboldt Professorship; Heinrich Heine Universität Düsseldorf and Max Planck Institute for Breeding Research, Köln, Germany).

Date: 9:00 am, Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Venue: 2nd Conference Room, Humanities and Social Sciences Building, Academia Sinica
Online Registration: https://goo.gl/j6HRKy

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The Interdisciplinary Science Conference will be held on May 11, 2018.

The Interdisciplinary Science Conference will be held on May 11, 2018.



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Postdoctoral Fellow Yao-Pin Lin awarded the Ministry of Science and Technology 2017 Best Research Paper Award for Postdoctoral Fellows

Postdoctoral Fellow Yao-Pin Lin awarded the Ministry of Science and Technology 2017 Best Research Paper Award for Postdoctoral Fellows

Agricultural Technology Research Center (ABRC) Postdoctoral Fellow Yao-Pin Lin has been awarded the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) 2017 Best Research Paper Award. His winning paper is entitled “Identification of a Chlorophyll Dephatylase Involved in Chlorophyll Turnover in Arabidopsis”.

The paper describes an important chlorophyllase in the chlorophyll metabolism pathway that has been sought by scientists for many years. Under the supervision of Research Fellow Dr. Yee-yung Charng of ABRC, Dr. Lin and his laboratory colleagues accidentally discovered the existence of this enzyme in the process of studying the heat resistance mechanism of plants. The enzyme was named chlorophyll dephytase 1 (CLD1).

MOST offers the Best Research Paper Award to encourage postdoctoral fellows to publish innovative, high-quality and high-impact academic papers, and to fund future elite scholars in long-term research work.


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ABRC Interim Director and Research Fellow Dr. Kuo-Chen Yeh awarded the 2017 Ministry of Science and Technology Outstanding Research Award

ABRC Interim Director and Research Fellow Dr. Kuo-Chen Yeh awarded the 2017 Ministry of Science and Technology Outstanding Research Award

Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center (ABRC) Interim Director and Research Fellow Dr. Kuo-Chen Yeh was recently awarded the 2017 Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) Outstanding Research Award.

The MOST Outstanding Research Award is awarded to scientific and technical talents who show outstanding research performance in order to encourage the improvement of academic research standards and international academic status of Taiwan, create social development and industrial applications and strengthen national science and technology. Dr. Yeh was recognized for his outstanding research performance.

The MOST Outstanding Research Award was previously awarded Research Fellow Dr. Tzyy-Jen Chiou of ABRC in 2011 and 2014.


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Congratulations to Dr. Ho-Ming Chen for her promotion to Associate Research Fellow on February 2, 2018

Congratulations to Dr. Ho-Ming Chen for her promotion to Associate Research Fellow on February 2, 2018



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TCM phytochemical shikonin may be developed to serve as adjuvant for cancer vaccines

TCM phytochemical shikonin may be developed to serve as adjuvant for cancer vaccines

A research team led by Dr. Ning-Sun Yang, a former Distinguished Research Fellow (now a distinguished visiting chair) at the Agricultural Biotechnology Research Center, has recently used herbal medicine-derived shikonin (SHK) in a tumor-coculturing, dendritic cell-pulsing technology to enhance the effecicacy of a dendritic cell (DC)-based cancer vaccine.
SHK is a naphthoquinone compound that was isolated from root of traditional Chinese medicinal (TCM) herb, L. erythrorhizon. This dry root extract has been used for thousands of years in China, for treating macular eruptions, measles, sore-throat, carbuncles and burns, mainly externally, but it also can be used orally.
Dr. Yang’s team has previously demonstrated that SHK can exert anti- inflammatory activities via inhibiting the promoter activity of TNF-α and GM-CSF genes. SHK also interferes with TFN-α mRNA splicing. They further demonstrated that SK can down-regulate the expression of specific microRNAs related to epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), likely resulting in expedited repair of mouse skin tissues. Most recently, they identified a protein, hnRNPA1, that can specifically bind SHK with very high affinity. Binding of SHK to hnRNPA1 was shown to affect nuclear pore transport of mRNAs and various RNA activities. This binding also was shown to result in tumor cell immunogenic cell death.
In the present study, Dr. Yang’s laboratory showed that SHK can render mouse mammary tumor cell necroptosis. SHK also activated tumor cell autophagy that in turn contributed to a sequence of events including upregulation of the ecto-form of damage-associated molecular patterns, DC activation, and augmented vaccine efficacy. Interruption of autophagic flux via chloroquine further upregulated ectoDAMP activity and resultant DC activation. Mice immunized by dying cell-pulsed DCs exerted potent efficacy in preventing mammary tumor metastasis as did the chemotherapy drug, doxorubicin (DX). Moreover, combined treatments of the SHK+DX drastically reduced the effective chemodrug dosage. These findings were published, as a Research paper-Translation entitled: Necroptosis promotes autophagy-dependent upregulation of DAMP and results in immunosurveillance in the journal Autophagy on Dec. 31 in 2017. The enhanced immunogenicity and vaccine efficacy via SHK and chloroquine cotreatment of tumor cells may thus constitute a compelling strategy for developing cancer vaccines via the use of a combinational drug treatment.
The first author of the article, Sheng-Yen Lin, received his Ph.D. in the Graduate Institute of Life Science, National Defense Medical Center. Dr. Tzoong-Shoon Wu intelligently and diligently helped direct this research approach. This work was supported by the grant from Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan and an Investigator Award by Academia Sinica.


Figure(A) The research team: Mr. Lin Sheng-Yen, Ph. D. student at the Graduate Institute of Life Sciences of National Defense Medical Center; Dr. Ning-Sun Yang, Distinguished Research Fellow, ABRC; Dr. Tzoong-Shoon Wu, Visiting scholar, IMB.
Figure(B) The research team's findings support the promising application of phytochemical shikonin on dendritic cell-based cancer vaccine for anti-tumor metastasis activity.


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ABRC Assistant Research Fellow Dr. Ho-Ming Chen awarded the 2017 Ta-You Wu Memorial Award

ABRC Assistant Research Fellow Dr. Ho-Ming Chen awarded the 2017 Ta-You Wu Memorial Award

Assistant Research Fellow Dr. Ho-Ming Chen is among the recipients of the 2017 Ta-You Wu Memorial Award, the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) announced recently.

The Ta-You Wu Memorial Award, established by MOST, commemorates the contribution of atomic and nuclear theoretical physicist Dr. Ta-You Wu to the development of science and technology research. It aims to nurture young and upcoming researchers by providing each recipient with a one-time cash prize.

Dr. Chen's research focuses on understanding how plants use small RNAs to regulate gene expression by integrating next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics.

Previously Director Kuo-Chen Yeh (2002), Research Fellow Ming-Tsair Chan (2004), and Assistant Research Fellow Yu-Liang Yang (2016) of ABRC all received the award.

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Congratulations to Dr. Ho-Ming Chen on winning the 2017 Shang-Fa Yang Young Scientist Award!

Congratulations to Dr. Ho-Ming Chen on winning the 2017 Shang-Fa Yang Young Scientist Award!

Assistant Research Fellow Dr. Ho-ming Chen was awarded the "Academician Shang-Fa Yang Award for Outstanding Young Scholars in the Agricultural Sciences” at the "10th Shang-Fa Yang Memorial Lecture" at Academia Sinica on 30 October, 2017. During the seminar, which was sponsored by the Shang-Fa Yang Memorial Foundation, Dr. Chen was awarded a medal and presented her research results in a lecture entitled "Shedding light on the plant small RNA world with NGS data and bioinformatics."

The Shang-Fa Yang Memorial Foundation was established to honor the distinguished career of late Academician Yang and one of its roles is the cultivation of young researchers. The "Academician Shang-Fa Yang Award for Outstanding Young Scholars in the Agricultural Sciences" was established to recognize the potential for academic innovation and important industrial contribution by young domestic scholars. This year the 10th Shang-Fa Yang Memorial Lecture was held over two days on 30 and 31 October 2017 at Academia Sinica and the Academia Sinica Biotechnology Center in Southern Taiwan.

Dr. Chen's research focuses on understanding how plants use small RNAs to regulate gene expression by integrating next-generation sequencing and bioinformatics.


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