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Academic Staff

Professor HUANG, Jiandong 黃建東

Professor HUANG, Jiandong 黃建東

  • BS (Fudan U); PhD (U of California, LA)
  • Chair Professor of Synthetic Biology
  • L & T Charitable Foundation Professor in Biomedical Sciences
L3-72, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong
+852 3917 6810 (Office); +852 3917 9479 (Lab)
+852 2855 1254
  • Use synthetic biology approach to investigate biological pattern/structure formation, to develop vaccines against infectious diseases, and to create novel cancer treatment
  • Investigate the roles of intracellular transportation in development, cellular function and diseases

Prof. Huang earned his BS degree in Genetics and Genetic Engineering from Fudan University, Shanghai and went to the USA through the “China and United States Biochemistry Examination and Application (CUSBEA)” program to pursue his PhD study.  He earned his PhD degree in Biochemistry from the University of California, Los Angeles.  Thereafter, Prof. Huang received his postdoctoral training at the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health in the USA.  During this period, Prof. Huang was the first to report that the two major intracellular transportation systems of mammalian cells, the microtubule- and actin-filament-based system directly interact with each other through their motor proteins, kinesin and myosin.  Later, he established his own laboratory at the University of Hong Kong.  Prof. Huang’s current research focuses on synthetic biology and intracellular transportation.  Prof. Huang have created novel genetic circuits for the control of gene expression and hence biological behavior.  He also generated several vaccines by using synthetic biology approach and programmed bacteria as tumor therapeutic drug.  Prof. Huang was the first researcher in the greater China region to publish a paper in synthetic biology in Science.

Synthetic Biology: Synthetic Biology refers to the design and fabrication of biological components and systems that do not already exist in the natural world; and the re-design and fabrication of existing biological systems for useful purpose. My laboratory is aiming to design and fabricate artificial biological parts, devices and circuits to control biological pattern formation (Science V334; Nature Physics (article) V16), to attack cancer cells (Nature Communications V12:2537), and to prevent infectious diseases (Cell Host & Microbe, V 31; Advanced Functional Materials, 2305120; Nature Communications, V14(1):3440).

Intracellular Transportation: My major research interest is in the mechanism of intracellular transportation and its roles in development, cellular functions and diseases. Within the cell, a variety of cellular components are moved to specific sites at specific times. The intracellular transportation processes are essential not only for housekeeping purpose but also for specialized cellular functions, such as the transport of synaptic vesicles. Intracellular transportation is carried out over two major cellular networks, the microtubule and actin networks. Micro-tubule motors include the kinesin and dynein families of proteins while actin motors are the myosin family of proteins. Current research suggests that the micro-tubule network is used for transport over long distances while the actin network is used for short-range delivery in animal cells. Disruption of these processes result in genetic diseases. For example, mutation in myosin-VA results in human Griscelli disease characterized by pigment dilution, immunodeficiency, neurological defect and cognitive disorder. Mutations in other motor molecules result in many other diseases such as heart diseases and deafness.

My previous work demonstrated that myosin-VA can interact directly with the ubiquitously expressed kinesin, implying that the two transportation systems are at least partially coordinated through their motor molecules. The major interest of my group is to use transgenic and knockout mice to study the functions of kinesins in chondrocytes, neurons, and other cell types. Another area of interest in the lab is to investigate the molecular and structural basis of cargo-binding by kinesins.

  1. Ye-Fan Hu, Terrence Tsz-Tai Yuen, Hua-Rui Gong, Bingjie Hu, Jing-Chu Hu, Li Rong, Lin-lei Chen, Xiao-lei Wang, Chaobi Lei, Xuan-Sheng Lin, Thomas Yau, Ivan Fan-Ngai Hung, Kelvin Kai-Wang To, Kwok-Yung Yuen, Bao-Zhong Zhang, Hin Chu, Jian-Dong Huang (2023) “Rational design of a booster vaccine strain against COVID-19 based on antigenic distance”, Cell Host & Microbe, V 31, 1–16 DOI:
  2. Yee-Man Au-Yeung, Chuyuan Zhang, Chen Huan, Hin Chu, Hanjun Zhao, Bao-Zhong Zhang, and Jian-Dong Huang, (2023) “Engineered intranasal virus trap provides effective protection against SARS-CoV-2 infection in hamsters”, Advanced Functional Materials, 2305120 DOI:
  3. Xiaolei Wang, Terrence Tsz-Tai Yuen, Ying Dou, Jingchu Hu, Renhao Li, Zheng Zeng, Xuansheng Lin, Huarui Gong, Chaemin Yoon, Huiping Shuai, Deborah Tip-Yin Ho, Ivan Fan-Ngai Hung, Bao-Zhong Zhang, Hin Chu, and Jian-Dong Huang (2023) “IFN-γ mediated-cellular immunity is essential to the vaccine-induced protection against SARS-CoV-2 in B cell-deficient mice”, Nature Communications, V14(1):3440  DOI:
  4. Huiping Shuai, Jasper Fuk-Woo Chan, Bingjie Hu, Yue Chai, Terrence Tsz-Tai Yuen, Feifei Yin, Xiner Huang, Chaemin Yoon, Jing-Chu Hu, Huan Liu, Jialu Shi, Yuanchen Liu, Tianrenzheng Zhu, Jinjin Zhang, Yuxin Hou, Yixin Wang, Lu Lu, Jian-Piao Cai, Anna Jinxia Zhang, Jie Zhou, Shuofeng Yuan, Melinda A. Brindley, Bao-Zhong Zhang, Jian-Dong Huang, Kelvin Kai-Wang To, Kwok-Yung Yuen, Hin Chu, (2022) “Attenuated replication and pathogenicity of SARS-CoV-2 B.1.1.529 Omicron”, Nature DOI:
  5. Jian Deng*, Bao-zhong Zhang*, Hin Chu*, Xiao-lei Wang, Yixin Wang, Hua-Rui Gong, Renhao Li, Dong Yang, Cun Li, Ying Dou, Peng Gao, Jian-piao Cai, Meilin Jin, Qian Du, Jasper Fuk-Woo Chan, Richard Yi-Tsun Kao, Kwok-Yung Yuen#, and Jian-Dong Huang# (2021) “Adenosine synthase A contributes to recurrent Staphylococcus aureus infection by dampening T cell responses”, EBioMedicine, Volume 70, 103505. (*Equal contribution, #co-corresponding author) DOI: 
  6. Qiubin Lin, Li Rong, Xian Jia, Renhao Li, Bin Yu, Jingchu Hu, Xiao Luo, Badea Smaranda-ruxandra, Chen Xu, Guofeng Fu, Kejiong Lai, Ming-chun Lee, Baozhong Zhang, Huarui Gong, Nan Zhou, Xiao Lei Chen, Shu-hai Lin*, Guo Fu*, Jian-Dong Huang*, (2021) “Salmonella potently inhibits cancer metastasis by activating IFN-γ-dependent NK cell”, Nature Communications V12:2537 DOI:
  7. Agnese I. Curatolo, Nan Zhou, Yongfeng Zhao, Chenli Liu, Adrian Daerr, Julien Tailleur and Jian-Dong Huang (2020) Cooperative pattern formation in multi-species bacterial colonies. Nature Physics (article) (2020) V16, PP 1152–1157, DOI:
  8. Bao-zhong Zhang, Hin Chu, Shuo Han, Huiping Shuai, Jian Deng, Ye-fan Hu, Hua-rui Gong, Andrew Chak-Yiu Lee, Zijiao Zou, Thomas Yau, Wutian Wu, Ivan Fan-Ngai Hung, Jasper Fuk-Woo Chan, Kwok-Yung Yuen, Jian-Dong Huang (2020) SARS-CoV-2 productively infects human brain organoids. Cell Research V30, pages 928–931 DOI:
  9. Bao-zhong Zhang, Ye-fan Hu, Lin-lei Chen, Thomas Yau, Yi-gang Tong, Jing-chu Hu, Jian-piao Cai, Kwok-Hung Chan, Ying Dou, Jian Deng, Xiao-lei Wang, Ivan Fan-Ngai Hung, Kelvin Kai-Wang To, Kwok-yung Yuen, and Jian-Dong Huang (2020) Mining of Epitopes on Spike Protein of SARS-CoV-2 from COVID-19 Patients. Cell Research V30(8) Page 702-704, DOI:
  10. Meriem Belabed, François-Xavier Mauvais, Sophia Maschalidi, Mathieu Kurowska, Nicolas Goudin, Jian-Dong Huang, Alain Fischer, Geneviève de Saint Basile, Peter Van Endert, Fernando E. Sepulveda and Gaël Ménasché, (2020) Kinesin-1 is required for antigen cross-presentation by inducing the scission of tubulations from early endosomes in dendritic cells. Nature Communications V11, Article number 1817: DOI:
  11. Raozhou Lin, Zhigang Duan, Haitao Sun, Man-Lung Fung, Hansen Chen, Jing Wang, Chi-Fai Lau, Di Yang, Yu Liu, Yanxiang Ni, Zai Wang, Ju Cui, Wutian Wu, Wing-Ho Yung, Ying-Shing Chan, Amy C.Y. Lo, Jun Xia, Jiangang Shen, and Jian-Dong Huang (2019) Kinesin-1 Regulates Extrasynaptic Targeting of NMDARs and Neuronal Vulnerability Toward Excitotoxicity, iSciences v13, pp82-97. doi:
  12. Yan-Xiang Ni, Nan Zhou, Wen-Qian Xue, Li Rong, Wing-Ho Yung, Rao-Zhou Lin, Richard Yi-Tsun Kao, Zhi-Gang Duan, Hai-Tao Sun, Hua-Rui Gong, Xu-Ming Tang1, Wen Zhang, Shuang Qi, Sookja Chung, You-Qiang Song and Jian-Dong Huang (2018) A new role of anterograde motor Kif5b in facilitating large clathrin-coated vesicle mediated endocytosis via regulating clathrin uncoating. Cell Discovery Volume 4, Article number: 65. DOI (
  13. Baozhong Zhang, JianPiao Cai, Bin Yu, Lifeng Xiong, Qiubin Lin, SongYue Zheng, Richard Yi-Tsun Kao, Konghung SZE, Kwok-Yung Yuen, and Jian-Dong Huang (2017) Immunotherapy Targeting Adenosine Synthase A Decreases Severity of Staphylococcus aureus Infection in Mouse Model. Journal of Infectious Diseases V216, p245-253 [Abstract] DOI:
  14. Lei Shi, Bin Yu, Chunhui Cai, Wei Huang, Bo-Jian Zheng, David K. Smith, Kwok-Yung Yuen, Jian-Dong Huang (2016) Combined prokaryotic-eukaryotic delivery and expression of therapeutic factors through a primed autocatalytic positive-feedback loop. Journal of Controlled Release V222 pp. 130 – 140 DOI:
  15. Baozhong Zhang, YanHong Hua, Bin Yu, Candy ChoiYi Lau, JianPiao Cai, SongYue Zheng, WingCheong Yam, Richard Yi-Tsun Kao, Konghung Sze, Bo-Jian Zheng, Kwok-Yung Yuen and Jian-Dong Huang (2015Recombinant ESAT-6-like proteins provoke protective immune responses against invasive Staphylococcus aureus disease in a murine model. Infection and Immunity V83(1):339-345
  16. Ye Jin, Jianting Wu, Yannan Li, Zhiming Cai and Jian-Dong Huang (2013) Modification of the RpoS network with an artificial small RNA. Nucleic Acids Research, V41(17):8332-8340
  17. Zai Wang, Ju Cui, Jing Wang, Xin-Mei Zhang, Wai Man Wong, Neal G. Copeland, Nancy A. Jenkins, Julian A. Tanner, Kathryn S E Cheah, Wu-Tian Wu and Jian-Dong Huang (2013) Kinesin-1 controls the localization of myofibrils components for their assembly and linkage to the myotendinous junctions. Development V140(3), P617-626
  18. Chenli Liu, Xiongfei Fu, Lizhong Liu, Xiaojing Ren, Carlos K.L. Chau, Sihong Li, Lu Xiang, Hualing Zeng, Guanhua Chen, Lei-Han Tang, Peter Lenz, Xiaodong Cui, Wei Huang, Terence Hwa, Jian-Dong Huang (2011) Sequential establishment of stripe patterns in an expanding cell population. Science V334(6053), P238-241
  19. Ju Cui, Zai Wang, Qianni Cheng, Raozhou Lin, Xin-Mei Zhang, Po Sing Leung, Neal G. Copeland, Nancy A. Jenkins, Kwok-Ming Yao, and Jian-Dong Huang (2011) Targeted Inactivation of Kinesin-1 in Pancreatic β-Cells in vivo Leads to Insulin Secretory Deficiency. Diabetes V60(1), P320-330
  20. Richard Y Kao, Dan Yang, Lai-Shan Lau, Wayne H W Tsui, Lihong Hu, Jun Dai, Mei-Po Chan, Che-Man Chan, Pui Wang, Bo-Jian Zheng, Jian Sun, Jian-Dong Huang, Jason Madar, Guanhua Chen, Honglin Chen, Yi Guan & Kwok-Yung Yuen (2010) Identification of influenza A nucleoprotein as an antiviral target. Nature Biotechnology V28, P600–605
  21. Yang, N., Tanner, J.A., Watt, R.M., Jin, L., Zheng, B.J., He, M.L., Lu, L.Y., Lin, Y.P., Wong, K.L., Lin, M.C., Kung, H.F., Sun, H.Z. *, and Huang, J.D.* (2007). Bismuth Complexes as Inhibitors of the SARS Coronavirus, Angewandte Chemie-International Edition, V46:6464-6468 (* co-corresponding author)
  22. Liu, B., Wang, J., Chan, K. M., Tjia, W. M., Deng, W., Guan, X., Huang, J. D., Li, K. M., Chau, P. Y., Chen, D. J., Pei, D., Pendas, A. M., Cadinanos, J., Lopez-Otin, C., Tse, H. F., Hutchison, C., Chen, J., Cao, Y., Cheah, K. S.,Tryggvason K,Zhou Z (2005).Genomic instability in laminopathy-based premature aging. Nature Medicine 11 (7), 780-785
  23. Huang, J.D., Brady, S.T., Richards, B.W., Stenoien, D., Resau, J.H., Copeland, N.G., and Jenkins, N.A. (1999). Direct interaction of microtubule-and actin-based transport motors. Nature, V397: 267-270

Prof. Huang is a recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Award for Universities in Shanghai, Fellow of the China and United States Biochemistry Examination and Application (CUSBEA) Program, the HKU Outstanding Young Researcher Award 2005-2006, the HKU Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award 2011-2012, the HKU Outstanding Researcher Award 2014-2015, Croucher Senior Research Fellowships 2021-2022, and WuXi AppTec Life Science and Chemistry Awards 2021.

Last updated: 2023-09-22