Remembering a pioneering scientist, distinguished leader and our good friend on the journey to advance mass spectrometry-based proteomics
We are deeply saddened by the loss of a distinguished colleague and friend in the HUPO community, Prof. Pengyuan Yang, Executive Vice Director of the BioMedical Sciences and Principal Researcher of the Biological Mass Spectrometry Group, Fudan University, in May 31, 2021.
Pengyuan received his PhD from the department of chemistry, University of Massachusetts and worked as a post-doc in Indiana University and Xiamen University. He then joined Xiamen University and Fudan University to start his career. Throughout his life, Pengyuan has been devoted to the development of instrumentation and methodology in the fields of analytical chemistry and proteomics. Pengyuan pioneered mass spectrometry-based instrumentation and methodology when proteomics was still in its infancy. With his keen vision, he constructed the very first ESI-Q-TOF mass spectrometer in China and kept promoting the development of mass spectrometry instruments and their application in proteomics. Pengyuan has made extraordinary contributions to the development of proteomics research in China. He has led two national “973” projects aiming to develop advanced proteomics and microfluidics, starting in the historical period when scientists gradually shifted their 2D gel to mass spectrometry-based proteomics. He also led one national “863” project aiming to develop MS instrumentation and relevant reagents. He has published more than 500 articles with over 16,000 citations. In particular, he has developed a series of techniques for identification and quantification of the glycoproteome, in particular pGlyco. These “sweet” techniques and informatic tools will remain a great legacy to benefit the study of the highly complex glycobiology.
We are so grateful to have Pengyuan with his life-long contribution to HUPO. Until the last stage in his life, Pengyuan actively participated in the Human Proteome Project (HPP) under HUPO. He served as an elected council member of HUPO, and past member-at-large of the Human Proteome Project (HPP), playing key role to direct and coordinate the activities of HPP.He also was a leading member under the Human Disease Glycomics/Proteome Initiative (HGPI). Aligned with the international efforts under the chromosome-centric Human Proteome Project (C-HPP), he also lead a team to decode the protein compositions of chromosome-8 and understand the biological context of the protein parts list. PangYuan’s passion, efforts and contribution to the proteomics community are highly recognized and appreciated.
We believe that the spirit of PengYuan will live on. His legacy will be inherited by more researchers and continue to contribute to create new generations of instruments, applications of mass spectrometry and their translation into precision medicine. On behave of HUPO, we would like offer our condolences to Pengyuan's family.
Yu-Ju Chen, President
Susan E Weintraub, Vice President
Henning Hermjakob, Secretary-general
On behalf of Human Proteome Organization (HUPO)
Huali Shen, Professor
On behalf of Pengyuan Yang’s group