Research

The Ng lab uses synthetic chemistry, biochemistry and molecular biology to understand the dysregulated molecular pathways in human diseases, and to create novel therapeutic small-molecules to target these dysregulated pathways. We invent disruptive technologies and molecules to treat cancers, infectious and neurodegenerative diseases and collaborate closely with physicians and entrepreneurs to translate our finding from bench to bedside.

Chemical Inducers
of Proximity

Carbohydrate-based
Drug Discovery

Late-stage Modification
of Drug-like Molecules

Ongoing Projects

Chemical Inducers of Proximity 

Chemical inducers of proximity (e.g. molecular glues and bifunctional molecules) are powerful chemical biology tools for the precise and temporal control of various cellular processes. We synthesize these molecular glues for investigating the posttranslational modifications (PTMs) of disease-related proteins. In particular, we apply such chemical tools to dissect epigenetics- and metabolism-associated pathways in non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and Alzheimer’s disease.

Carbohydrate-based Drug Discovery

Carbohydrates are essential molecules in health and diseases but rarely explored as drug candidates – presumably due to their high polarity and inherently poor pharmacokinetic properties. We develop drug-like, carbohydrate-based molecule by chemically modify the natural carbohydrate scaffolds. In particular, we synthesize bicyclic nucleoside analogues as anti-viral drugs; and carbasugar analogues as anti-cancer and anti-diabetic drugs.

[1] “Design and Synthesis of Bicyclo [4.3. 0] nonene Nucleoside Analogues.” Organic Letters 25.50 (2023): 9002-9007.

[2] “Palladium‐Catalyzed Arylation of Carbasugars Enables the Discovery of Potent and Selective SGLT2 Inhibitors.” Angewandte Chemie 128.44 (2016): 14022-14025.

[3] “Design, syntheses, and SAR studies of carbocyclic analogues of sergliflozin as potent sodium-dependent glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors.” Angewandte Chemie 125.32 (2013).

Late-stage Modification of Drug-like Molecules

Modern drug discovery has been impeded by the lack of structurally or stereochemically complex small molecules in chemical screening libraries. By late-stage chemical modifications of natural products or existing drug molecules, we create complex drug-like molecules with diverse chemical structures and novel mechanisms of action. Using this strategy, we synthesize pseudo-natural products with potent neuroprotective and cardioprotective effects that are not observed in the parental natural products.

Recruitment

The Ng Lab is currently recruiting PhD Students / Post-doc / Research Assistants / Visiting Scholars with background in organic synthesis / chemical biology / neuroscience / cancer biology / pharmacogenomics.

Outstanding PhD and postdoc applicants will be nominated for the prestigious HKPF Scheme and RGC Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme respectively.

If you wish to join our research endeavour, please send your CV to: billyng@cuhk.edu.hk. 

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