Chi-Huey Wong

Scripps Research


Primary Section: 14, Chemistry
Secondary Section: 21, Biochemistry
Membership Type: Member (elected 2002)

Biosketch

Chi-Huey Wong is currently Scripps Family Professor of Chemistry at Research Institute. He is known for his development of new methods for the study of biological glycosylation and the development of carbohydrate-based medicines. His group developed practical chemoenzymatic methods for organic synthesis, with the scope ranging from simple reactions to multistep synthesis of oligosaccharides and homogeneous glycoproteins. His group also developed the first automated and programmable synthesis of oligosaccharides, the glycosylation probes and glycan microarray for analysis of glycan-protein interaction. His work has led to the development of universal influenza vaccines, homogeneous antibodies with optimized effector functions, and broadly protective cancer vaccines using global-series glycans. Dr. Wong received his BS and MS degrees in biochemical sciences from National Taiwan University and Ph.D. in chemistry from MIT with George Whitesides. After one-year postdoctoral research in the Whitesides group, he started his independent career at Texas A&M University where he raised through the ranks. He became Ernest Hahn Professor of Chemistry at Scripps Research in 1989 and President of Academia Sinica in Taiwan from 2006-2016. He has been back to Scripps Research since 2019 with a part-time appointment at Academia Sinica as Distinguished Research Fellow.

Research Interests

The Wong group is currently pursuing research in glycoscience. Carbohydrates are one of the four major classes of molecules that make up cells and often are linked to lipids and proteins through glycosylation. They are capable of affecting protein folding and function and are involved in many cellular recognition events. Despite their importance, the roles of carbohydrates and the associated glycosylation reactions in biology have not been well understood, mainly due to the lack of tools and availability of homogeneous carbohydrates (especially oligosaccharides) and glycoproteins for fundamental studies and translational research. The Wong group is continuing their effort to develop new tools and methods for use to understand the roles carbohydrates play in biology and to develop new medicines to tackle the problems of cancer progression, bacterial and viral infections and neural degenerative diseases associated with aberrant glycosylation.

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