ECNU Medicinal Chemist Wins 2018 CPA-Servier Prize


ASSOCIATE researcher with the School of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering of ECNU Dr. Yu Lifang was awarded the 21st Chinese Pharmaceutical Association (CPA)-Servier Prize for Young Investigators in Medicinal Chemistry.

Dr. Yu Lifang has been awarded the 21st Chinese Pharmaceutical Association (CPA).

She was the only female honoree among the 5 winners at the 11th International Symposium for Chinese Medicinal Chemists (ISCMC) held in Zhengzhou, Henan on August 25.

There were 26 entrants for the prize which represents the highest honor of young pharmaceutical chemists at the national level for their remarkable contributions to medicinal chemistry.

Co-founded by CPA and Servier Research Institute of France in 1998, the award is given out once a year to the most dedicated, young Chinese investigators of medicinal chemistry whose results in new drug developments stands out among others in the field.

Dr. Yu Lifang and her research team members.

Dr. Yu received a doctoral degree from Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2009. She then went on to complete her postdoctoral research at the University of Illinois at Chicago between 2009 and 2013.

She later joined the research team led by Prof. Tang Jie of the Shanghai Molecular Therapy and New Drugs Innovation Engineering Technology Research Center (iMET), ECNU in July 2013. She is now a principal investigator and specializes in medicinal chemistry, related chemicobiology and structural innovation of the lead compounds.

In her research, Dr. Yu addresses the difficult problems in clinical treatment of drug-resistant tuberculosis and nervous system disorders, adopting strategies in the discovery of lead compounds and new findings based on the dominant structure of natural products in medicinal chemistry.

She also takes credit for her discoveries of an antitubercular drug, analgesic drug and multiple lead compounds that will help treatment of multiple sclerosis.

In the past five years, Yu has led six projects including two under the National Natural Science Fund and one sub-project under the National Science and Technology Major Project. She has published 33 SCI (Scientific Citation Index) academic articles in globally recognized journals of medicinal chemistry, such as J. Med. Chem. Additionally, she co-wrote an English-language academic book, applied for 15 domestic patents and works as a columnist for the SCI academic journals in medicinal chemistry, chemicobiology and natural product chemistry.

The research center, iMET, was launched at ECNU in 2008 and has been directed under its open, mobile, joint and competitive strategy ever since. It has earned a reputation for its green technologies and industrialization centered on new findings in medicinal chemistry.

In 2016, it outperformed 26 of the other engineering centers in Shanghai and won the Excellent Award conferred by Shanghai Science and Technology Committee.

Edited by Linlan Zhang    Proofread by Mayfield Joshua    Reviewed by Wenjun Guo


East China Normal University