Department of Chemistry Seminar - Opportunities for Merging Chemical and Biological Synthesis

11:00am - 12:00pm
Room 2306, 2/F (Lifts 17-18), Academic Building, HKUST

Speaker: Professor Xiaoguang LEI

Institution: College of Chemistry and Molecular Engineering, Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences, Peking University, Beijing, China

Hosted By: Professor Jianwei SUN



Natural products and their derivatives have long been used as medicinal agents, and they still make up a significant fraction of clinically approved drugs. Natural product synthesis provides a rich and unparalleled opportunity to develop new synthetic transformations, conceive novel and general strategies to access complex structures, and study the mechanism of action of bioactive targets. This lecture will illustrate the opportunities that lie at this interface between synthetic organic chemistry and chemical biology by describing a series of examples that we are actively working on in our laboratory at Peking University. We take inspiration from Mother Nature to study the biosynthesis of plant-derived natural products to elucidate new enzymatic mechanisms and apply the chemoenzymatic approach to prepare complex natural products and their derivatives. Moreover, we further use bioactive natural products to explore new biology and develop novel drug candidates for human diseases.