The Lu Group's interests lie at the interface between chemistry and biology. We are developing innovative chemical approaches to provide deeper insight into biological structures and functions, while also taking advantage of recently developed biological tools to advance many areas in chemistry, such as inorganic chemistry, chemical biology, analytical chemistry, and materials chemistry. We strive to make significant contributions in three principal areas of research:

  1. Biosynthetic Inorganic Chemistry
  2. Synthesis and study of structural and functional mimics of metalloenzymes, as well as the applications of these mimics as biocatalysts in renewable energy generation and small-molecule activation and transformation.

  3. DNAzyme and Aptamer-Based Sensing and Imaging Agents
  4. In vitro selection of DNAzymes/aptamers and development of highly sensitive and selective sensors and imaging agents for detection of metal ions and small-molecule targets with applications in environmental monitoring, food safety, and medical diagnostics and imaging.

  5. Functional DNA Nanotechnology:
  6. Using DNA for encoded synthesis and directed assembly of nanomaterials, as well as the applications of these nanomaterials as theranostic agents for early detection of diseases such as cancers and targeted drug delivery.

On May 14, seven recently graduated PhDs from the Lu group
attended the 2016 Commencement.

Recent News
2018 April | Quan Lam has been awarded the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Congratulations!
2017 11 17 | Dr. Lu is among the five Illinois Researchers ranked among world most influential This is the third year in a row for Dr. Lu to receive this honor.
2017 10 30 | JingJing's recent JACS paper on DNA Aptamer-based Activatable Probes for Photoacoustic Imaging in Living Mice has been honored as Editor’s Choice.
2017 10 10 | Igor's paper has been included as a paper in an ACS Select Virtual Issue: Engineered Biomolecular Catalysts. Congratulations, Igor!
2017 09 06 | Dr. Lu has been selected for the prestigious Thomson Reuters 2017 list of Highly Cited Researchers. Dr. Lu has received this recognition three years in a row. Highly Cited Researchers identifies the world’s most influential contemporary researchers across 21 scientific fields.
2017 05 24 | Claire Merchen has just received the NIH Chemistry-Biology Interface (CBI) training grant fellowship. Congratulations!
2017 April | Nitya sai Reddy has been awarded the 2017 Beckman Institute Graduate Fellowship. Kang Yong Loh has won the 2017 Beckman Institute Undergraduate Fellowship. Congratulations to both of them!
2017 04 08 | Ambika Bhagi-Damodaran, who obtained her PhD from Lu group recently, has received the prestigious 2017 Division of Inorganic Chemistry (DIC) Young Investigator Award. She will receive the award and give an invited presentation in the Inorganic Young Investigator Awards Symposium at the Fall 2017 National ACS Meeting in Washington, DC from Aug 20-24. Congratulations!