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Academic Staff

Dr KINGHORN, Andrew Brian

Dr KINGHORN, Andrew Brian

  • BSc (U of Queensland), PhD (HKU)
  • Research Assistant Professor
L1-65, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong
+852 3917 6870
+852 2817 0857
  • Aptamers
  • Directed Evolution
  • Disease Diagnosis
  • Liquid-liquid Phase Separation
  • Computational Biology
  • Emergent Complexity
  • Bioinformatics

Andrew Kinghorn is a Research Assistant Professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He completed his BBiotech (Hons 1st Class) in Nanotechnology at the University of Queensland and his PhD in Biomedical Sciences from HKU before his postdoctoral fellowship in Julian Tanner’s lab at HKU.

Andrew’s research area combines Chemistry, Directed Evolution, Bioinformatics and Biomedical Sciences. One area of focus is Aptamers (synthetic nucleic acid based receptors). Andrew is an expert in aptamer development and application. He had demonstrated RNA tracking in live cells with his RNA aptamers. He has integrated DNA aptamers into disease diagnostic platforms such as a microfluidic point-of-care malaria test and an electrochemical sensor for the measurement of luteinising hormone pulsatility.

Another area of focus is Liquid-Liquid Phase Separation (LLPS). LLPS is a phenomenon where many weak interactions between constituents in a system give rise to two liquid phases forming, of high and low concentration. This phenomenon seemingly works against entropic decay (but does not break the 2nd law of thermodynamics) and is behind membraneless organelles in the cell and possibly the origins of life. Andrew demonstrated for the first time liquid-liquid phase separation in response to evaporation as a model for prebiotic compartmentalization.

Andrew believes that great scientific opportunities exist at the interface of different disciplines and that a multidisciplinary approach gives rise to exceptional science. Andrew has published widely in leading journals including Nature Communications, PNAS, JACS, Biosensors & Bioelectronics, Advanced Biosystems and Analytical Chemistry.

Research Articles:

  1. Bhuyan S.K., Wang L., Jinata C., Kinghorn A. B., Liu M., He W., Sharma R., Tanner J. A. (2023) Directed evolution of a G-quadruplex peroxidase DNAzyme and application in proteomic DNAzyme-aptamer proximity labelling. Journal of the American Chemical Society, Accepted.
  2. Guo, W., Ji, D., Kinghorn, A. B., Chen F., Pan Y. Li, X, Li, Q., Huck, W., KLwok, C., & Shum, H. C. (2023). Tuning material states and functionalities of G-quadruplex modulated RNA-peptide condensates. Journal of the American Chemical Society, Accepted.
  3. Chan, K. Y., Kinghorn, A. B., Hollenstein, M., & Tanner, J. A. (2022). Chemical modifications for a next generation of nucleic acid aptamers. ChemBioChem, e202200006.
  4. Schmidt, C., Kammel, A., Tanner, J. A., Kinghorn, A. B., Khan, M. M., Lehmann, W., & Rödiger, S. (2022). A multiparametric fluorescence assay for screening aptamer–protein interactions based on microbeads. Scientific reports12(1), 1-10.
  5. Liu, M., Wang, L., Lo, Y., Shiu, S. C. C., Kinghorn, A. B., & Tanner, J. A. (2022). Aptamer-Enabled Nanomaterials for Therapeutics, Drug Targeting and Imaging. Cells11(1), 159.
  6. Guo, W., Kinghorn, A. B.*, Zhang, Y., Li, Q., Poonam, A. D., Tanner, J. A., & Shum, H. C. (2021). Non-associative phase separation in an evaporating droplet as a model for prebiotic compartmentalization. Nature communications, 12(1), 1-13. (* Joint first author)
  7. Cheung, Y.W., Röthlisberger, P., Mechaly, A.E., Weber, P., Levi-Acobas, F., Lo, Y., Wong, A.W., Kinghorn, A.B., Haouz, A., Savage, G.P. and Hollenstein, M., (2020). Evolution of abiotic cubane chemistries in a nucleic acid aptamer allows selective recognition of a malaria biomarker. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(29), pp.16790-16798.
  8. Liang, S., Kinghorn A. B., Voliotis, M., Prague, J., Veldhuis, J., Tsaneva-Atanasova, K.,, McArdle, C., Li, R., Cass, A.,, Dhillo, W., Tanner, J.A. (2019). Measuring luteinising hormone pulsatility with a robotic aptamer-enabled electrochemical reader. Nature Communications. 10(1), pp.1-10.
  9. Dhillo, W., Liang, S., Kinghorn, A.B., Voliotis, M., Prague, J., Veldhuis, J., Tsaneva-Atanasova, K., McArdle, C., Li, H.W.R., Cass, T. and Tanner, J., 2019. SAT-LB040 Measuring LH Pulsatility in Patients with Reproductive Disorders Using a Novel Robotic Aptamer-Enabled Electrochemical Reader (RAPTER). Journal of the Endocrine Society, pp.SAT-LB040.
  10. Fraser, L.A., Cheung, Y.W., Kinghorn, A.B., Guo, W., Shiu, S.C.C., Jinata, C., Liu, M., Bhuyan, S., Nan, L., Shum, H.C. and Tanner, J.A., (2019) Microfluidic Technology for Nucleic Acid Aptamer Evolution and Application. Advanced Biosystems3(5), p.1900012.
  11. Tsuda, S., Fraser, L.A., Sharabi, S., Hezwani, M., Kinghorn, A. B., Liang, S., Douce, G., Tanner, J. and Cronin, L., (2019). A Portable 3D-printed Platform for Point-of-care Diagnosis of Clostridium difficile Infection and Malaria. ChemRxiv pre-publication
  12. Shiu, S. C. C., Kinghorn, A. B., Sakai, Y., Cheung, Y. W., Heddle, J. G., & Tanner, J. A. (2018). The Three S's for Aptamer‐Mediated Control of DNA Nanostructure Dynamics: Shape, Self‐Complementarity, and Spatial Flexibility. ChemBioChem, 19(18), 1900-1906.
  13. Fraser, L.A., Kinghorn, A.B., Dirkzwager, R.M., Liang, S., Cheung, Y.W., Lim, B., Shiu, S.C.C., Tang, M.S., Andrew, D., Manitta, J. and Richards, J.S., 2018. A portable microfluidic Aptamer-Tethered Enzyme Capture (APTEC) biosensor for malaria diagnosis. Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 100, pp.591-596.
  14. Tucker, W. O., Kinghorn, A. B., Fraser, L. A., Cheung, Y. W., & Tanner, J. A. (2018). Selection and characterization of a DNA aptamer specifically targeting human HECT ubiquitin ligase WWP1. International journal of molecular sciences, 19(3), 763.
  15. Shiu, S.C.C., Cheung, Y.W., Dirkzwager, R.M., Liang, S., Kinghorn, A.B., Fraser, L.A., Tang, M.S. and Tanner, J.A. (2018). An aptamer-enabled DNA nanobox for protein sensing. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 14(4), 1161-1168.
  16. Kinghorn, A.B.*, Fraser, L.A., Lang, S., Shiu, S.C.C. and Tanner, J.A., (2017). Aptamer Bioinformatics. International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 18(12), p.2516. (First author)
  17. Kinghorn, A.B*. and Tanner, J.A., (2017). Selective Phenome Growth Adapted Model: A Novel Landscape to Represent Aptamer Ligand Binding. Complexity, 2017. (First author, Corresponding author)
  18. Shiu, S. C. C., Cheung, Y. W., Dirkzwager, R. M., Liang, S., Kinghorn, A. B., Fraser, L. A., ... & Tanner, J. A. (2017). Aptamer‐Mediated Protein Molecular Recognition Driving a DNA Tweezer Nanomachine. Advanced Biosystems, 1(1-2).
  19. Kinghorn, A. B.*, Dirkzwager, R.M., Liang, S., Cheung, Y.W., Fraser L.A. & Tanner, J.A. Aptamer affinity maturation by resampling and microarray selection. Analytical Chemistry 88.14 (2016): 6981-6985. (First author)
  20. Godonoga, M., Lin, T.Y, Oshima, A., Sumitomo, K., Tang, M.S.L., Cheung Y.W., Kinghorn, A.B., Dirkzwager, R.M., Zhou, C., Kuzuya, A., Tanner, J.A. & Heddle, J.G. Scientific Reports. A DNA aptamer recognizing a malaria protein biomarker can function as part of a DNA origami assembly. Scientific reports 6 (2016).
  21. Fraser, L.F.1, Kinghorn, A.B.1, Tang, M.S.L., Cheung, Y.W., Lim, B., Liang, S., Dirkzwager, R.M., & Tanner, J.A. Oligonucleotide Functionalised Microbeads: Indispensable Tools for High-Throughput Aptamer Selection. Molecules 20, no. 12 (2015): 21298-21312.
  22. Dirkwager, R.M., Kinghorn, A.B., Richards, J.S. & Tanner, J.A. APTEC: Aptamer-Tethered Enzyme Capture as a novel rapid diagnostic test for malaria. Chemical Communications 51, no. 22 (2015): 4697-4700.
  23. Gruber, C.W., Elliott, A.G., Ireland, D.C., Delpreteb, P.G., Dessein, S., Göransson, U., Trabi, M., Wang, C.K., Kinghorn, A.B., Robbrecht, E. and Craik, D.J. Distribution and Evolution of Circular Miniproteins in Flowering Plants. Plant Cell. Vol. 20, pp. 2471-2483. (2008).

Representative Publications (Authored Books, Edited Books, Education):

  1. Shiu, S. C. C., Kinghorn, A. B., Guo, W., Slaughter, L. S., Ji, D., Mo, X., ... & Tanner, J. A. (2023). Aptamers Aptamers as Functional Modules for DNA Nanostructures. In DNA and RNA Origami: Methods and Protocols (pp. 301-337). New York, NY: Springer US.
  2. Tanner, J.A., Kinghorn, A.B. & Cheung, Y.W. (2018) Aptamers. MDPI Books, Switzerland (edited book).
  • Technology Start-up Support Scheme for Universities (TSSSU) 2020-2021
  • Science and Technology Entrepreneur Programme (STEP) at Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP) 2019-2020

Kinghorn, A.B. & Tanner, J.A. DNA display and methods thereof. PCT/CN2015/073350, CN201580079273.2A, US15/553885, EP15882959.8A (2015)

Last updated: September 13, 2023