Professor Hai Qi, School of Medicine, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China.
Professor Qi trained as an MD in China, before completing a PhD in the Department of Pathology, University of Texas, USA (1997 – 2003), followed by a post-doc in the laboratory of Professor Ron Germain at NIH/NIAID (2003 – 2009). The success of his post-doc in the Germain lab is evident from his impressive publication record, which includes a first author paper in Science, a co-first author paper in Nature, co-author papers in Immunity (x2), Journal of Experimental Medicine, and Nature Protocols (x2), in addition to 4 invited reviews (Seminars in Immunology, Trends in Immunology, Immunological Reviews, Nature Reviews Immunology). In 2009, he returned to China as a Tenure-track Professor and has set up his own laboratory at the prestigious Tsinghua University in Beijing. His laboratory continues to be at the forefront of immunological research – having produced two Nature papers in the last 2 years.
Professor Qi’s current research interests focus on understanding the mechanisms that regulate the humoral immune response, in particular the signals and cellular interactions that govern germinal centre formation. Through the use of transgenic/reporter mice and state of the art 2-photon technology, he has been able to visualise and dissect out some of the dynamic interactions that take place during a B cell response. Specifically, Hai’s group has found a role for the molecules SAP and ICOS/ICOSL in the regulation of the germinal centre response. Since mutations in SAP and ICOS have been found to be the causative genes in the human immunodeficiencies, X-linked lymphoproliferative disease and common variable immunodeficiency, respectively, these findings also have a direct link to human health.