Prof. Yigong Shi Wins the 2021 Zhejiang Science and Technology Award

12, 2022

Email: zhangchi@westlake.edu.cn
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Recently, the Provincial Science and Technology Innovation Conference was held in the Great Hall of the People of Zhejiang Province. At the event, YUAN Jiajun, Secretary of the Provincial Party Committee, presented the 2021 Zhejiang Science and Technology Award to Prof. Yigong Shi, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and President of Westlake University, as well as Prof. Wei Yang, academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and professor of Zhejiang University.

The Zhejiang Science and Technology Awards were established by the Zhejiang Provincial People's Government. It includes the Zhejiang Science and Technology Award, the Natural Science Award, the Technology Invention Award, the Science and Technology Progress Award, and the International Science and Technology Cooperation Award. The awards are presented annually.

The Zhejiang Science and Technology Award is the highest award for science and technology in Zhejiang. It was established for the first time in 2020. It is awarded to individuals and research teams in Zhejiang who have made major breakthroughs in science and technology or have made outstanding achievements in the development of science and technology. The number of awards is not more than 2 each year. Previous winners were Academician Lanjuan Li and Jianfeng Zhang's team (2019), and Academician Yunhe Pan (2020).

In the past fifteen years, Shi has made a series of discoveries and breakthroughs around apoptosis, the three-dimensional structure of biological macromolecular machines, and the pathogenesis of Alzheimer's disease. In particular, the near-atomic resolution structure of the first complete spliceosome has been resolved, clarifying the working mechanism of precursor messenger RNA splicing, and greatly advancing human understanding in this area.

In addition to focusing on basic research, Shi was a leading force in the founding of Westlake University, a new-type of research university in the People's Republic of China, supported by public and philanthropic funding.

Westlake University has officially signed contracts with 196 academic talent, of which 19 chair professors have served as professors or department chairs in world-class universities. Westlake University has 1,273 graduate students, and 60 undergraduates joined the university for the first time in 2022.

The gathering of first-class talent promotes the production of first-class results. Since 2020, major original scientific research achievements such as  the mechanism by which coronavirus invades human cells, the CatSper channel , and the mechanism of action for tumor intracellular bacteria have emerged at Westlake University, contributing to the establishment of an influential scientific and technological innovation ‘highland’ in China.

"As a Chinese scientist, making unique contributions to human scientific and technological civilization and leaving a Chinese name in the history of science is the driving force for me to keep moving forward,” said Shi.