SONG Baoliang was born in Linzhou (Linxian), Henan province on January 19, 1975. He graduated from Nanjing University with a B.S. degree in 1997, earned the Ph.D. degree of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology in 2002 from Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology, Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences. After the post-doctoral training at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas from 2002 to 2005, he joined Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology as Principle Investigator in 2005. He was elected as a scholar of the Hundred Talents Program from Chinese Academy of Sciences, and was awarded Excellent Member of this program at the final evaluation. He was appointed as Chief Scientist by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China, and won China National Funds for Distinguished Young Scientists.
His work mainly focuses on cholesterol homeostasis. The current work covers four directions as follows: the negative feedback regulation of cholesterol biosynthesis; molecular pathway of dietary cholesterol absorption; intracellular cholesterol trafficking and development of novel lipid-lowering compounds. Professor Song has published more than 30 scientific research articles in prestigious peer-reviewed journals, including 3 in Cell Metabolism, 1 in PNAS and 5 in J. Biol. Chem. as the corresponding author.
Mechanistic and applied studies on cholesterol homeostasis
Cholesterol plays essential roles in many biological events. However, high level of cholesterol in blood causes atherosclerosis that is a major risk factor of coronary heart disease and stroke. Humans obtain cholesterol through intestinal absorption and de novo biosynthesis. The studies by Song's group have demonstrated the working model of dietary cholesterol absorption mediated by NPC1L1 in small intestine. Several key proteins in this pathway have also been identified. Furthermore, the mechanism of sterol-regulated degradation of HMG-CoA reductase, a major negative feedback pathway controlling cholesterol biosynthesis was illustrated. Based on the mechanistic progresses, Dr. Song's group have developed several drug screening systems and discovered a hypolipidemic compound named betulin. It targets the feedback regulatory mechanism of lipid biosynthesis, and therefore decreases both cholesterol and fatty acid levels. These researches have made significant impacts in deepening our understanding of cholesterol homeostasis, and paved new avenues to develop novel lipid-lowering drugs.