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Teaching Staff

Professor YANG, Dan

Professor YANG, Dan

Morningside Professor in Chemical Biology & Professor: Chair of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science, HKU

B.Sc.(Fudan), M.A.(Columbia), Ph.D. 1991(Princeton)

    • 2859 2159
    • 605 Chong Yuet Ming Chemistry Building, The University of Hong Kong, Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong

    Research area:

    • Fluorescent/chemilumilescent sensors for molecular detection and imaging of reactive oxygen species, lipids, metabolites and enzymes in living cells to study redox biology and human diseases;
    • Molecular probes for proteins and nucleic acids to investigate epigenetic changes in relation to their functions;
    • Synthetic ion transporters and their biological applications in eradicating cancer stem cells and drug-resistant bacteria.



    • Yoshida Prize by the International Organic Chemistry Foundation (IOCF) (2020)
    • Chinese Young Women in Science Fellowship (2011)
    • TWAS Prize in Chemistry (2010)
    • Associate Editor of Organic Letters (2010-)
    • Member of Editorial Advisory Board of Acc. of Chem. Res., J. Org. Chem., ACS Chem. Biol., Chem. Asian J., and Beilstein J. of Org. Chem.
    • Novartis Chemistry Lectureship Award (2008)
    • Morningside Professorship in Chemical Biology (2007)
    • Eli Lilly Scientific Excellence Award in China (2006)
    • Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award, JCI Hong Kong (2004)
    • HKU Outstanding Researcher Award (2003)
    • Outstanding Young Scholar Grant Award, NSFC (2003-05)
    • Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's Unrestricted Grant Award in Synthetic Organic Chemistry (2001-04)
    • Croucher Senior Research Fellowship Award (2001)
    • Mr. and Mrs. Sun Chan Memorial Award in Organic Chemistry (2000, shared with Professor Gregory C. Fu at MIT)


    Selected Publications:

    1. S.-Y. Dai, D. Yang*. A Visible and Near-Infrared Light Activatable Diazo-Coumarin Probe for Fluorogenic Protein Labeling in Living Cells. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2020, 142, 17156–17166.
    2. S. Ye, N. Hananya, O. Green, H.-S. Chen, A. Q. Zhao, J.-G. Shen, D. Shabat*, D. Yang*. A Highly Selective and Sensitive Chemiluminescent Probe for Real‐Time Monitoring of Hydrogen Peroxide in Cells and Animals. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 14326–14330.
    3. F.-F. Shen, S.-Y. Dai, N.-K. Wong, S. Deng, A. S.-T. Wong, D. Yang*. Mediating K+/H+ Transport on Organelle Membranes to Selectively Eradicate Cancer Stem Cells by a Small Molecule. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 10769−10779.
    4. X.-Y. Bai, K. K.-H. Ng, J. J. Hu, S. Ye, D. Yang*. Small Molecule-based Fluorescent Sensors for Selective Detection of Reactive Oxygen Species in Biological Systems. Annu. Rev. Biochem. 2019, 88, 605–633.
    5. S. Ye, J. J. Hu, D. Yang*. Tandem Payne/Dakin Reaction: A New Strategy for Hydrogen Peroxide Detection and Molecular Imaging. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 10173 –10177.
    6. M.-D. Li, N.-K. Wong, J. Xiao, R.-X. Zhu, L.-L. Wu, S. Y. Dai, F. Chen, G.-H. Huang, X.-Y. Bai, M. R. Geraskina, A. H. Winter, X.-B. Chen*, Y.-X. Liu, W.-H. Fang, D. Yang*, D. L. Phillips*. Dynamics of oxygen-independent photocleavage of blebbistatin as a one-photon blue or two-photon near infrared light-gated hydroxyl radical photocage. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 15957–15968.
    7. X.-Y. Bai, Y.-Y. Huang, M.-Y. Lu, D. Yang*. HKOH-1: A Highly Sensitive and Selective Fluorescent Probe for Detecting Endogenous Hydroxyl Radical in Living Cells. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.2017, 56, 12873–12877.
    8. Q.-S. Gu, D. Yang*. Enantioselective Synthesis of (+)-Mitomycin K via Palladium-Catalyzed Oxidative Tandem Cyclization. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 5886–5889.
    9. J. J. Hu, N.-K. Wong, S. Ye, X.-M. Chen, M.-Y. Lu, A. Q. Zhao, Y.-H. Guo, A. C.-H. Ma, A. Y.-H. Leung, J.-G. Shen, D. Yang*. Fluorescent Probe HKSOX-1 for Imaging and Detection of Endogenous Superoxide in Live Cells and In Vivo. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2015, 137, 6837-6843.
    10. W. Du, Q.-S. Gu, Z.-L. Li, D. Yang*. Palladium(II)-Catalyzed Intramolecular Tandem Aminoalkylation via Divergent C(sp3)–H Functionalization. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2015, 137, 1130–1135.