Celebrating the 3-year Anniversary of the Fang Lab at UiO

It has been such a wonderful, happy, memorable, and fruitful 3-year career development journey at the lovely the University of Oslo (UiO), and the Akershus University Hospital (Ahus), Oslo, Norway.

I opened the Fang Lab UiO on the 2nd Oct. 2017, one month after I finished my 5.5-year postdoc with Prof. Dr. Vilhelm A. Bohr at the National Institute on Ageing (NIA), Baltimore, USA. After only about 20 days, I had my 1st student Nica (Domenica Caponio) from southern Italy joined my group. Nica had since then became a multi-faceted member of the Fang lab: she was a Ph.D. exchange student and needed to design and run the experiments; she was the lab manager to a team of two to over 5+ in a few months, for ordering, maintenance etc; she was also a friend of me, we worked closely together hand by hand and built the lab platforms…Today, the Fang Lab is growing to be a big lab with 15+ trainees come from many different countries; within 3 years, we have students from a total of 11 countries associated with the Fang lab. And this month, we will also welcome Nica to join us as a postdoc!

The Fang lab is doing ´Molecular Mechanisms of Human Ageing and Age-related Neurodegeneration´ at international level. We have more than 10 projects going on here, covering from the molecular mechanisms of ageing, developing strategies to turning up mitophagy to forestall memory loss in Alzheimer´s disease (AD), to the use of artificial intelligence (AI) to identify lead compounds for healthy longevity and AD. In the past three years, the Fang Lab has published over 10 papers, including papers in Nature Neuroscience (Fang EF et al., 2019), Cell Metabolism (Lautrup et al., 2019), and Ageing Research Reviews (Fang EF et al., 2020). The Fang lab has also been very successful in securing external funding from Norway (e.g., HSØ, RCN), EU (e.g., Marie Curie, KAPPA (Czech Republic-Norway joint grant, ranked 2nd over a total of 154 grants), and China (e.g., NSFC). The Fang lab is actively doing ´bench-top to bed-side´research: in collaboration with clinicians, the Fang lab is going to lead one NAD+-based clinical trial, and has been participated as a key member in 5+ NAD+ clinical trials. The Fang lab is very active in National and International ageing societies as Dr. Fang is a major player of the NO-Age network, the NO-AD network, the Hong Kong-Nordic Research Network, and the NO-Age and NO-AD Seminar Series, a new editor of the leading ageing journal Ageing Research Reviews (and other journals), and has been given over 50 talks in national/international meetings and in leading research universities worldwide. The Fang lab discoveries have been recognized by DKNVS and other prestigious scientific societies, and have been reported in national and international main-stream media, including the Norwegian largest Newspaper VG.

Invited by UiO, today I also gave a talk on ´Independent Career Development´to share my personal experience to the postdocs and young researchers who are on the stage of developing their independent careers. The video is here.

The achievements of the Fang Lab are contributed by each and every former and current members of the Fang Lab! I thank my former postdoc mentor and friend Prof. Vilhelm A. Bohr, and my career mentors and collaborators Profs. Hilde L. Nilsen, Jon Storm-Mathisen, and Linda H. Bergersen, and my many national and international collaborators and friends for their continued and unconditioned supports and helps.

I am looking forward to working with the current and new members of the Fang Lab, and collaborators, to make new breakthroughs in both basic research and in drug development!


Prof. Vilhelm Bohr, the Thon Laureate 2020

Prof. Vilhelm Bohr from the National Institute on Ageing (USA) and the University of Copenhagen (Denmark) is the laureate of this 2020 Thon International Research Award.

Prof. Ole Petter Ottersen, president of the Thon Foundation, Vice-Chancellor (president) of Karolinska Institute, and former rector (president) of the University of Oslo (UiO), presents the prestigious award to Prof. Bohr. The quote from one International evaluator says, ‘That by any scientific standards within the areas of ageing, gerontology, and related changes to the brain, it is difficult to see any candidate that would be more suitable for the price than him’.

Details from the Olav Thon Award Website

Introductory speech by Prof. Ole Petter Ottersen: video (copyright EFF)

Speech by Prof. Vilhelm Bohr: video (copyright EFF)

NO-Age members honor DKNVS Awards

The Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters (DKNVS) is the oldest Academy in Norway. This year´s Gunnerus Medal, the highest medal of honor by DKNVS, goes to the Academy members May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser. The Mosers were the 2014 Nobel Laureates for Medicine or Physiology, for their discovery of the grid cells, a group of neurons in our brain enabling one finds the way back home. 

The DKNVS’s scientific award to younger researchers this year goes to Heidrun Åm (Social Science) and Evandro Fei Fang (Medical fields). The two researchers receive NOK 75,000 each.

挪威皇家科學與文學學會(DKNVS)是挪威最古老的院士學院。今年的Gunnerus勳章(DKNVS最高榮譽),授予學院院士May-Britt Moser和Edvard Moser。 Mosers是2014年諾貝爾醫學或生理學獎得主,他們發現了網格細胞 (grid cells),這是我們大腦中的一組神經元帮助人們记忆回家的路。

DKNVS今年向年輕研究人員頒發的科學獎授予了HeidrunÅm(社會科學)和Evandro Fei Fang(醫學領域)。兩位研究人員各獲得75,000挪威克朗。

http://www.dknvs.no/priserutmerkelser/vitenskapelige-priser/

Dagbladet pluss interviews Evandro Fang

1. Why does people with Alzheimer’s sleep more during the day? How does it affect sleeping routines?
EFF: It has been well documented that sleep-wake disturbance is a common and early feature in Alzheimer’s disease (AD). If one does not have a good sleep at night, then it is common to see  a possibility of additional power naps of AD patients at daytime.  This study led by Dr. Lea T. Grinberg at UCSF showed profound degeneration of wake-promoting neurons in AD. This explains why AD patients sleep more during the day, possibly as a compensation of disturbed normal sleep at night.  Thus, increased power naps greatly affect sleeping routines and are negative to people’s daily life.

2. Could you tell me about what you find most interesting in this study, and why?
EFF: The key finding in this study is a proposed new explanation of sleep-wake disturbances in the AD patients. Thus, this finding may provide an additional phenotypical diagnostic standard for early AD patients. However, increased power naps is not specific to AD, thus other phenotypic and pathological diagnostic tools should be jointed used for AD diagnosis.

Image: Dagbladet pluss.
Online: https://www.dagbladet.no/pluss (15 August 2019 issue)
Tusen Takk to the awesome journalist Ida Bergersen

TMM review: Mitophagy and Neuroprotection

Congratulations to postdocs Guofeng Lou and Sofie Lautrup for their fresh Ópinion´ review paper in the Trends in Molecular Medicine

Highlights

  • Mitophagy, an evolutionally conserved cellular self-degradation of damaged mitochondria, is impaired in major neurodegenerative diseases, including AD, PD, ALS, FTD, and HD.
  • Defective mitophagy in postmortem brain samples from AD patients and in AD animal models is caused by several mechanisms, including by the inhibition of the ULK1/TBK1-dependent initiation of the mitophagic machinery via Tau/Aβ proteinopathies.
  • In mice and rhesus monkeys, PINK1 deletion does not induce significant mitophagy impairment at physiological conditions, suggesting a compensatory response by other mitophagy pathways. Studies in the rhesus monkeys also suggest the existence of none–mitophagy–regulatory role(s) of PINK1.
  • Therapeutic strategies targeting on mitophagy induction ameliorate disease pathology and inhibit neuronal loss in both AD and PD mouse models.

Abstract

Neurodegenerative diseases are strongly age-related and currently cannot be cured, with a surge of patient numbers in the coming decades in view of the emerging worldwide ageing population, bringing healthcare and socioeconomic challenges. Effective therapies are urgently needed, and are dependent on new aetiological mechanisms. In neurons, efficient clearance of damaged mitochondria, through the highly evolutionary conserved cellular process termed mitophagy, plays a fundamental role in mitochondrial and metabolic homeostasis, energy supply, neuronal survival, and health. Conversely, defective mitophagy leads to accumulation of damaged mitochondria and cellular dysfunction, contributing to ageing and age-predisposed neurodegeneration. Here, we discuss the contribution of defective mitophagy in these diseases, and underlying molecular mechanisms, and highlight novel therapeutics based on new discovered mitophagy-inducing strategies.

Read more

2020 Meetings: Global ageing and related healthcare challenges

The Nordic Centre Biennial Meeting cum The 1st International Symposium of the Hong Kong-Nordic Research Network On ‘Global ageing and related healthcare challenges’

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meetings have been rescheduled to
27-28 (Thursday-Friday) May 2021 (Shanghai meeting)
31 May to 1st June 2021 (Monday-Tuesday) (Hong Kong meeting)



Organizers: Evandro F. Fang (Oslo), W.Y. Chan (CUHK), and Na HE (Fudan)

The Nordic Centre and the Hong Kong-Nordic Research Network are pleased to present: Global ageing and related healthcare challenges

Ageing is the greatest risk factor for many diseases, including cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, cancer, and neurodegeneration, especially Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease, among others. The global average age is increasing dramatically because of improved healthcare system and changes in lifestyle. Accordingly, the ageing society brings formidable socio-economic challenges. In the past decades, our understanding of the mechanisms of ageing at molecular, cellular, individual, and societal levels has greatly expanded. This enables scientists to develop novel strategies to improve healthy ageing and to prevent or treat age-related diseases through lifestyle modifications, pharmacological interventions, and novel therapeutics. This conference will bring together leading ageing researchers working on molecular, cellular, individual, and societal levels of ageing, from around the world, including The University of Oslo, Copenhagen University, Uppsala University, Karolinsa Institute, Fudan University, Peking University, Duke Kunshan University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The University of Hong Kong, National University of Singapore, among others.

The major aim of the two conferences is to foster communications, interactions, and collaborations among the ageing researchers, and to provide unique training opportunities to the undergraduate and graduate students, postdoc fellows, and early career ageing researchers. Our final goal is to explore new therapeutics and interventions to extend healthspan and lifespan in the elderly.

The event comprises two meetings:

Meeting 1: Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Meeting 2: The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong SAR



Organizing Committee
Dr. Evandro Fei Fang, MBBS, Ph.D. (Chair) Group Leader, University of Oslo (UiO) and Akershus University Hospital, Norway The Norwegian Centre on Healthy Ageing, Norway Tel: +47 92230968; Mobile: +47 92230968; Emails: evandrofeifang@yahoo.com; e.f.fang@medisin.uio.no

Prof. W. Y. Chan, Ph.D. Pro-Vice-Chancellor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Email: chanwy@cuhk.edu.hk

Prof. Na HE, Dean, School of Public Health, Fudan University, China Tel: 86-21-54237625; Email: nhe@fudan.edu.cn

Prof. Linda Hildegard Bergersen, Ph.D. Professor of Physiology, Vice-Dean of Research, Faculty of Dentistry, UiO, Norway Professor Neurobiology of Ageing, CEHA, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Mobile: +47 97032049; Email: l.h.bergersen@odont.uio.no

Prof. Lene Juel Rasmussen Acting Director, Centre on Healthy Ageing, University of Copenhagen, Denmark Tel: (+45) 35 32 67 17; Email: lenera@sund.ku.dk

Prof. Magnar Bjørås Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Norway Tel: +47 95081497; Email: magnar.bjoras@ntnu.no

Prof. Shenglan Tang Director, Global Health Research Center, Duke Kunshan University, China Tel: +1 919-519-0802; Email: Shenglan.tang@duke.edu

Detailed programme: https://noage100.com/2019/07/28/2020-meetings-global-ageing-and-related-healthcare-challenges/

Feature image: Signing of the MOU between CUHK and UiO (poto: Ruben Gudmundsrud)

If you have any comments or interests of attending this event (either of the two meetings, or both), please fill in the below form and send to us


Postdoc Dr. Sofie Lautrup receives Ph.D. Award from Aarhus University

Postdoc Dr. Sofie Lautrup has received the prestigious ´Ph.D. Award´from her alma mater, Aarhus University, Denmark on 28 June 2019.

News from Aarhus University: http://mbg.au.dk/en/news-and-events/scientific-talks/annual-meetings/2019/phd-awards/

Sofie H. Lautrup and Oskar Franch were awarded the Kjeld Marcker PhD Award 2019 at the annual meeting of the Department of Molecular Biology and Genetics on Friday 28 June 2019. 

The chairman of the PhD programme committe Ernst-Martin Füchtbauer presented the awards to the two prize winners with the following reasons for the selection of these two former PhD students:

Sofie Lautrup has a number of publications in journals with high impact factors and presented her work at several international meetings with oral presentations. She was also actively communicated science to the general public, by writing a popular science article, and by frequently teaching elementary and high school students. During her PhD she received several national and international travel grants, including the prestigious Dronning Margrethe II rejselegat. A very important aspect of her additional activities was her engagement in the MBG PhD Association, where she served in the board and actively participated in the planning and coordination of the first three PhD conferences.
Image: Aarhus University

Opening of the Hong Kong-Nordic Research Network





A newly established network with three founding members – The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Hong Kong SAR; The University of Oslo (UiO), Norway; and the University of Copenhagen (KU), Denmark – the Hong Kong-Nordic research network can be a driving force for the interchange of ideas between the universities, and help promote world leading research. This will be achieved by putting people in touch with each other to set up research collaborations, which will also be boosted by the great exchange opportunities offered by the universities. Both students and researchers will be given this opportunity. This will be a good way for scientists and students to expand their horizon and knowledge, and of course to meet with other peers. The network hope to foster groundbreaking research by establishing joint research collaborations.
Website:https://noage100.com/the-hong-kong-nordic-research-network/

Contact: 
The Nordic network coordinator Evandro F. Fang (e.f.fang@medisin.uio.no) and the Hong Kong network coordinator W.Y. Chan (chanwy@cuhk.edu.hk).