• Lu group holiday party 2019


The Lu Group’s interests lie at the interface between chemistry and biology. We are developing innovative chemical approaches to provide deeper insight into biological structures and functions, while also taking advantage of recently developed biological tools to advance many areas in chemistry, such as inorganic chemistry, chemical biology, analytical chemistry, and materials chemistry. We strive to make significant contributions in three principal areas of research:

1. Biosynthetic Inorganic Chemistry

Synthesis and study of structural and functional mimics of metalloenzymes, as well as the applications of these mimics as biocatalysts in renewable energy generation and small-molecule activation and transformation.

2. DNAzyme and Aptamer-Based Sensing and Imaging Agents

In vitro selection of DNAzymes/aptamers and development of highly sensitive and selective sensors and imaging agents for detection of metal ions and small-molecule targets with applications in environmental monitoring, food safety, and medical diagnostics and imaging.

3. Functional DNA Nanotechnology

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.

4. Biocatalysis and Synthetic Biology

Engineer biocatalysts to address challenges in synthetic organic chemistry and applications of novel biocatalysts in synthetic biology for biomass conversion, valuable products generation in high yield and good selectivity.


Recent News

2023 August | Dr. Lu has become a member of the Institute for Neuroscience.

2023 April | Yuan and Weijie’s Nature Biotechnology paper on glycoRNA imaging got featured in CNS News.

2023 April | Weijie received 2023 Summer Research Fellowship and 2023 Professional Development Award from the Department of Molecular Biosciences. Congratulations!

2023 April | Yuan has been selected as one of the 2023 Leading Edge Fellows. Congratulations!

2023 April | Karen Zhang has won the Thermo Fisher Award for Excellence in Biochemistry award. Congratulations!

2023 April | Newfound Link Between Alzheimer’s and Iron Could Lead to New Medical Interventions | Yuting, Seyed and Ryan’s paper has been published in Science Advances. It reports a new imaging probe that has, for the first time, shown that in the same regions of the brain where the amyloid beta plaques associated with Alzheimer’s occur, there is also an increase in iron redox. The imaging probe could yield even more details about the causes of Alzheimer’s and help in the search for new drugs to treat it. Their findings have been covered by CNS , Science Daily, and several other news outlets.

2023 April | Lu group’s research on using PANDA to advance new therapeutics and gene editing tools has been featured in ACS Central Science and Chemical and Engineering News.

2023 March | Weijie has received the ACS Division of Biological Chemistry Research Award. Congratulations!

2023 March | Yu has won the Chemistry Department Graduate Student Excellence Award. Congratulations!

2022 December | Dr. Lu has won the prestigious Allen Distinguished Investigators award.

2022 June | Dr. Lu has become a member of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering.

2022 May | Karen Zhang has won the CNS Award for Excellence in Biochemistry. Congratulations!

2022 April | Congratulations, Fred, for receiving the chemistry departments’ summer undergraduate research fellowship!
More News…