For his discovery of the Hepatitis B and D virus receptor, sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP). This discovery facilitates the development of more effective treatment for hepatitis B and D.
Hepatitis B virus (HBV) is a major health hazard with more than 250 million people currently infected globally. People infected with HBV have a high risk of developing cirrhosis and liver cancer. In 2012, Wenhui Li and his team discovered sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide (NTCP) as a receptor for HBV and HDV infection. This is a milestone breakthrough in HBV research in the past three decades. His discovery uncovers a key molecular mechanism in HBV and HDV infection. This discovery facilitates the development of more effective treatment for hepatitis B and D.
Wenhui Li was born in Gansu, China in 1971 and received his Ph.D. from Peking Union Medical College & Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences in 2001. During his postdoctoral research at Harvard Medical School, he revealed that severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus (SARS-CoV) infects humans through angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor in 2003. He is currently an investigator at the National Institute of Biological Sciences, Beijing, China (NIBS) and a professor at the Tsinghua Institute of Multidisciplinary Biomedical Research.