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Prof. Jiang Liwen Twice Named Croucher Senior Research Fellow

Prof. Jiang Liwen (centre) and his research team
Mr. John Tsang Chun-wah (right), presenting the award to Prof. Jiang Liwen

Prof. Jiang Liwen, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Life Sciences, has been presented the prestigious Senior Research Fellowship of the Croucher Foundation, in recognition of his outstanding achievements in the international scientific community. The award was presented by Mr. John Tsang Chun-wah, Financial Secretary of the HKSAR Government, on 14 April. Awarded the same fellowship in 2009–10, this is the second time Professor Jiang has been honoured.

Professor Jiang is a plant cell biologist who has focused on understanding the molecular mechanisms of protein transport and organelle biogenesis in plants over the past 15 years. Recently, Professor Jiang and his research team from the School of Life Sciences have identified a magic protein that regulates vacuole biogenesis and vacuole-autophagosome-mediated degradation in plant cells. These findings have been published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the official scientific journal of the National Academy of Sciences of USA.

Vacuole, a large membrane-bound organelle in plant cell, is the food storage centre and waste disposal centre during plant growth and development. With these properties, vacuole controls many important aspects of crop physiology including seed germination, pathogen defense, and growth under nutrient-limiting conditions, therefore, knowledge on the underlying mechanisms of vacuole biogenesis and degradation will provide new tools for crop improvement and plant biotechnology.

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