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1994 …2024

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

The shape of cellular membranes is a well-conserved evolutionary phenotype. Membrane shape is generated and maintained by the interplay between proteins and lipids and between lipids themselves. The detection and remodeling of membrane shapes are part of many essential cellular processes such as endocytosis, vesiculation, and protein trafficking.

Research in Dr. Fang Tian's lab has focused on understanding the structural and molecular mechanisms underlying the recognition and generation of membrane architecture and, in turn, how membrane structure determines protein localization and function using biochemical and biophysical analyses and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The lab has extended its exploration beyond a prototype membrane curvature-sensing bacterial proteins to human proteins that are key players in the biogenesis of the autophagosome during autophagy. Autophagy plays a significant role in the progression and outcome of numerous diseases, most notably neurodegeneration, infection, obesity and cancers.

The vision of Dr. Tian's research is that understanding the mechanics of the membrane structure and function as they relate to the biogenesis of the autophagosome will lead to new therapeutic strategies for the prevention and treatment of many human ailments.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Complex Carbohydrate Research Center, Postdoctoral Research Associate Fellowship, University of Georgia

19982001

PhD, Florida State University

19921998

BS, East China Normal University

19841989

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