Anming Meng  Ph.D.

Professor of Developmental Biology, Fellow of Chinese Academy of Sciences, TWAS Fellow

1979-1983, Undergraduate of Southwestern Agricultural University.

1983-1987, Research Assistant of China Rice Research Institute.

1987-1990, PhD student of University of Nottingham, UK.

1990-1996, Postdoctoral fellow and associate professor of Beijing Agricultural University.

1996-1998, Visiting scholar of the Institute of Molecular Medicine and Genetics, Medical College of Georgia, USA.

1998 to now, Professor of Tsinghua University.

2008 to 2012, Director of the Institute of Zoology, the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Research interest

This lab has focused on mechanisms controlling early embryonic development of vertebrates. Mainly using the zebrafish and the mouse as model systems, the lab has been studying cell fate determination during cleavage and blastula stages, germ layer induction and patterning, and dorsoventral and anteroposterior differentiation. Particular attention is paid to the role of maternal (oocyte-derived) factors in the above developmental processes.

In the past tens of years, this lab had revealed functions of several important regulators and signaling pathways for mesendoderm induction and dorsoventral patterning as well as left-right asymmetry development in zebrafish embryos. One important discovery is that a maternally expressed Huluwa, a novel transmembrane protein, activates b-catenin signaling for the embryonic organizer and body axis formation in the zebrafish and frog by promoting Axin degradation, which solves a long-standing question in the field of developmental biology. Recently, Anming Meng’s lab disclosed the clock-like function of nuclear pore complex maturation for activation of zygotic genome activation in zebrafish embryos[53]. Besides, his lab discovered for the first time an indispensable role of the second polar body in setting up the initial cell fate asymmetry during pre-implantation and in regulating post-implantation development in mouse embryos.


The majority of Dr. Meng’s former graduates are still doing scientific research. Some of them have PI positions in universities or institutions such as the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Tongji University, Chongqing University, Ocean University of China, Zhejiang University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Beijing Institute of Technology, Chongqing Medical University, Soochow University, and Minnan Normal University.

Service in Editorial Boards

Anming Meng has served some scientific journals including Journal of Genetics and Genomics, Advisory Board member (2007-); Cell Research: Editorial board member and advisory board member (2006-); Journal of Biological Chemistry, Editorial board member (2009-2013); Current Zoology, Editor in Chief (2009-2019); Journal of Cell Science, Editorial board member and advisory board member (2008-); BMC Development Biology, Editorial board member and advisory board member (2010-); Mechanisms of Development, Editorial board member and advisory board member (2011-); Open Biology, Associate editor (2012-); Journal of Molecular Cell Biology, Associate editor (2016-); Development, Advisory board member (2019-); National Science Reviews, Section editor (2023-2027); National Science Open, Executive editor-in-chief in Life Sciences and Medicine (2022-).

Service in Academic Societies

He holds positions in some academic societies including Chinese Society for Cell Biology, member of council (2003-2012); Asia Pacific Developmental Biology Network (APDBN), president of the Organizing Committee (2013-2015); Genetics Society of China, vice president (2013-2023); China Zoological Society, president (2014-2024), vice president (2004-2013); China Union of Life Science Societies, president (2022-2023).


He has received awards such as Outstanding Young Scholar, Hong Kong Qiu Shi Science & Technologies Foundation,2000; Teaching and Research Award for University Outstanding Young Teachers, the Ministry of Education of China, 2000; China National Funds for Distinguished Young Scholars, 2000; Cheung Kong Scholar, the Ministry of Education of China and Li Kai Shing Foundation, Hong Kong, 2001; Prize for Science and Technology Advancement in 2007, the Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation; 2007; Tan Jia Zhen Achievement Award in life sciences, Shanghai Biopharmaceutical Industry Association, 2012; Outstanding Accomplishment Award of the Chinese Society of Cell Biology, 2020; Lifetime Accomplishment Award in Zebrafish Research, the Chinese Society of Zebrafish Research, 2023.

Representative Publications (since 2013)

1. Shen W, Gong B, Xing C, Zhang L, Sun J, Chen Y, Yang C, Yan L, Chen L, Yao L, Li G, Deng H, Wu X, Meng A. * (2022). Comprehensive maturity of nuclear pore complexes regulates zygotic genome activation. Cell 185, 4954-4970.

2. Jin, H., Han, Y., Wang, H., Li, J.X.H., Shen, W., Zhang, L., Chen, L., Jia, S., Yuan, P., Chen, H., and Meng, A. * (2022). The second polar body contributes to the fate asymmetry in the mouse embryo. Nat Sci Rev, nwac003.

3. Chen, L., Xu, W., Liu, K., Jiang, Z., Han, Y., Jin, H., Zhang, L., Shen, W., Jia, S., Sun, Q., Meng, A.* (2021). 5' Half of specific tRNAs feeds back to promote corresponding tRNA gene transcription in vertebrate embryos. Sci Adv 7, eabh0494.

4. Zhang, L., Chen, L., Chen, J., Shen, W., and Meng, A.* (2020). Mini-III RNase-based dual-color system for in vivo mRNA tracking. Development 147, dev190728.

5. Jiang, D., Jiang, Z., Lu, D., Wang, X., Liang, H., Zhang, J., Meng, Y., Li, Y., Wu, D., Huang, Y., Chen, Y., Deng, H., Wu, Q., Xiong, J., Meng, A.* and Yu, L.* (2019). Migrasomes provide regional cues for organ morphogenesis during zebrafish gastrulation. Nat Cell Biol 21, 966-977.

6. Gong, B., Li, Z., Xiao, W., Li, G., Ding, S., Meng, A.* and Jia, S*. (2019). Sec14l3 potentiates VEGFR2 signaling to regulate zebrafish vasculogenesis. Nat Commun 10, 1606.

7. Yan, L., Chen, J., Zhu, X., Sun, J., Wu, X., Shen, W., Zhang, W., Tao, Q.*, and Meng, A.* (2018). Maternal Huluwa dictates the embryonic body axis through beta-catenin in vertebrates. Science 362, eaat1045.

8. Zhang, B., Wu, X., Zhang, W., Shen, W., Sun, Q., Liu, K., Zhang, Y., Wang, Q., Li, Y., Meng, A.* and Xie, W.* (2018). Widespread Enhancer Dememorization and Promoter Priming during Parental-to-Zygotic Transition. Mol Cell 72, 673-686 e676.

9. Sun, J., Yan, L., Shen, W., and Meng, A.* (2018). Maternal Ybx1 safeguards zebrafish oocyte maturation and maternal-to-zygotic transition by repressing global translation. Development 145, dev166587.

10. Gao, Q., Zhang, J., Wang, X., Liu, Y., He, R., Liu, X., Wang, F., Feng, J., Yang, D., Wang, Z.*, Meng, A.* and Yan, X.* (2017). The signalling receptor MCAM coordinates apical-basal polarity and planar cell polarity during morphogenesis. Nat Commun 8, 15279.

11. Liu, Z., Ning, G., Xu, R., Cao, Y., Meng, A.* and Wang, Q.* (2016). Fscn1 is required for the trafficking of TGF-beta family type I receptors during endoderm formation. Nat Commun 7, 12603.

12. Zhang, J., Jiang, Z., Liu, X. and Meng, A.* (2016). Eph/ephrin signaling maintains the boundary of dorsal forerunner cell cluster during morphogenesis of the zebrafish embryonic left-right organizer. Development 143, 2603-2615.

13. Xue, Y., Zheng, X., Huang, L., Xu, P., Ma, Y., Min, Z., Tao, Q., Tao, Y.*, and Meng, A*. (2014) Organizer-derived Bmp2 is required for the formation of a correct Bmp activity gradient during embryonic development. Nat Commun 5, 3766.

14. Xu, P., Zhu, G., Wang, Y., Sun, J., Liu, X., Chen, Y. G., and Meng, A*. (2014) Maternal Eomesodermin regulates zygotic nodal gene expression for mesendoderm induction in zebrafish embryos. J Mol Cell Biol 6, 272-285.

15. Liu, X., Xiong, C., Jia, S., Zhang, Y., Chen, Y. G., Wang, Q., and Meng, A*. (2013) Araf kinase antagonizes Nodal-Smad2 activity in mesendoderm development by directly phosphorylating the Smad2 linker region. Nat Commun 4, 1728.


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