Seminar: Prof Xiaoguang Lei- Dissecting Programmed Cell Death with Small Molecules

Tuesday, 18 July 2017 - 12:00pm – Tuesday, 18 July 2017 - 1:00pm  |  Chem Sci M10

Speaker: Prof Xiaoguang Lei

Genetically programmed cell death is a universal and fundamental cellular process. Apoptosis and necrosis are two common features of programmed cell death that play vital roles in development and maintaining homeostasis in metazoans. Dysfunction of the regulated machinery may lead to carcinogenesis or autoimmune diseases. On the other hand, inappropriate death of essential cells may also lead to organ dysfunction or even death, such as ischemia-reperfusion injury and neurodegenerative disorders. Our laboratory has been systematically using bioactive small molecules (either natural products or non-natural compounds) in a genetic-like approach to probing fundamental biological processes like programmed cell death. Herein, I would like to report our recent research progress on the development of powerful small molecule probes to dissecting programmed cell death. In this respect, novel small molecule modulators of programmed cell death may pave the way for the development of potentially therapeutic treatment for the related intractable human diseases.


Short biography:

Prof. Xiaoguang Lei was born and raised in Beijing, China. He obtained BSc degree in chemistry at Peking University in 2001. He then moved to Boston and conducted his PhD research studies on natural product synthesis and chemical biology under the supervision of Prof. John. A. Porco at Boston University. He received Ph.D. in 2006, and then moved to New York City and joined Prof. Samuel J. Danishefsky’s group at Columbia University as a postdoctoral fellow in bioorganic chemistry. In early 2009, Dr. Lei returned to China, and started his independent research career as a Principal Investigator and Director of Chemistry Center at National Institute of Biological Sciences (NIBS) in Beijing. In early 2014, he received a tenured professorship from Peking University, and moved his research group to College of Chemistry at Peking University. He also joined the Peking-Tsinghua Center for Life Sciences as a senior PI. The major research areas of Prof. Lei's laboratory are: chemical biology, natural product total synthesis and medicinal chemistry. He has systematically used small molecule probes including complex natural products to dissect the TNF-a initiated extrinsic programmed cell death pathways including both apoptosis and programmed necrosis (necroptosis), and illuminated a number of new molecular mechanisms underlying these fundamental cellular processes.Prof. Lei has received numerous academic awards including: 2017 Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, The David Ginsburg Memorial Lectureship Award, Roche Young Investigator Award, Chemical Society of Japan Distinguished Lectureship Award, International Chemical Biology Society (ICBS) Young Chemical Biologist Award, Servier Young Investigator Award in Medicinal Chemistry, Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, and IUPAC Young Chemist Award.