Protein Misfolding and Neurodegenerative Diseases


Yun-Ru (Ruby) Chen 陳韻如

Laboratory for Protein misfolding and neurodegenerative diseases,

Research Fellow,

Division of Chemical Biology,

Genomics Research Center,

Academia Sinica


1998-2003 (Ph.D.): Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry, North Carolina State University, USA (under Prof. A. Clay Clark’s Laboratory)

1992-1996 (B.S.): Department of Agricultural Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

Professional Experience:

2014-present: Associate Research Fellow, Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

2015-present: Adjunct Associate Professor, Dept. of Biochemical Science & Technology, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

2015-2019: The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) Young Affiliate

2014-2017: Council Member of Asia Pacific Protein Association (APPA)

2007-2014: Assistant Research Fellow, Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan

2006-2007: Postdoctoral Fellow, Genomics Research Center, Academia Sinica, Taiwan (Prof. Chi-Huey Wong Laboratory)

2004-2006: Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Molecular Biology & Biochemistry, University of California, Irvine, USA (Prof. Charles C. Glabe Laboratory)

Research Interest:

Protein Folding/Misfolding, Amyloids, and Neurodegenerative Diseases

My research focuses on understanding the mechanism of protein misfolding diseases, amyloidosis, by various techniques including biochemical, biophysical, molecular, and cellular methods. Our long-term goal is to elucidate the disease mechanisms of amyloidosis in the aspects of protein folding and structure, pathogenic protein interactions, and relate the results to the medical consequences. We further utilize the knowledge to develop novel diagnostic means and therapeutic modalities. Many ageing-related neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Parkinson’s disease (PD) belong to amyloidosis. Among them, AD is the most serious problem in the 21st century. Amyloidosis is caused by aggregation of misfolded proteins to form amyloid fibrils comprising specific cross-β structures. Amyloid oligomers that exist in several neurodegenerative diseases imply a common toxicity mechanism in different neurodegenerative diseases. Currently, we are working on three amyloid and amyloid-like proteins and their interacting partners in neurodegenerative diseases. They are amyloid-β (Aβ) peptide and tau protein, the major substance in senile plaques and neurofibrillary tangles of AD patients respectively, α-synuclein, the component of Lewy bodies in PD, and TDP-43, a novel inclusion found in a subtype of frontotemporal lobar dementia (FTLD-U), amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and AD. We start from elucidating the mechanism of such aggregation and further developing the diagnostic method, antibodies, and small molecule inhibitors. Moreover, we study the structure, function, and interactions of the related glycan conjugates, precursor proteins, and modifiers. The major research interests are listed as follows:

  • Protein folding and misfolding of amyloids in neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Amyloid protein oligomerization and the toxicity mechanisms in neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Interactions of proteins, glycans, and lipids with the proteins involved in pathogenesis of the neurodegenerative diseases.

  • Drug screening, diagnostic, and therapeutic developments in neurodegenerative diseases.


  • 2019 National China Youth Corps Youth Medal, Taiwan. 108年度救國團青年獎章

  • 2018 Selected work for Future Tech Exhibition “A novel potential therapeutic antibody to combat ALS and related neurodegenerative diseases”. 技術團隊入選2018科技部未來科技展,作品”治療漸凍人 及相關神經退化疾病的新穎抗體”

  • 2018年第14屆永信李天德青年醫藥科技獎 The 14th Young Investigator Award, TienTe Lee Biomedical Foundation

  • 2016年中國化學會傑出青年化學家獎章2016 Young Chemists Award of the Chemical Society, Taipei

  • 104年度科技部吳大猷先生紀念獎2015 Ta-You Wu Memorial Award

  • 2015第三世界科學院年輕學者成員TWAS Young Affiliate, 2015-2019, East & Southeast Asia and Pacific Region (International Award)

  • 第十三屆有庠科技論文獎 The 13th Y. Z. Hsu Scientific Paper Award, Far Eastern Y. Z. Hsu Science and Technology Memorial Foundation, 2015

  • 104年度中研院年輕學者著作學獎 Academia Sinica Research Award for Junior Research Investigators, 2015

  • Junior Faculty Award, the 12th International Conference on Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease, 2015 (International Award)

  • 財團法人吳健雄學術基金會103年度台灣女科學家新秀獎Promising Women in Science Award, Wu Chieh Shiung Education Foundation, 2014

  • 中華民國生物物理學會102年度傑出年輕學者獎Young Investigator Award, Biophysical Society of R.O.C., 2013


2021 第19屆有庠科技論文奬-生技醫藥

2019 National China Youth Corps Youth Medal, Taiwan. 108年度救國團青年獎章

2018 Selected work for Future Tech Exhibition “A novel potential therapeutic antibody to combat ALS and related neurodegenerative diseases”.