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Zhen Huang


BS: 1980-1984, Sichuan University
MS: 1984-1987, Peking University
Ph.D.: 1988-1994, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich
Post-doc Fellow: 1994-1998, Harvard Medical School


Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry, Bio-Analytical Chemistry, Chemical & Structural Biology


Research Interest:

He has pioneered and developed selenium and tellurium derivatizations of nucleic acids for structure and function studies of nucleic acids, protein-nucleic acid complexes, and nucleic acid-small molecular ligands (such as anticancer drugs). His current research interests are in selenium and tellurium derivatizations of DNAs and RNAs, via organic synthesis, for X-ray crystallographic studies of nucleic acids and protein complexes (especially for Cancer Research), synthesis of analogs of nucleosides and nucleotides for structure, function and anticancer studies, development of RNA microchip technology for direct detection and quantitation of gene expression profile for Cancer Early Detection, nanomaterial-assisted novel RNA microchip, modified nucleic acid-based nano-medicine (potential therapeutics), nucleic acidbased cancer diagnosis, in vitro selection, evolution and characterization of ligand-binding and catalytic RNAs and DNAs. His research has been funded by federal agencies, including NIH, NSF, DOD, and/or CDC, state funding agencies, the distinguished cancer scholar award, and as industry. He has received several US and European patents, and many US and international patent applications are pending.


Recent Representative Publications:
1. Hehua Liu, et al, Zhen Huang*, et al, “Crystal structure of an RNA-cleaving DNAzyme”, Nature Communications, 2018, in press.
2. Yiqing Yiqing Chen, et al, Zhen Huang*, et al, “Unique 50-P recognition and basis for dG:dGTP misincorporation of ASFV DNA polymerase X”, PLoS Biology, 2017, 15, e1002599.
3. Jing Zhang, et al, Zhen Huang*, et al. “Structural basis for single-stranded RNA recognition and cleavage by C3PO”, Nucleic Acids Research, 2016, 44, 9494-9504.
4. Zhang, et al., Huang*, et al, “Crystal Structure, Evolution, and Function of Six-Nucleotide DNA. Exploring its Large Sequence Space”, Journal of American Chemical Society, 2015, 137, 6734-6737.
5. Abdur, et al., Huang*, “Novel Complex MAD Phasing and RNase H Structural Insights by Selenium Oligonucleotides”, Acta Cryst. D., 2014, D70, 354-361.