Mechanistic investigation of novel biological transformations


My group research focuses on understanding chemical logics of enzyme-catalyzed transformations using a combinatorial approach of organic synthesis, biochemical/biophysical assay development and molecular biology. Our long term goal is to make use of chemo-enzymatic approach in producing important molecules and developing new reactivities. Majority of bio-transformations studied in our group are plausible candidates for therapeutic drugs.


Virtual Tour part 1

Virtual Tour part 2

Virtual Tour part 3




Congratulations to Tzu-Yu on her recent commentary on PNAS!

A postreplicative C5-cytosine hypermodification triggered by bacteriophage methyltransferase and hydroxylase.” PNAS. 2021. 118: e2109992118



Congratulations to Haoyu on his recent publications on ACS Catalysis!

Harnessing the Substrate Promiscuity of Dioxygenase AsqJ and Developing Efficient Chemoenzymatic Synthesis for Quinolones.” ACS Catalysis2021. 11: 7186–7192 (Editor’s choice; Front cover)

ACS Catalysis. 2021. 11: 7186–7192











Congratulations to Lide and Tzu-Yu on their recent publications on  Trends in Chemistry and ACS Catalysis!

An Effective Strategy to Introduce Carbon Isotopes by Simple Swaps of CO2.” Trends in Chemistry. 2020. 2: 1040-1042

Deciphering Pyrrolidine and Olefin Formation Mechanism in Kainic Acid Biosynthesis.ACS Catalysis. 2021. 11: 278-282 (Front cover)

ACS Catal. 2021. 11 (1), 278–282











Tzu-Yu receives 2021 Burroughs Wellcome Fellowships, Congratulations!


Virtual greetings for ACS Academic Young Investigator’s Symposium!

Congratulations to Dr. Chang on his scientific achievement and being selected as 2020 Academic Young Investigator!

2020 ACS Academic Young Investigator’s Symposium

2020 ACS Academic Young Investigator’s Symposium









Recent publication is featured in the front cover of Biochemistry!

Biochemistry. 59(21), 1961-1965











Congratulations to Lide and Madison on their recent publication on Biochemistry!

Alternative Reactivity of Leucine 5-Hydroxylase Using an Olefin-Containing Substrate to Construct a Substituted Piperidine Ring.

Biochemistry 2020. doi:10.1021/acs.biochem.0c00289



Congratulations DR. Madison Davidson!

Greeting to Madison!!



Recent publication is featured in the front cover of JACS!

JACS. 142 (13), 6268-6284











Congratulations! Dr. Madison Davidson successfully defended Ph.D. dissertation!



Congratulations to Tzu-Yu (Jill) on her recent publication on Angew. Chem.

Pathway from N-alkylglycine to alkylisonitrile catalyzed by iron(II) and 2-oxoglutarate dependent oxygenases.” Angew. Chem. 2020. doi: 10.1002/anie.201914896.

Congratulations to Lide and Scott on their JACS paper!

Epoxidation Catalyzed by the Non-heme Iron- and 2Oxoglutarate-Dependent Oxygenase, AsqJ: Mechanistic Elucidation of Oxygen Atom Transfer by a Ferryl Intermediate.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020. doi: 10.1021/jacs.0c00484.



Lide receives 2019 Burroughs Wellcome Fellowships, Congratulations!

Congratulations to Madison for outstanding research accomplishments that led to 2019 Glaxo Fellowship!!



Congratulations to Meredith McNamee! Wish her all the best in pursuing her Ph.D. in UNC-Chapel Hill!



Unraveling flavoenzyme reaction mechanisms using flavin analogues and linear free energy relationships.” Methods Enzymol., 2019, 620,167-188.

A New Microbial Pathway for Organophosphonate Degradation Catalyzed by Two Previously Misannotated Non-Heme-Iron Oxygenases.” Biochemistry, 2019, 58, 1627-1647.



Congratulations to Madison and Meredith on their JACS communication!

Repurposing non-heme iron hydroxylases to enable catalytic nitrile installation through an azido group assistance.J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2019, 141, 3419-3423.



Reaction Mechanism of a Nonheme Iron Enzyme Catalyzed Oxidative Cyclization via C−C Bond Formation.” Org. Lett. 2019, 21, 228-232.


11.10.2018 Congratulations to Cheng-Ping and Lide!

Elucidating the Reaction Pathway of Decarboxylation-Assisted Olefination Catalyzed by a Mononuclear Non-Heme Iron Enzyme.J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 15190-15193.

“Mechanistic elucidation of Two Catalytically Versatile Iron(II)- and α-Ketoglutarate-Dependent Enzymes: Cases Beyond Hydroxylation.” Comments Inorg. Chem. 2018, 38, 127-165.


07.16.2018 Recent publications:

“Substrate Conformation Correlates with the Outcome of Hyoscyamine 6β-Hydroxylase Catalyzed Oxidation Reactions.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 7433-7436.

“Two Distinct Mechanisms for C–C Desaturation by Iron(II)- and 2-(Oxo)glutarate-Dependent Oxygenases: Importance of α-Heteroatom Assistance.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, 140, 7116-7126

“Structural Basis for Superoxide Activation of Flavobacterium johnsoniae Class I Ribonucleotide Reductase and for Radical Initiation by its Dimanganese Cofactor.” Biochemistry, 2018, 57, 2679-2693.

“Installation of the Ether Bridge of Lolines by the Iron- and 2-Oxoglutarate-Dependent Oxygenase, LolO: Regio- and Stereochemistry of Sequential Hydroxylation and Oxacyclization Reactions.” Biochemistry, 2018, 57, 2074-2083.


03.19.2018 Congratulations to Scott, Cheng-Ping, Dev and Xinglin! Their paper ” Mechanistic Investigation of Oxidative Decarboxylation Catalyzed by Two Iron(II)- and 2‑Oxoglutarate-Dependent Enzymes” is accepted by Biochemistry.


01.28.2018. Congratulations to Scott and Madison! Their paper entitled “Insights into the Desaturation of Cyclopeptin and its C3 Epimer Catalyzed by a non-Heme Iron Enzyme: Structural Characterization and Mechanism Elucidation” is accepted by Angewandte Chemie.

03.03.2017. Congratulations to Dev on receiving Outstanding junior graduate research poster in the area of Organic Chemistry award.

02.17.2017. Congratulations to Dev and Scott! New paper is accepted by Organic Letters.

08.10.2016. Oxirane formation mechanism using AsqJ published on JACS!


08.08.2016. Welcome Dr. Scott Huang on board.