C. H. Jonathan Choi

Dr C. H. Jonathan Choi 蔡宗衡

Born and raised in Hong Kong, Dr Choi completed his secondary school studies at Wah Yan College Hong Kong, scoring 10 distinctions in the HKCEE in 2000.  He later moved to the U.S. and obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in chemical engineering from Stanford University in 2005 and 2006, respectively. In 2011, he received his Ph.D. degree in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology, under the supervision of Professor Mark E. Davis. For his dissertation, he established important design rules for delivering nanoparticles to the tumor and kidney mesangium in vivo. From 2011 to 2013, he worked as a Croucher postdoctoral fellow with Professor Chad A. Mirkin of Northwestern University, where he studied how oligonucleotide-based nanostructures enter and subsequently traffic inside the cell.

Current work

Dr Choi's key research agenda is to investigate how nanoparticles fundamentally interact with the living system, across the vast length scales of organs, tissues, cells, and organelles.  

Over the past decade, chemists and materials scientists have developed reproducible methods to fabricate nanoparticles of different physicochemical properties. Yet, progress in nanomedicine is still hampered by lack of understanding in “nano-bio interactions”. As an example, while nanoparticles often accumulate in the liver and spleen following an intravenous injection, other organs rarely collect a considerable fraction of the dose. To develop novel strategies for targeting other organs/ tissues/ cells/ organelles of therapeutic interest, he believes that future design of nanoparticles for cellular and in vivo applications must take into account of the "nano-bio" interactions of the target biological site.

His research will create basic knowledge for researchers in multiple disciplines, such as nanomaterials and pharmacology. Results of his research will also yield design rules of nanoparticles for traversing biological barriers and targeting biological sites more effectively.