Xuechen Li 李學臣

  • Senior Research Fellowship in 2018 at University of Hong Kong

Prof Li Xuechen is Professor of Chemistry at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He obtained his Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from Nankai University, MSc from University of Alberta and Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2006. After that, he did a joint postdoctoral research at Columbia University and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (2007-2009). He joined the HKU Department of Chemistry as an Assistant Professor in 2009. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. Li was named Professor in 2018.


The research of Prof Li Xuechen lies in the interface of synthetic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and biology, spanning from innovative synthetic method development to biological studies and drug discovery, with the ultimate aim to develop novel therapeutics. At HKU, he has pioneered in the development of several innovative methods to synthesize and modify biomolecules including peptides, proteins and glycans. These methods open up new avenues for studying the biology and medicinal chemistry of biomolecules and provide new possibilities to generate biologics with new functional activities. His Ser/Thr Ligation was selected as the Cutting Edge of Chemistry by Thompson Reuters (2013). One of the exciting and promising areas for exploitation of these methods is to develop novel peptide-based antibiotic. Professor Li recently received the Contribution Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry from Chinese Chemical Society in 2023.