Dr. Yi Lu received his B.S. degree from Peking University in 1986, and Ph.D. degree from University of California at Los Angeles in 1992. After two years of postdoctoral research in Professor Harry B. Gray group at the Caltech, Dr. Lu started his own independent career in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign in 1994. He was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2000, full Professor in 2004 and endowed Jay and Ann Schenck Professor in 2010. In August of 2021, Dr. Lu moved to the University of Texas at Austin, becoming Robert J.V. Johnson-Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry.

Dr. Lu’s research interests lie at the interface between chemistry and biology. Specific areas of current interests include a) Computational design and directed evolution of artificial metalloenzymes as environmentally benign biocatalysts for renewable energy generation and pharmaceutical drug syntheses; b) Engineer biocatalysts to address challenges in synthetic organic chemistry and applications of novel biocatalysts in synthetic biology for biomass conversion and valuable products generation; c) Design and selection of sensors and imaging agents for metal ions, metabolites and glycoRNAs to advance metallomics, metabolomics and glycomics for medical diagnosis, imaging and therapy in neurodegenerative and infectious diseases and cancers; d) Using DNA for encoded synthesis and directed assembly of nanomaterials, as well as the applications of these nanomaterials as theranostic agents for early detection of diseases such as cancers and targeted drug delivery; and e) Developing novel gene-editing methods to improve sequence fidelity and gene target accessibility.

Dr. Lu has received numerous research and teaching awards, including the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professors Award (2002), Fellow of American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007), Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (2015), Royal Society of Chemistry Applied Inorganic Chemistry Award (2015), Joseph Chatt Award (2020) and Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (2021) and Allen Distinguished Investigators (2022).

Prof. Yi Lu
Department of Chemistry
University of Texas at Austin
Austin, TX 78712
Phone: (512) 471-1542
Email: yi.lu@utexas.edu