Principal Investigator - Professor Lai-Xi Wang
Office Phone: (301) 405-7527
Office Address: 3500A, Chemistry Building (091)
Dr. Wang received his PhD in organic chemistry from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. After postdoctoral studies at Johns Hopkins University in glycobiology and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in biochemistry and molecular biology, he joined the faculty of Institute of Human Virology, University of Maryland School of Medicine as a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor in 2000, promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in 2005, and to Full Professor with tenure in 2009 at University of Maryland School of Medicine. He was also a professor in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Maryland School of Medicine from 2007-2015. In 2015, he was recruited to University of Maryland College Park as Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry to lead efforts in developing new research programs centered on chemical biology.
Dr. Wang was the recipient of the 2004 Young Investigator Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry and the 2014 Melville L. Wolfrom Award, both from the American Chemical Society. He was inducted into the prestigious Johns Hopkins University Society of Scholars in 2009 and was elected as AAAS Fellow in 2014. Dr. Wang’s professional service to the research communities includes serving as a member of the Editorial Advisory Board of Carbohydrate Research; a chartered member of the NIH Synthetic and Biological Chemistry (SBCA) Study Section (2008-2012); the Vice Chair of the 2015 Gordon Research Conferences on Carbohydrates; the Chair of the 2017 Gordon Research Conferences on Carbohydrates; and the Chair of the Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry, the American Chemical Society (2016). Dr. Wang was recently elected as an American Chemical Society Fellow (ACS Fellow).
Dr. Xiao Zhang
Xiao Zhang received his Ph.D. in Chemical Biology under the supervision of Prof. Zhongjun Li from Peking University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2019, after which he joined Prof. Lai-Xi Wang’s lab, and now he is working on glycan remodeling of recombinant human α-glucosidase with mannose-6-phosphate oligosaccharides to enhance its therapeutic efficacy.
Dr. Kun Huang
Dr. Huang obtained his PhD in chemistry at the University of Manchester, UK, in 2018. He was trained as a biochemist under the supervision of Prof. Sabine Flitsch. He joined Dr. Wang’s group in 2019 as a postdoc research associate. Currently, he is working on chemoenzymatic synthesis of glycopeptides and glycoproteins.
Dr. Miao Liu
Miao Liu received her PhD in chemical biology under the supervision of Prof. Xin-Shan Ye from Peking University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, China, in July 2021. Then she joined Prof. Lai-Xi Wang’s lab, and now her research focuses on the development of new chemical and chemoenzymatic methods for synthesizing fluorinated carbohydrates and specifically functionalized antibodies for deciphering biological functions.
Sunaina Kiran Prabhu
Sunaina obtained her Bachelor of Engineering degree in Biotechnology from M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore, India. Post her Bachelor’s studies, she worked on the expression of recombinant anti-cancer antibodies using mammalian cell culture in Biocon Research Ltd., India. She joined Dr. Wang’s lab in January 2017 and is working on expressing therapeutic glycoproteins in bacterial cells.
Chong got his B.S. degree from College of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley. He is currently working on ADC and Galectin inhibitor in Dr. Wang's lab.
Grace Henry Lunde
Grace, a DMV native, received her Bachelor’s in Biology from the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA in the Spring of 2017. Upon graduation, she was appointed to an ORISE Fellowship at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) in an X-ray crystallography laboratory. As the Milligan Fellow (2018), she spent the summer before pursuing her graduate education at UMD, at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) as a research fellow in a molecular biology laboratory. She joined the Wang Lab in the Spring of 2019 and is working on developing new chemoenzymatic approaches for synthesizing O-glycoproteins.
Thomas Connor Donahue
Connor received his Bachelor’s in Biochemistry from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in St. Mary’s City, MD in the spring of 2016. After graduation, he pursued a research position at the University of Maryland Baltimore Pharmacology Department where he investigated the role of ADP Ribosylation Factors in synaptic plasticity. He joined the Wang lab in the Spring of 2019 and is currently working on the multivalent display of glycans on protein/ vesicle scaffolds for the study of glycan- protein interactions.
Dr. Zong received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry at China Agricultural University in 2012, where he was trained as carbohydrate chemist. He then moved to University of Arkansas as a Research Associate working on medicinal chemistry and chemical proteomics of anticancer natural glycoresins. He joined Dr. Wang's group in 2018, works on the chemoenzymatic synthesis of natural and synthetic Nodulation Factors, HIV-1/SARS-CoV-2 N-glycopeptides for glycan function studies and vaccine development, antibody glycan remodeling, as well as Novel ADC platform development.
Dr. Guanghui Zong
Assistant Research Scientist
Margaryta obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Brigham Young University-Idaho in Rexburg, ID in the Spring of 2020. To expand her research experience, she worked as a research assistant in Palladin Institute of Biochemistry in Kyiv, Ukraine. She studied the reciprocal influence of isolated extracellular vesicles on cell responses associated with EMT/MET (cell adhesion, migration, and invasion). She joined Dr. Wang’s lab in the Spring of 2021.
Huiying Liu received her master degree in Chemical Biology under the supervision of Prof. Zhongjun Li from Peking University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2019, after which she joined Prof. Lai-Xi Wang’s lab as a research assistant.
Recent Alumni from the Wang Lab
Dr. Qiang Yang
Assistant Research Scientist
Dr. Yang obtained his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cellular Biology, Chinese Academy of Science in 2002. Afterwards, he completed his postdoctoral training in Johns Hopkins University and University of Maryland, Baltimore, including 2008-2009 in Dr. Lai-Xi Wang’ lab at Institute of Human virology. He joined American Gene Technology from 2010-2013 as the Lead Scientist (chief scientific leader), leading research programs in gene therapy of HIV/AIDS and liver cancer. Afterwards, he served as Chief Scientific Officer in Cellomics Technology LLC. In 2014, he came back to Dr. Lai-Xi Wang’s lab as an Assistant Research Scientist (non-tenure track research faculty).
Dr. Chao Li
Assistant Research Scientist
Chao Li received his B.S. in chemistry and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Sichuan University, China. He joined Korea University in 2012 as a visiting scholar, where he worked on engineering glycosidases and glycosyltransferases for the synthesis of bioactive oligosaccharides. He is currently a professional track faculty as an Assistant Research Scientist in Professor Lai-Xi Wang’s group at University of Maryland, where his work entails the development of novel glycosidase mutants for glycoengineering of proteins and therapeutic antibodies. His research interest is in the areas of chemoenzymatic synthesis of biologically important oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates, mechanistic enzymology, and protein engineering.
Roushu was in an international joint educational program, and obtained her BS degrees in Chemistry from Sichuan University and University of New Mexico in 2014. She then got enrolled in PhD program of Biochemistry in the University of Maryland College Park in 2015. She joined Dr. Lai-Xi Wang's lab as a graduate student in the first year, working with controlling glycosylation in mammalian cell culture.
Dr. Yuanwei (Davis) Dai
Dr. Dai received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2015 from Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. After postdoctoral studies at UT Southwestern Medical center and State University of New York at Albany in medicinal chemistry and glyco-chemistry. He joined Dr. Wang’s lab in 2019 and his research focuses on the development of molecular probes for modulating glycan cellular functions and chemoenzymatic synthesis of multivalent N-glycan scaffolds targeting CD22 (Siglec-2).
Dr. Hui Cai
Dr. Cai got his PhD from Department of Chemistry, Tsinghua University. He joined in Prof. Wang's group in 2015 with his research focus on chemoenzymatic synthesis of HIV N-glycopeptide and vaccine development.
Dr. Jared Orwenyo
Jared received his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Nairobi followed by a Master of Science degree in Chemistry from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. He received his PhD from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in Baltimore, Maryland under the supervision of Prof. Lai-Xi Wang. His research project in Dr. Wang group entails synthesis of HIV glycopeptides based on the gp120 epitopes of broadly-neutralizing antibodies.
Xin (Claude) Tong
Claude completed his undergraduate degree in Biochemistry at the University of Sheffield in South Yorkshire, UK, in 2014. He was working in Dr. Peter Monk’s group researching the anti-inflammatory effects of complement-dependent signaling analogs, C3aI and C5aI. He has been working as a graduate research assistant in Dr. Lai-Xi Wang’s group since January 2015. The main goal of his Ph.D. study is to design and development of novel glycan-modifying enzymes suitable for highly efficient chemoenzymatic glycosylation remodeling of antibody therapeutics.
Dr. Tiezheng (Kevin) Li
Dr. Li received his PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at Marquette University, where he studied the biosynthesis of bacterial polysaccharides. He joined Dr. Wang research group in 2014 and his research focused on antibody N-glycan modification and determining the impact of different N-glycan composition on antibody functions.
John obtained his Bachelor's degree in Biology and Chemistry from The College of William and Mary in Virginia, where he did research in molecular biology, studying the nuclear import of the thyroid hormone receptor in the lab of Dr. Lizabeth Allison. His research in Dr. Wang lab includes the chemoenzymatic synthesis of homogeneous glycopeptides and glycoproteins using the bacterial endoglycosidases Endo-F3 and Endo-S with a special focus on the glycoengineering of homogeneous glycoforms of monoclonal antibodies.
Teodora obtained her Bachelor's degree in Biochemistry from Grinnell College, Iowa, where she did research in Molecular Pharmacology, working on Nicotinic Acetylcholine Receptors at Levandoski Lab. Her research at Dr. Wang lab includes highly convergent chemoenzymatic synthesis of prostate-cancer associated antigens for diagnostic and therapetic purposes.
Kate received her B.S. degree in Chemistry from the University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS. There she worked in the area of methodology involving SET Pd/Ir dual catalysis for the synthesis of new sp3-sp3 bonds. Joining Dr. Wang's group in fall of 2015, she worked on the chemoenzymatic synthesis of natural and synthetic Nodulation Factors, as well as HIV vaccine design.
Chris is a senior majoring in Biochemistry, hoping to obtain a career in the medical or educational field. He served as the representative of the Science and Global Change Program in College Park Scholars, the President of the ACS Student Chapter and UMD, and was the President of the UMD Student Chapter of the American Association for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. After graduating, Chris assumed a PostBacc research position at the National Instututes of Health.
Chun Mun Loke
Chun Mun is a junior majoring in Biochemistry and Cell Biology & Genetics, with minors in physics and piano performance. He is also involved in the University's iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) Team, serving as its President. Outside of academics, he plays with several of the University's orchestras, and will serve as the Music Director of the University's unique Gamer Symphony Orchestra. He is currently applying to MD/PhD programs.