Jinzhong Lin

2015 Regional Award Finalist — Post-Doc

Jinzhong Lin

Current Position:
Associate Research Scientist, The Steitz Lab

Yale University

Biochemistry & Structural Biology

Recognized for: Pioneering the crystallography of ribosomes with various bound trGTPases to further unlock the mysteries of protein synthesis

Areas of Research Interest and Expertise: Protein Synthesis, Ribosome Biogenesis, mRNA Translation and Regulation, Structural Biology


PhD, Institute of Biophysics, Chinese Academy of Science
BS, China Agricultural University

Jinzhong Lin studies the ribosome, a complex molecular machine that produces proteins in cells according to the instructions carried in the messenger RNA.   His research has led to a greater understanding of both how the ribosome is made and how it works at the molecular level. 

After his PhD training, Dr. Lin joined the laboratory of Dr. Keqiong Ye at National Institute of Biological Science in China, where he elucidated the molecular details of how one of the major modifications of ribosomal RNA, 2’-O methylation, is carried out by the large box C/D ribonucleoprotein complex. Using multidisciplinary research tools, he also discovered a novel evolutionary connection between the transfer RNA and ribosomal RNA processing machineries.

To deepen the understanding of how the ribosome works, Dr. Lin continued his research in the laboratory of Professor Thomas Steitz at Yale University.  He, along with colleague Matthieu Gagnon, devised a novel approach to crystallize the bacterial ribosomes in complex with GTPases, an important class of protein factors that assists the ribosome by catalyzing key steps of protein synthesis. This allowed them to obtain high-resolution structural snapshots of functional ribosome complexes, providing significant insights into the molecular mechanisms of protein synthesis by the ribosome.

“It is increasingly evident that deregulation of mRNA translation in eukaryotes plays a fundamental role in tumorigenesis. I plan to expand my ribosome research into the molecular mechanisms of eukaryotic translational regulation.”

Key publications:

  1. Lin J, Gagnon M. G, Bulkley D, Steitz T.A. Conformational Changes of Elongation Factor G on the Ribosome during tRNA Translocation. Cell. 2015.
  2. Gagnon, M. G, Lin J, Bulkley D, Steitz T.A. Crystal structure of elongation factor 4 bound to a clockwise ratcheted ribosome. Science. 2014.
  3. Lin J. et al. Structural basis for site-specific ribose methylation by box C/D RNA protein complexes. Nature. 2011
  4. Lin J, Lu J, Feng Y, Sun M, Ye K. An RNA-Binding Complex Involved in Ribosome Biogenesis Contains a Protein with Homology to tRNA CCA-Adding Enzyme. PLoS Biol. 2013.

Other honors:

2007       Director’s award for excellent research, Institute of Biophysics   
2007       Jiu Yuan Scholarship, Tan Jiazhen Life Science Foundation
1998 – 2001    Undergraduate scholarship, China Agricultural University
1997       Tan Jiazhen Life Science Scholarship