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Faculty and Staff
Faculty and Staff
Wang Mingwei

Professor of Pharmacology,Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Director, the National Center for Drug Screening
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NCDS: No. 189 Guoshoujing Road, Zhang Jiang Hi-Tech Park, Pudong, Shanghai, P.R. China. 201203 CNCL: No. 5 Building, 3728 Jinke Road, Zhang Jiang Hi-Tech Park, Pudong, Shanghai, P.R. China. 201203

Dr. Wang obtained his medical degree from Shanghai Medical University in 1982. Following a practice as an orthopedic surgeon in Shanghai, he attended UCLA School of Medicine and the Institute of Animal Physiology at Cambridge, U.K. to further his professional training. He was awarded a Ph.D. degree in physiology by University of Cambridge in 1989 and started his research career a year later in several US-based biotechnology companies, including Amylin Pharmaceuticals and Ligand Pharmaceuticals. In the mid-90’s, he served as a consultant to Merck and UNDP relative to China-related healthcare projects. Thereafter, he was heavily involved in entrepreneur activities and co-funded several biopharmaceutical start-up companies in the U.S., U.K., China and Hong Kong.

Over the past 32 years, Dr. Wang has published more than 150 research papers in English, received a number of academic awards or social honors from the U.K., U.S., Taiwan and China, and obtained 62 international patents. He has been an adjunct professor at Nanjing University since 1993. Currently, he holds membership status in the American Medical Association, Chinese Medical Association, Formosan Medical Association and Asia-Pacific International Network of Molecular Biology. He was elected as a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (U.K.) in 1987 and a fellow of the Institute of Biology (U.K., now as Society of Biology) in 2001. Dr. Wang was appointed as a professor of pharmacology at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and executive deputy director of the National Center for Drug Screening in 2001. In 2003, he was promoted to the full directorship and served as assistant president, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, CAS (between 2003 and 2004). In 2004, Dr. Wang was appointed by the Shanghai Pudong New District Government as a senior advisor on the biopharmaceutical industry and elected as the first president of Shanghai Pudong Engineers Association (re-elected in 2009 and 2013, respectively). He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the Novo Nordisk-CAS Research Foundation (since 2007). In 2008, the Scripps Research Institute (USA) appointed Dr. Wang as an Adjunct Professor, and in May 2010, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong made him Honorary Professor of Pharmacology. Meanwhile, the WHO/TDR named him as one of the 12 expert members for the Thematic Reference Group on Innovation and Technology, Shanghai Clinical Research Center appointed him as a Senior Advisor on International Business Affairs and Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences/Peking Union Medical College made him Guest Professor. In 2011, he formally took the 1st directorship of the newly established Chinese National Compound Library and has become Chair Professor at South China University of Technology in Guangzhou and Editorial Board Member of Trends in Pharmacological Sciences (TiPS). He was appointed as an Editor of Biochemical Journal in 2012 and adjunct professor at University of Macau in 2014. Dr. Wang’s research achievements include the discovery of the non-peptidic glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist (Boc5) and the determination of the 3-D structure of the human glucagon receptor. In addition, his achievements includes the first discovery of the non-peptide small molecule modulators (including agonists and antagonists) targeting formyl peptide receptor 1; the clarification of molecular targets for effective components of the traditional Chinese medicine isochamaejasmin; the identification of new pharmacological mechanism of commonly used immunosuppressant cyclosporin A; the discovery of raloxifene derivatives for the treatment of breast and prostate cancer and a new type of androgen receptor modulators.

02/1978–12/1982, M.B. , Shanghai First Medical College, Shanghai, P.R. China
10/1986–09/1989, Ph.D. (Cantab) in Physiology, University of Cambridge, U.K.

1. 01/1983 06/1984, Resident training as a microsurgeon at Department of Orthopedics, Shanghai Sixth People's Hospital, Shanghai 200040, P.R. China.
2. 07/1984 06/1985, Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Rehabilitation Center, School of Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), CA 90024, U.S.A.
3. 10/1985 09/1986, Research Scientist at Department of Physiology and Department of Immunology, AFRC Institute of Animal Physiology, Babraham, Cambridge CB2 4AT, England, U.K.
4, 10/1986 11/1989, Research Student for Ph.D. at St. Edmund’s College, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB3 0BN, England, U.K. and AFRC Institute of Animal Physiology and Genetics Research, Babraham, Cambridge CB2 4AT, England, U.K.
5. 12/1989 05/1990, Senior Research Associate at Department of Surgery, University of Cambridge Clinical School, Level 9, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge CB2 2QQ, England, U.K.
6. 06/1990-07/1992, Scientific Investigator at Department of Physiology, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (formerly as Amylin Corporation), 9373 Towne Centre Drive, Suite 250, San Diego, CA 92121, U.S.A.
7. 08/1992-07/1996, Senior Research Manager at Department of Pharmacology, Ligand Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 9393 Towne Centre Drive, San Diego, CA 92121, U.S.A.
8. 04/1993-present, Concurrent Professor at Department of Biochemistry, Nanjing University, 22 Han Kou Road, Nanjing 210008, P.R.C.
9. 08/1996-12/1997, Board Member of GC BioTechnologies, LLC, 850 Lincoln Centre Dr., Foster City, CA 94404, U.S.A.
10. 01/1998-06/2000, Chairman and General Manager, Shanghai GeneCore BioTechnologies Co., Ltd., 3rd Floor, 200 Tian Lin Road, Shanghai 200233, P.R.C.
11. 07/2000-11/2001, Vice-Chairman of the Board, Ancile Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 10555 Science Center Drive, San Diego, CA 92121, U.S.A.
12. 12/2001-present, Professor of Pharmacology (Level 2), Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Sciences, 555 Zu Chong Zhi Road , Shanghai, P.R.C.
13. 12/2001-07/2003, Executive Deputy Director, the National Center for Drug Screening, 189 Guoshoujing Road, Shanghai 201203, P.R.C.
14. 08/2003-present, Director, the National Center for Drug Screening, 189 Guoshoujing Road, Shanghai 201203, P.R.C.
15. 07/2008-present, Adjunct Professor, Molecular and Integrative Neurosciences Department (MIND), The Scripps Research Institute, 10550 North Torrey Pines Road, SR-307, La Jolla, CA 92037, U.S.A .
16. 07/2008-06/2010, Affiliate Professor, Center for Chemical Genomics, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, 10901 North Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, CA 92037, U.S.A.
17. 04/2010-present: Honorary Professor of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, 21, Sassoon Road, Hong Kong, P.R.C.
18. 04/2010-12/2011, Member, the Thematic Reference Group on Innovation and Biotechnology, UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training for Tropical Diseases (TDR), Geneva, Switzerland.
19. 05/2010-present, Senior Advisor on International Business Affairs, Shanghai Clinical Research Center, Shanghai, P.R.C.
20. 07/2010-06/2013, Guest Professor, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences/Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, P.R.C.
21. 10/2011-present, Chair Professor, School of Biotechnology and Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, P.R.C.
22. 01/2012-present, Director, Chinese National Compound Library, Building 5, 3728 Jinke Road, Shanghai, P.R.C.
23. 06/2014-present, Adjunct Professor, University of Macau, Av. Padre Tomás Pereira Taipa, Macau, P.R.C.

Research Directions

1. Structures and functions of G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs)
1) structures and functions of class B GPCRs associated with metabolic diseases;
2) potential roles of RXFP4 (GPCR142) in type 2 diabetes;
3) impact of GPR160 (oGPCR) on prostate cancer cell cycle and apoptosis;
4) formyl peptide receptor 1 (FPR1) gene polymorphism and cyclosporine responses.

2. High-throughput screening and structure optimization of active compounds
1) discovery of small molecule anti-depressants based on 3-D structure of CRF1R;
2) high-throughput screening and pharmacological evaluation for small molecule transcription regulators of thioredoxin interacting protein (TXNIP); 3) high-throughput screening for inhibitors of PI3K subtype P110 α mutant PIK3CA-H1047R;
4) high-throughput screening for inhibitors of histone methyltransferase (EZH2) Y641F mutant;
5) structure-activity relationship study on euchromatic histone methyltransferase 1/2 (EHMT1/2) inhibitors;
6) targets-based high-throughput screening for agents against tuberculosis, schistosomiasis and filarial pathogens.

3. Novel technologies and methods for drug screening Application of a real-time, label-free technology in functional studies of pancreatic islet β cells and activation of T cells.

Social Titles
Editorial member of Acta Pharmacologica Sinica (Deputy Chief Editor), Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica, Chinese Biological Abstracts, Combinational Chemistry & High Throughput Screening, Trends in Pharmacological Sciences (TiPS), Biochemical Journal and Infectious Diseases of Poverty.

Awards & Honors

1. Robert White Memorial Fellowship awarded by British Society for Immunology, 07/1987.
2. Charles and Katharine Darwin Research Fellowship awarded by Darwin College, University of Cambridge, U.K., 1988 1990.
3. ‘Research Award’ awarded by the Mr. Chung Jen Chen Research and Development Foundation in Immunology, Taipei, Taiwan, 08/1989.
4. 2002 Magnolia Silver Award for significant contributions to the economic and social development of Shanghai awarded by Shanghai municipality government, China, 07/2002.
5. ‘Hundred Talent Fellowship’ awarded by Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, 10/2002.
6. The Shanghai 2002 First Prize in Science and Technology Advancement awarded by of Shanghai Municipality, China, 02/2003 (shared).
7. The National 2003 Second Prize in Science and Technology Advancement awarded by the State Council of China, Beijing, China, 02/2004 (shared).
8. The Shanghai 2007 New Long March commando honor, Shanghai, China, 05/2007.
9. ‘Thousand Talent Project - the Recruitment Program of Global Experts’ status awarded by Chinese central government, Beijing, China, 08/2011. 10. 2012 Magnolia Gold Award for outstanding contributions to the economic and social development of Shanghai awarded by Shanghai municipality government, China, 09/2012.
11. The National "Model Scientist" status awarded by China Science and Technology Association, Beijing, China, 12/2012.
12. Specially appointed “National Expert” certificate awarded by the Organization Department of the CPC Central Committee, Beijing, China, 01/2013.


1. Studies on the structures and functions of class B GPCRs
1) Study on the structure and function of GCGR.
2) Study on the structure and function of GLP-1R.

2. Functional study of other GPCRs
1) Study on the biological activities of RXFP4.
2) Study on the relationship between GPR160 and prostate cancer.
3) Effects of FPR1 polymorphism on drug response.

3. High-throughput screening and structural optimization of active compounds
1) Small molecular modulators for TXNIP transcription.
2) Other active compounds.

4. Development of a label-free assay to detect T cell activation

Grants & Research Projects
  1. Major National Science and Technology Projects (12th five-year plan) Merit-based Grant ,Resource building and applications of the Chinese National Compound Library ,Project Leader ,2015.1-2018.12
  2. International Cooperation, Ministry of Science and Technology, China, Developing new anti-cancer drugs against genetically defined targets ,Project Leader 2014.4-2017.3
  3. The International Cooperation, Ministry of Science and Technology, China, International collaboration on drug and diagnostics innovation for tropical diseases in P.R. China, One of the Project Leaders, 2014.4-2017.4
  4.  Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality, Shanghai technology and professional service platform for drug screening,Project Leader, 2013.7-2015.6
  5. Major National Science and Technology Projects (12th five-year plan), Construction, development and resource sharing of the Chinese National Compound Library, Project Leader, 2012.1-2015.12
  6.  Shanghai Science and Technology of Shanghai Municipality, Construction of an automatic storage and quality control system for large-scale compound library, Project Leader, 2012.1-2015.12
  7. Chinese Academy of Sciences, Matching funds for the "Thousand Talent Project", Project Leader, 2012.1-2016.12
  8. International Cooperation, Ministry of Science and Technology, China, International cooperation research on Chinese tropical disease medicine and diagnosis reagents, One of the Project Leaders, 2011.1-2013.12
  9.  Major National Science and Technology Projects (11th five-year plan), Construction and application of a modern drug screening system and a large-scale compound library, Project Leader, 2009.1-2010.12
  10.  The World Health Organization, Innovation on drugs against neglected diseases – a WHO research project, Project Leader, 2009.7-2011.7


(2009.1.1- current)
 Articles (IF>3, in English only)
1. G.C. Smith, Z.Y. Zhang, T. Mulvey, S. Lach, P. Xui, N. Petersen, W. Han, A. Phillips, M.-W. Wang and P.R. Shepherd (2014). Clozapine does not cause hepatic insulin resistance but directly increases insulin and glucagon secretion from islets: Implications for apparent impairment of glucose metabolism. Schizophrenia Research, in press. IF=4.59

2. Bo Chu, Shuang Dou, Jun Wang, Jianmin Li, Ming-Wei Wang, Yide Mei and Mian Wu (2014). miRNA-181 is a key regulator of embryo implantation in mice. Nature Communications, in revision. IF=10.02

3. Gregory J. Crowther, Amy M. Fife, Min He, Ting Li, Sylvine Raverdy, Jacopo Novelli, Panqing He, Natalie R. Grattan, Robert H. Barker, Martin L. Kramer, Wesley C. Van Voorhis, Clotilde K.S. Carlow, Michael L. Booker and Ming-Wei Wang. Cofactor-independent phosphoglycerate mutase from nematodes has poor druggability, as revealed by two high-throughput screens. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2014, 8(1): e2628. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0002628. IF=4.56

4. Kanchan Devkota, Brian Lohse, Qing Liu, Ming-Wei Wang, Jens Berthelsen and Rasmus Pr?torius Clausen. Analogues of the natural product Sinefungin as potent inhibitors of EHMT1 and EHMT2. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 2014, 5, 293-297. IF=3.31

5. Fai Yiu Siu, Min He, Chris De Graaf, Dehua Yang, Zhiyun Zhang, Caihong Zhou, Gye Won Han, Qingpin Xu, Daniel Wacker, Jeremiah S. Joseph, Wei Liu, Vadim Cherezov, Jesper Lau, Vsevolod Katritch, Ming-Wei Wang and Raymond C. Stevens. Structure of the human glucagon class B G-protein-coupled receptor. Nature, 2013, 499: 444-449. IF=38.60

6. Caihong Zhou, Yan Zhou, Jia Wang, Yang Feng, Haonan Wang, Jinglun Xue, Yani Chen, Richard D. Ye and Ming-Wei Wang. V101L of human formyl peptide receptor 1 (FPR1) increases the receptor affinity and augments the antagonism mediated by cyclosporins. Biochem. J., 2013, 451 (part 2): 245-255. IF=4.65

7. Meng Zhang, Yang Feng, Jia Wang, Jian-Wei Zhao, Ting Li, Olivier Nosjean, Jean A. Boutin, M. Pierre Renard and Ming-Wei Wang. High-throughput screening for GPR119 modulators identifies a novel compound with anti-diabetic efficacy in db/db mice. PLoS ONE, 2013, 8(5): e63861 (DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0063861). IF=3.73

8. Ni Guan, Jiejie Deng, Ting Li, Xiao Xu, Jeffrey T. Irelan and Ming-Wei Wang. Label-free monitoring of T cell activation by the impedance-based xCELLigence system. Mol. BioSyst., 2013, 9: 1035-1043. IF=3.35

9. Hui-Qiong He, Dan Liao, Zhen-Guo Wang, Zhong-Li Wang, Hu-Chen Zhou, Ming-Wei Wang and Richard D. Ye. Functional characterization of three mouse formyl peptide receptors. Molecular Pharmacology, 2013, 83, 389-398. IF=4.41

10. Sarawuth Wantha, Jean-Eric Alard, Remco Megens, Anne van der Does, Yvonne D?ring, Maik Drechsler, Christine Pham, Ming-Wei Wang, Ji-Min Wang, Richard Gallo, Philipp von Hundelshausen, Lennart Lindbom, Tilman Hackeng, Christian Weber and Oliver Soehnlein. Neutrophil-derived cathelicidin promotes adhesion of classical monocytes. Circulation Research, 2013, 112, 792-801. IF=11.86

11. Qing Liu, Na Li, Yunyun Yuan, Huili Lu, Xiaoyan Wu, Caihong Zhou, Min He, Haoran Su, Meng Zhang, Jia Wang, Bao Wang, You Wang, Dawei Ma, Yang Ye, Hans-Christoph Weiss, Ernst R.F. Gesing, Jiayu Liao and Ming-Wei Wang. Cyclobutane derivatives as novel non-peptidic small molecule agonists of glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor. J. Med. Chem., 2012, 55: 250-267. IF=5.61

12. Anuradha Kumara, Meng Zhang, Linyun Zhu, Charles Mutai, Shittu Hafsat, David R. Sherman and Ming-Wei Wang. High-throughput screening and sensitized bacteria identify an M. tuberculosis dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor with whole cell activity. PLoS ONE, 2012, 7(6): e39961 (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039961). IF=3.73

13. Min He, Haoran Su, Weiwei Gao, Stina M. Johansson, Qing Liu, Xiaoyan Wu, Jiayu Liao, Andrew A. Young, Tamas Bartfai and Ming-Wei Wang. Reversal of obesity and insulin resistance by a non-peptidic glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonist in diet-induced obese mice. PLoS ONE, 2010, 5(12): e14205. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0014205. IF=3.73

14. Zhenwei Gong, Cheng Huang, Xiaoyan Sheng, Yuebo Zhang, Qunyi Li, Ming-Wei Wang, Linling Peng, and Ying Qin Zang. The role of Tanshinone IIA in the Treatment of Obesity through PPARg  Antagonism. Endocrinology, 2009, 150(1): 104-113. IF=4.72

Reviews (in English only)
1. Kaspar Hollenstein, Chris de Graaf, Andrea Bortolato?, Ming-Wei Wang, Fiona H. Marshall and Raymond C. Stevens. New insights into the structure of class B GPCRs. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 2014, 35, 12-22. IF=9.25

2. Tamas Bartfai and Ming-Wei Wang. Positive allosteric modulators to peptide GPCRs: a promising class of drugs (invited review). Acta Pharmacol. Sin., 2013, 34: 880-885.IF=2.35

3. Ming-Wei Wang, Richard D. Ye and Yizhun Zhu. Pharmacology in China: a brief overview. Trends in Pharmacological Sciences, 2013, 34: 532-533. IF=9.25

4. Zhi-Yun Zhang, Ni Guan, Ting Li, Dale E. Mais and Ming-Wei Wang. Quality control of cell-based high-throughput drug screening. Acta Pharmaceut. Sin. B, 2012, 2: 429-438 (DOI: 10.1016/j.apsb.2012.03.006). IF=2.35

5. Zhiyun Zhang and Ming-Wei Wang. Obesity, a health burden of a global nature (Editorial). Acta Pharmacol. Sin., 2012, 33, 145-147. IF=2.35

6. Palle H. Jakobsen, Ming-Wei Wang and Solomon Nwaka. Innovative partnerships for drug discovery against neglected diseases. PLoS Negl. Trop. Dis. 2011, 5(9), e1221. doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0001221. IF=4.56

7. Ming-Wei Wang, Qing Liu and Caihong Zhou. Non-peptidic glucagon-like peptide-1 receptor agonists: aftermath of a serendipitous discovery (Perspective). Acta Pharmacol. Sin. 2010, 31: 1026-1030. IF=2.35

8. Yanhui Zhu, Zhiyun Zhang, Meng Zhang, Dale E. Mais and Ming-Wei Wang. High-throughput screening for bioactive components from traditional Chinese medicine. Combinational Chemistry & High Throughput Screening, 2010, 13: 837-848. IF=2.0

9. Ming-Wei Wang. Future tigers of innovation (book review). Nature, 2009, 457: 149-150. IF=38.60

10. Ming-Wei Wang. An Edible History of Humanity by Tom Standage (Summer Books: A break from the bench). Nature, 2009, 460: 575. IF=38.60

Books and chapters
1. Min He, Ming-Wei Wang. High throughput and high content screening technologies (Chapter 7), The Advanced Pharmacology (Editor: Jian Ding), Science Press, Beijing, 2013, p476-504. (In Chinese)
2. Caihong Zhou, Ming-Wei Wang. Genomics and drug innovation (Chapter 15), Medical Molecular Genetics (Fourth Edition; Editors: Jinzhong Chen, Xu Wang, Jinglun Xue), Science Press, Beijing, 2013, p283-311. (In Chinese)
3. Ming-Wei Wang, et al. The translation of “Drug discovery: from bedside to Wall Street” (the original book were written by Tamas Bartfai and Graham V. Lees), Science Press, 2010, 353000 words.