Originally from China, Jinfan obtained his B.S. in Biotechnology from University of Science and Technology Beijing in 2010. His initial exposure to research in Dr. Ching Song’s lab ignited his fervor for fundamental biological research and inspired him to pursue graduate studies.
He then moved to Sweden and obtained his Ph.D. from Uppsala University in 2016. Trained by Dr. Anthony Forster, in collaboration with Drs. Måns Ehrenberg and Marek Kwiatkowski, Jinfan focused on the chemistry and engineering of prokaryotic protein synthesis. Using a reconstituted bacterial translation system, he applied rapid kinetic analyses to the ribosomal incorporation of unnatural substrates. His results identified key competing reactions and rate-limiting steps, and suggested generalizable ways to improve the efficiencies of ribosome-catalyzed polymer synthesis. This research experience deepened his passion for RNA biochemistry and protein synthesis.
Supported by the Knut and Alice Wallenberg Foundation, Jinfan joined Dr. Jody Puglisi’s lab as a postdoc at Stanford University in 2016. There, he pioneered the reconstitution of a purified yeast translation system that enabled direct monitoring of translating eukaryotic ribosomes using single molecule fluorescence microscopy. With the help of the labs of Drs. Thomas Dever and Israel Fernández, his results established a quantitative framework for how eukaryotic ribosomes engage with a mRNA, scan for the correct start codon, assemble into an 80S initiation complex and progress to polypeptide elongation phase. His work also demonstrated how mRNA structure and sequence elements modulate translation initiation dynamics to influence start codon utilization.
In 2023, Jinfan joined the faculty at UTSW as an Endowed Scholar. His lab integrates quantitative biochemical, single-molecule biophysical, structural, and genetics approaches to elucidate the dynamic mechanisms of cytosolic and mitochondrial protein synthesis. The quantitative models established in these studies will pave the way for understanding how translation in either of the compartments is dysregulated in human diseases and guide the identification of novel therapeutic targets.
- Protein synthesis
- RNA biochemistry
- Single molecule fluorescence spectroscopy
- Rapid 40S scanning and its regulation by mRNA structure during eukaryotic translation initiation.
- Wang J, Shin BS, Alvarado C, Kim JR, Bohlen J, Dever TE, Puglisi JD, Cell 2022 Nov 185 24 4474-4487.e17
- Structural basis for the transition from translation initiation to elongation by an 80S-eIF5B complex.
- Wang J, Wang J, Shin BS, Kim JR, Dever TE, Puglisi JD, Fernández IS, Nat Commun 2020 Oct 11 1 5003
- eIF5B gates the transition from translation initiation to elongation.
- Wang J, Johnson AG, Lapointe CP, Choi J, Prabhakar A, Chen DH, Petrov AN, Puglisi JD, Nature 2019 Sep 573 7775 605-608
- Real-time detection of human telomerase DNA synthesis by multiplexed single-molecule FRET.
- Hentschel J, Badstübner M, Choi J, Bagshaw CR, Lapointe CP, Wang J, Jansson LI, Puglisi JD, Stone MD, Biophys J 2023 Sep 122 17 3447-3457
- Dynamics of release factor recycling during translation termination in bacteria.
- Prabhakar A, Pavlov MY, Zhang J, Indrisiunaite G, Wang J, Lawson MR, Ehrenberg M, Puglisi JD, Nucleic Acids Res 2023 Jun 51 11 5774-5790
- eIF5B and eIF1A reorient initiator tRNA to allow ribosomal subunit joining.
- Lapointe CP, Grosely R, Sokabe M, Alvarado C, Wang J, Montabana E, Villa N, Shin BS, Dever TE, Fraser CS, Fernández IS, Puglisi JD, Nature 2022 Jul 607 7917 185-190
- Plasticity and conditional essentiality of modification enzymes for domain V of Escherichia coli 23S ribosomal RNA.
- Liljeruhm J, Leppik M, Bao L, Truu T, Calvo-Noriega M, Freyer NS, Liiv A, Wang J, Blanco RC, Ero R, Remme J, Forster AC, RNA 2022 Jun 28 6 796-807
- Mechanisms that ensure speed and fidelity in eukaryotic translation termination.
- Lawson MR, Lessen LN, Wang J, Prabhakar A, Corsepius NC, Green R, Puglisi JD, Science 2021 Aug 373 6557 876-882
- Dynamic competition between SARS-CoV-2 NSP1 and mRNA on the human ribosome inhibits translation initiation.
- Lapointe CP, Grosely R, Johnson AG, Wang J, Fernández IS, Puglisi JD, Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2021 02 118 6
- Dynamics of the context-specific translation arrest by chloramphenicol and linezolid.
- Choi J, Marks J, Zhang J, Chen DH, Wang J, Vázquez-Laslop N, Mankin AS, Puglisi JD, Nat Chem Biol 2020 Mar 16 3 310-317
Honors & Awards
- The Wallenberg Foundation Postdoctoral Scholarship Program at Stanford