Our Experts

Name: Zeng Mu-Sheng
Title: Professor and Vice-President
Email: zengmsh@sysucc.org.cn

Prof. Mu-Sheng Zeng is a vice director and professor of Sun Yat-sen University Cancer Center. He gained his Ph.D. degree at Sun Yat-sen University in 1998 and had his Post-doc training in Tennessee State University and New England Medical Center, Tufts University from 1999 to 2003. Prof. Mu-Sheng Zeng moved back to China to start his lab in 2003. In 2010, he supported by The National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars.  In 2014, he was awarded as The Yangtze River Scholar Distinguished Professor from Ministry of Education of China. In 2016, he was awarded as Distinguished Scholar Professor of Guangdong province. In 2021, he was awarded as Young and middle-aged Expert with outstanding contribution to National health. In 2018, he was elected as chairman of the 2022 Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Gordon Research Conference (The start of the conference was pushed back from 2022 to 2024 due to the COVID-19). In the same year, he was awarded The First Prize of the Guangdong Provincial Natural Science Award. In 2019,  he was awarded The First Prize of Science and Technology Award of China Anti-Cancer Association. In 2022, he was awarded The First Prize of Academy of Higher Education Award for Outstanding Achievements in Scientific Research.

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is the first human oncogenic virus discovered, and is closely related to nasopharyngeal carcinoma, some lymphomas and gastric cancer, and is also the cause of infectious mononucleosis in adolescents, which seriously harms people's health, but there are no vaccines and specific antiviral drugs available for more than 50 years. Prof. Zeng made outstanding contributions to the pathogenesis and intervention of EBV, answering an international conundrum: EBV usually infects only lymphocytes, why can it infect nasopharyngeal epithelial cells in South China and some Southeast Asian countries, and how to prevent nasopharyngeal cancer? 1) He established an in vitro model of EBV infection of epithelial cells, found all the receptors for Epstein-Barr virus to enter epithelial cells, and then revealed the new mechanism of Epstein-Barr virus causing nasopharyngeal carcinoma, providing scientific basis for intervention of Epstein-Barr virus infection; 2) He found a new epithelial-immune dual feature cell type in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Tumor cells with this feature could enhance the depletion of CD8+ T cells and promote the tumor progression of nasopharyngeal carcinoma, laying a theoretical foundation for the study of new immunotherapy schemes for nasopharyngeal carcinoma; 3) He repoted the complete atomic structure of EBV nucleocapsid, providing a key structural basis for the research and development of drugs that block the maturation of viral capsid; 4) He identified the carcinogenic EBV high-risk subtypes, and developed EBV prophylactic self-assembled nanoparticles vaccine platform and EBV therapeutic mRNA vaccine platform.  Now his research team cooperate with biomedical companies to promote the fundamental and translational research on EBV prophylactic and therapeutic vaccines. Leveraging strong cross-company partnerships and expertise, he worked together with company to advance research and bring this groundbreaking vaccine closer to reality, offering new hope to patients battling these challenging diseases. He achieved major theoretical breakthroughs in the field of pathogenesis and prevention of EBV related diseases, providing key basic support for vaccine and drug research and development, and promoting the development of the field.  Professor Zeng won the first prize of the Natural Science Award of the Ministry of Education, the first prize of the Natural Science Award of Guangdong Province and the first prize of the Science and Technology Award of the Chinese Anti-Cancer Association. As a corresponding or co-corresponding author, he published more than 70 papers in Nat Microbiol, Cell Res, ACS Nano, J Clin Invest, Nature Commun, PNAS, J Natl Cancer Inst and other internationally renowned journals. He is consecutively selected by Elsevier highly cited scholars with h-index 57 and a total of 11,934 times cited.

1988   College Degree in Clinical Medicine

Jiangxi Medical College in Fuzhou, Jiangxi, China

1994  M.M. in Oncology

Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

1998  Ph.D. in Microbiology

Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, China

1999-2000  Postdoc in Biology

Tennessee State University, USA

2000-2003  Postdoc in Radiation Oncology

New England Medical Center, Tufts University, USA


1) Cong Sun#, Yin-Feng Kang#, Yuan-Tao Liu, Xiang-Wei Kong , Hui-Qin Xu , Dan Xiong , Chu Xie , Yi-Hao Liu , Sui Peng , Guo-Kai Feng* , Zheng Liu *, Mu-Sheng Zeng*. Parallel profiling of antigenicity alteration and immune escape of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron and other variants. Signal Transduct Target Ther. 2022 Feb 8;7(1):42.
2) Yin-Feng Kang#, Cong Sun#, Jing Sun#, Chu Xie, Zhen Zhuang, Hui-Qin Xu, Zheng Liu, Yi-Hao Liu, Sui Peng, Run-Yu Yuan*, Jin-Cun Zhao*, Mu-Sheng Zeng*. Quadrivalent mosaic HexaPro-bearing nanoparticle vaccine protects against infection of SARS-CoV-2 variants. Nat Commun. 2022 May 13;13(1):2674.
3) Yin-Feng Kang#, Cong Sun#, Zhen Zhuang#, Run-Yu Yuan#, Qing-Bing Zheng, Jiang-Ping Li, Ping-Ping Zhou, Xin-Chun Chen, Zhe Liu, Xiao Zhang, Xiao-Hui Yu, Xiang-Wei Kong, Qian-Ying Zhu, Qian Zhong, Miao Xu, Nan-Shan Zhong, Yi-Xin Zeng, Guo-Kai Feng*, Chang-Wen Ke*, Jin-Cun Zhao*, and Mu-Sheng Zeng*. Rapid Development of SARS-CoV 2 Spike Protein Receptor-Binding Domain Self Assembled Nanoparticle Vaccine Candidates. .  ACS Nano 2021, 15, 2738−2752. 
4) Kang YF, Zhang X, Yu XH, Zheng Q, Liu Z, Li JP, Sun C, Kong XW, Zhu QY, Chen HW, Huang Y, Xu M, Zhong Q, Zeng YX*, Zeng MS*. Immunization with a self-assembled nanoparticle vaccine elicits potent neutralizing antibody responses against EBV infection. Nano Lett.2021 Mar 8;21(6):2476-86.
5)Zhu QY, Shan S, Yu J, Peng SY, Sun C, Zuo Y, Zhong LY, Yan SM, Zhang X, Yang Z, Peng YJ, Shi X, Cao SM, Wang X*, Zeng MS*, Zhang L*. A potent and protective human neutralizing antibody targeting a novel vulnerable site of Epstein-Barr virus. Nat Commun. 2021 Nov 16;12(1):6624.
6)Shanzhao Jin, Ruoyan Li, Ming-Yuan Chen, Chao Yu, Lin-Quan Tang, Yan-Min Liu, Jiang-Ping Li, Yi-Na Liu, Yi-Ling Luo, Yifan Zhao, Yu Zhang, Tian-Liang Xia, Shang-Xin Liu, Qi Liu, Guan-Nan Wang, Rui You , Jing-Yun Peng, Jiang Li, Feng Han, Jianwei Wang, Qiu-Yan Chen, Li Zhang, Hai-Qiang Mai, Benjamin E Gewurz, Bo Zhao, Lawrence S Young, Qian Zhong*, Fan Bai*, Mu-Sheng Zeng*. Single-cell transcriptomic analysis defines the interplay between tumor cells, viral infection, and the microenvironment in nasopharyngeal carcinoma. Cell Res. 2020 Nov;30(11):950-965.
7)Li Z, Zhang X, Dong L, Pang J, Xu M, Zhong Q, Zeng MS*, Yu X*. CryoEM structure of the tegumented capsid of Epstein-Barr virus. Cell Res. 2020 Oct;30(10):873-884.
8)Zhang H, Li Y, Wang HB, Zhang A, Chen ML, Fang ZX, Dong XD, Li SB, Du Y, Xiong D, He JY, Li MZ, Liu YM, Zhou AJ, Zhong Q, Zeng YX, Kieff E, Zhang ZQ, Gewurz BE, Zhao B*, Zeng MS*. Ephrin receptor A2 is an epithelial cell receptor for EBV entry. Nat Microbiol, 2018 Feb;3(2):164-171
9)Tang LQ, Zhang H, Li Y, Zhang A, Chen ML, Li SB, Mai HQ, Zeng MS*. A Sponsored Supplement to Science:Precision medicine in China,Chapter 2, Precision medicine for nasopharyngeal carcinoma, Science, 2016.12.23, 24~27
10)Xiong D, Du Y, Wang HB, Zhao B, Zhang H, Li Y, Hu LJ, Cao JY, Zhong Q, Liu WL, Li MZ, Zhu XF, Tsao SW, Hutt-Fletcher LM, Song E, Zeng YX, Kieff E*, Zeng MS*. Nonmuscle myosin heavy chain IIA mediates Epstein-Barr virus infection of nasopharyngeal epithelial cells. PNAS. 2015 Sep 1;112(35):11036-41.
11)Wang HB, Zhang H, Zhang JP, Li Y, Zhao B, Feng GK, Du Y, Xiong D, Zhong Q, Liu WL, Du H, Li MZ, Huang WL, Tsao SW, Hutt-Fletcher L, Zeng YX, Kieff E, Zeng MS*. Neuropilin 1 is an entry factor that promotes EBV infection of nasopharyngeal epithelial cells. Nat Commun. 2015 Feb 11;6(1):6240.
12)Song LB, Li J, Liao WT, Feng Y, Yu CP, Hu LJ, Kong QL, Xu LH, Zhang X, Liu WL, Li MZ, Zhang L, Kang TB, Fu LW, Huang WL, Xia YF, Tsao SW, Li M, Band V, Band H, Shi QH, Zeng YX, Zeng MS*. The polycomb group protein Bmi-1 represses the tumor suppressor PTEN and induces epithelial-mesenchymal transition in human nasopharyngeal epithelial cells. J Clin Invest. 2009 Dec 1;119(12):3626-36.

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