Xiang-dong Li received a B.A. degree in biochemistry, East Chinese University of Science and Technology, Hefei, China (1990); an M.S. degree in entomology, Shanghai Institute of Entomology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China (1993); and a Ph.D. degree in molecular biology, Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China (1996). He worked as a Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass, USA (1996–2004); an Instructor of physiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass, USA (2004–2008); a Research Assistant Professor of cell biology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester, Mass, USA (2008-2009); and a Professor of biochemistry, Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China (since 2009). His broad research interests lie in how the components within a cell move to the right place at the right time. Unlike the prokaryotic cell, which largely consists of a single intracellular compartment surrounded by a plasma membrane, the eukaryotic cell has an elaborate internal membrane system, including a number of functionally distinct membrane-bounded compartments (organelles). Each organelle has a distinct set of enzymes and other specialized molecules and thus distinct functions. Given the dimension and complexity of eukaryotic cells, the transport of components within them cannot be solely dependent on diffusion. Indeed, maintenance of internal membrane systems and transportation of organelles both depend on a complex network of protein filaments called the cytoskeleton. The cytoskeleton consists of three types of protein filaments: actin, microtubule, and intermediate filaments. Each filament interacts with a large number of accessory proteins. One type of the accessory proteins is molecular motor proteins, including dynein, kinesin, and myosin, that hydrolyze ATP to produce force and directed movement. Currently, his research focuses on myosin motor proteins.
Biography Updated on 23 May 2012