Message from the President of Asia Pacific Protein Association

Portrait of Zengyi Chang

It is my great honor and pleasure to serve as the President of the Asia Pacific Protein Association (APPA). I am looking forward to working with protein scientists from throughout the Asia Pacific region.

Protein is such a magic type of molecular machinery, or more accurately a veritable “robot” which is capable of doing such a great variety of jobs essential for all life processes. It follows that the normal functioning of the thousands and thousands of protein molecules is vital for the normal development and health of living organisms. Although much has been learnt about the chemical properties and structures of proteins over the past 150 years, or so, our knowledge of proteins, especially their functions and behaviors in living cells, remains woefully limited. A multidisciplinary research approach is essential for our further progress in this fundamental field of the life sciences. Such a requirement and future perspective of protein research is an excellent reason for protein scientists in the Asia Pacific region, and around the rest of the world, to work together with strong community spirit. By doing so, we will steadily unveil the secrets of these magic life molecules at a faster pace.

As I mentioned at the closing ceremony of the 3rd APPA conference (May 9, 2011, Shanghai, China), I had the following vision for the upcoming three years of my term as President. First, we need to select the most qualified representatives from each member country or region. This will be the key to allow this organization to attract the attention of colleagues in this area, and doing so will also yield the most respected vision of where we should go and what we should do as a professional organization. Second, we need to draft a set of bylaws for the organization. This is important for the healthy development of APPA over the long term. Third, we should try to continue increasing the member countries or areas of APPA, such that it will represent the whole protein science community in the Asia Pacific area. Last but not least, we should work together to make the 4th APPA Conference, to be held in the Republic of Korea in 2014, a great success.

Without any doubt, protein research has a rich history in the Asia Pacific area and is advancing at a rapid pace. Our relative geographic proximity will allow us to exchange thoughts more conveniently, but cultural and language differences also require a concerted effort to facilitate such exchange. As we communicate, I think that it’s essential for us to enthusiastically embrace our common ground and tolerate any minor differences.

I would also like to heartily acknowledge the wonderful job that Prof. Yuji Goto, of Osaka University, has done during his one-year term as the first president of APPA. I am sure, Yuji as the past president of APPA, will continue to support our efforts and offer us the benefit of his valuable experience.

Together, let’s make APPA an influential organization in the world scientific community.

Zengyi Chang (昌增益)
Peking University, Beijing, China