On September 1, Prof. Yi Lu of the University of Texas at Austin, USA, visited the Lecture of Nankai Organic Chemistry invited by the State Key Laboratory of Elemento-organic Chemistry. In the afternoon, he gave an academic report entitled "Computational design and Directed Evolution of Metalloenzymes and Their Applications in Synthetic Biology, Biomedical Imaging and Gene Editing" in the academic lecture hall of Shixian Building. The meeting was chaired by Prof. Xuncheng Su from the Key Laboratory and nearly 150 teachers and students from the Key Laboratory participated in the academic exchange.
Before the report, Prof. Pingping Tang, Deputy Director of the Key Laboratory, first presented the certificate of " Lecture of Nankai Organic Chemistry " to Prof. Lu on behalf of the Key Laboratory. In the report, Prof. Lu first introduced the artificial design and modification of metal proteins and systematically shared the rational design and synthetic application of artificial metal enzymes. Then, he shared the importance and research progress of metal ion recognition and intracellular ion selective detection methods for DNA enzymes and further delved into the progress of cellular RNA glycosylation measurement and novel gene editing. After the report, Prof. Lu had a wonderful interaction with the teachers and students sharing his experiences in cultivating graduate students and provided some relevant suggestions for their research work which made the students present benefit a lot.
Prof. Lu Yi obtained bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Peking University in 1986 and a PhD from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1992. Subsequently, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher for two years in the group of Harry B. Gray, Academician of the American Academy of Sciences, at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in the United States. From 1994 to 2021, Prof. Lu taught at the University of Illinois at Champaign and was appointed as Jay and Ann Schenck tenured professor in the Departments of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Bioengineering, and Materials Science and Engineering. Since 2021, Prof. Lu has been teaching at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Texas at Austin as Richard J. V. Johnson Welch Regents Chair. Prof. Lu has long been engaged in the fields of 1) Designing functional metal proteins as environmentally friendly catalysts for renewable energy production and pharmaceutical catalysis and engineering; 2) Basic research on DNA enzymes and their applications in environmental monitoring, food safety, medical diagnosis, and treatment; 3) Controllable morphology of biological nanomaterials and their guiding assembly in imaging and medical applications; 4) The application of new biocatalysts in synthetic biology. Prof. Lu has become one of the leading figures in the fields of bio-inorganic chemistry and DNA sensor research. Due to his outstanding academic level and achievements, he has received several research awards including the Applied Inorganic Chemistry Award (2015) and the Joseph Chatt Award (2020) of the Royal Society of Chemistry in the UK, the FRSC Award (2015), the National Institute of Inventors Fellow Award (2021) and the Allen Distinguished Investors Award (2022).