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Outstanding Researcher Award 2023

Professor Xiang David LI

Professor Xiang David LI
Department of Chemistry

Professor Xiang David LI obtained his BSc in chemistry from Fudan University in 2003, and PhD in organic and bioorganic chemistry in 2008 from The University of Hong Kong (HKU). He then moved to New York to conduct his postdoctoral training in chemistry and cell biology at Rockefeller University. In 2011, he returned to his alma mater, HKU, to start his independent career as an assistant professor and was promoted to full professor in 2020.
Professor LI’s research is at the interface of chemistry and biology. His lab develops chemical approaches to address key questions in epigenetics, a new and exciting research area linking multiple hereditary and environmental impacts on human health. His most important contribution to the field of epigenetics is the development of a variety of new and robust chemical tools and methodology for the comprehensive identification of proteins that are responsible for ‘writing’, ‘erasing’, or ‘translating’ histone PTMs, which helped to unravel biological roles played by specific histone modification and to clarify how the histone PTMs are interpreted in normal physiology and disease pathogenesis. He has been recognised by multiple prizes and awards, including the Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award, CAPA Distinguished Faculty Award, NSFC Excellent Young Scientists Award, and Early Career Award from the Hong Kong Research Grant Council.
Professor Li is deeply intrigued by the intricacies and sophistication of life. His background as an organic chemist has given him distinct perspectives for approaching and solving biological mysteries. He advocates that scientists remain open-minded and willing to embrace new challenges to delve into unfamiliar areas of study.


Prof Xiang David LI received the HKU Outstanding Researcher Award 2023