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Two Chinese medicine scholars claim top prize of Beijing Science and Technology Award for collaborative research in bone and joint diseases

12 Apr 2018

Professor Zhang Ge (left) and Dr Liang Chao win the First Prize of the Beijing Science and Technology Award for their collaborative research in bone and joint diseases
Professor Zhang Ge (left) and Dr Liang Chao win the First Prize of the Beijing Science and Technology Award for their collaborative research in bone and joint diseases

Professor Zhang Ge, Director of the Technology Development Division, and Associate Director of the Law Sau Fai Institute for Advancing Translational Medicine in Bone and Joint Diseases of the School of Chinese Medicine (SCM), and Research Assistant Professor Dr Liang Chao recently won the First Prize of the Beijing Science and Technology Award 2017 for their collaborative research project entitled “Mechanism of post-translational modification in protein homeostasis control”. The project was conducted in collaboration with the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Science and the Chinese PLA General Hospital.

 

The award-winning project took eight years to complete. Their research findings were previously published in premier scientific journal Nature Medicine, first in 2012 under the title of “A delivery system targeting bone formation surfaces to facilitate RNAi-based anabolic therapy” and then in 2015 under the title of “Aptamer-functionalised lipid nanoparticles targeting osteoblasts as a novel RNA interference-based bone anabolic strategy”.

 

During the beginning stages of the project, the joint research team developed a targeting system for delivering osteogenic siRNAs specifically to bone-formation surfaces; the systemic delivery of osteogenic siRNA in osteoporotic rats using this system resulted in the selective enrichment of the siRNAs in osteogenic cells and enhanced bone formation and bone mass. Later, the team further developed an osteoblast-specific aptamer-functionalised delivery system and advanced the targeted delivery selectivity of osteogenic siRNAs from the tissue level to the cellular level. Such an approach has significantly promoted bone formation and enhanced bone mass in osteoporotic rats. The overall research findings have advanced the translational application of the RNAi-based bone anabolic strategy.