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Dr. Liu Hongrong’s Paper Published in Science


Magazine Science published on August 27 carried the breakthrough research finding of Doctor Liu Hongrong from School of Materials, Optoelectronics and Physics of Xiangtan University in the field of single particle technology of cryo-electron microscopy—Atomic Structure of Human Adenovirus by Cryo-EM Reveals Interactions Among Protein Networks (Hongrong Liu et al., Science, Vol 329, 1038,2010). In addition, the magazine also published a paper employing X-ray method and the comment by Mr. Stephen C. Harrison, who is a pioneer of structural biology nominated by the Nobel Prize, academician of United States National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and professor of Harvard University.

Prof. Stephen C. Harrison thinks highly of Dr. Liu’s work, which he deems as the representative work of contemporary freeze electron microscopy, and makes it clear that the structure figured out by Mr. Liu is much better than the X-ray structure. This paper is selected as the science highlight of this issue.  

Human adenovirus can lead to many serious diseases in respiratory tract, alimentary canal and eye, and serves as the main carrier of the heated gene therapy, thus attracting great attention of the biological world and medical circle. The highlight of Doctor Liu Hongrong’s research lies in that he employs the frozen single particle technology of cryo-electron microscopy to work out the three dimensional structure of human adenovirus distinguished by atom. This is the largest atomic structure of biological macromolecules in the world to date, reflecting the highest level of frozen single particle technology of cryo-electron microscopy.

Liu Hongrong is a young teacher of School of Materials, Optoelectronics and Physics. Born in 1973, he began his career in 1997 and studies for in-service master degree on physics, majoring in condensed state physics in 2000. In 2005, he further read for in-service doctoral degree of condensed state physics, with Prof. Yang Qibin as his supervisor. Under the guidance of his supervisor, Mr. Liu fruitful results have been reaped in the field of frozen single particle technology of cryo-electron microscopy. The new theories and algorithms put forward by him are widely applied. His papers published during his doctoral years are cited by Nature、Science、PNAS and other international top magazines on several occasions. That his research makes significant headways benefits from his new algorithm and computational procedure by cutting down the original huge calculation amount of his work involved in publishing on Science. In March 2009, Liu Hongrong was invited to the California Institute for Nanotechnology of University of California, Los Angeles(UCLA)for postdoctoral research.

Subsequent to Yuan Huuqiu, who published paper of superconductivity research on Science in 2003, Liu Hongrong, issued the second academic paper of top quality on the very magazine with Xiangtan University as the second completion organization. Both Yuan Huiqiu and Liu Hongrong graduated from condensed state physics of our university.


In recent years, a series of work done by physics of XTU has attracted great attention from international top academic periodicals. In 2010, Prof. Li Aigen, one of the first batch of scholars of “Hundred Talents Project”, published a survey article on interstellar dust research on Nature. A survey article on Science introduced the work done by Prof. Tang Biyu in terms of Mg-Al-Ca-X alloy system. In 2009, the research work of the in-service Ph.D candidate Xie Yue’e(supervised by Prof. Zhong Jianxin)—electron transport of graphene strip was evaluated as the weekly highlight of Nature China; in 2008, Nature published research papers of Italian scientists to verify quantum diffusion theory proposed by Prof. Zhong Jianxin; in 2007, the summary article of Nature Nanotechnology introduced the work of Prof. Zhong Jianxin in terms of partitioning and intermingling of nano wires and rated it as one of the four yearly headways. All these achievements indicate that our university takes the lead in the international arena in several fields of physics. In return, high-level research achieved recognition of professional researchers at home. In 2010, nine projects of the physics research team of XTU have been approved by National Nature Science Fund.

(School of Materials, Optoelectronics and Physics)