Professor Xuechen Li received his BSc degree from Nankai University, China, his MSc from the University of Alberta, Canada, and, in 2007, his PhD from Harvard University, USA. After postdoctoral work in the laboratory of Prof. Samuel Danishefsky at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, he joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Hong Kong as an Assistant Professor in 2009, and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014 and Professor in 2018. He was granted the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship in 2018.
The central theme of Dr. Li’s research focuses on the chemical biology of biomolecules (i.e., peptides/proteins and glycoproteins) with the aim of studying fundamental biological questions and developing potential therapeutic applications. His laboratory has developed various methods for protein chemical synthesis, peptide cyclization and protein modifications, including Ser/Thr ligation, P-B peptide desulfurization and phthalimidine protein bioconjugation. Furthermore, he has been working on the synthesis and medicinal chemistry studies of complex antibacterial cyclic peptides, with completion of the total synthesis of daptomycin and teixobactin.