Prof. Shen Hongbing, a New Member in the Chinese Academy of Engineering


On November 22nd, 2019, the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE) unveiled the list of newly elected members, ushering in Shen Hongbing, a professor at the School of Public Health of Nanjing Medical University.

Professor Shen Hongbing was born in Nantong (Jiangsu, China) in 1964. He obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Preventive Medicine in 1986, Master’s degree of Epidemiology and Health Statistics in 1989 at Nanjing Medical University, and Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Health Statistics in 1999 at Shanghai Medical University (now Shanghai Medical College of Fudan University).

Professor Shen has long been committed to the talent training, scientific research and social service in the field of epidemiology and health statistics (preventive medicine). As the first author, he won the second prize of the National Natural Science Foundation and the award of Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation. Other honors include the National Preventive Medicine Leader, the National Science Fund (China) for Distinguished Young Scholar, the Cheung Kong Scholar, the Academic Leader of Innovation Research Group of the National Natural Science Foundation, the National Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Instructor, and the Director of the Cancer Epidemiology Committee in China Anti-Cancer Association.

He has conducted systematic and innovative research to discover tumor susceptibility genes, driver genes, and biomarkers. His work has dominated the trend of research in this field. As the corresponding author, he has published 185 papers in famous journals, such as Nature Genetics, Nature Reviews Cancer, etc. His publications have been cited for 12511 times (the highest one, 535 times). He has been elected as the Most Cited Chinese Researcher by Elsevier with an h-index of 57. He has also obtained 14 national patents for inventions.

As the chief scientist, he has conducted the only genome-wide association study of lung cancer in the Chinese population. For the first time, he has found twenty one susceptibility genes of lung cancer and established the genetic map with molecules of lung cancer among the Chinese. He has detected the susceptibility genes associated with smoking. He has revealed the cluster region of tumor-susceptible genes (including lung cancer) and the common genetic mechanism through which T cell activation affects tumor susceptibility. Besides, he has teased out the racial differences among lung cancer susceptibility genes. His multi-gene genetic risk scoring system has been successfully applied to predict the lung cancer in a cohort of 100,000 Chinese.

His research fruits have filled the blankness in the research on lung cancer susceptibility genes of Chinese population, providing new targets in studying the mechanism of lung cancer and a tool for predicting lung cancer risks. With high replicability, his achievements in genetic prediction and precise prevention of lung cancer have propelled Chinese research in cancer molecular epidemiology to an international front. 

Meanwhile, Professor Shen has revealed the key driver genes and molecular mechanisms of lung cancer in the Chinese population at the level of somatic genome. He has discovered that the mutated miRNA sequences are biomarkers in the development of lung cancer, steering the research of lung cancer into a realm of precise medicine.

Professor Shen is patriotic, rigorous and honest in academic study. As a celebrity at home and abroad, he has devoted his thirty years to the research of tumor molecular epidemiology. As a founding member of the World Health Organization’s International Lung Cancer Consortium (WHO-ILCCO), he has participated in international cooperation on lung cancer on behalf of China and published 149 academic papers with international collaborators, greatly magnifying China’s global influence in the field of cancer molecular epidemiology.

As a National Outstanding Scientific and Technological Worker, he prospectively led the establishment of a cohort of over 100,000 natural population, a tumor cohort of over 30,000 patients, and a bank of standardized samples and genetic data. His technologies for detecting lung tumor susceptibility genes have been merchandized, laying a theoretical and technical foundation for tumor gene-related gene industry in China.

He is the chief editor of Tumor Molecular Epidemiology and the state-level textbook Epidemiology. As the director, he won the second prize of the National Teaching Achievement Award in 2014. He infuses great energy into the construction of academic team and talent training. In 2017, the discipline of Public Health and Preventive Medicine of Nanjing Medical University was evaluated as A+ by the Ministry of Education.