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Personal profile

Personal profile

Professor Yi Lu received his B.S. from Peking University, P. R. China in 1986 and his Ph.D. from University of California, Los Angeles in 1992. After two years of postdoctoral research at California Institute of Technology, he joined the faculty at Illinois in 1994. Professor Yi Lu's research interests are in bioinorganic, bioanalytical and biomaterials chemistries.

Research Interests

Biosynthetic Inorganic Chemistry, DNAzyme and Aptamer-Based Sensing and Imaging Agents, and Functional DNA Nanotechnology

Professional Information

The Lu group's research interests lie at the interface between chemistry and biology. We are developing new chemical approaches to provide deeper insight into biological structures and functions. We are taking advantage of recently developed biological tools to advance many areas in chemistry, including bioinorganic, bioanalytical, and biomaterials chemistry. Bioorganic and biophysical methods and tools are also being used. Our main areas of research include:

Biosynthetic inorganic chemistry and its application in environmentally benign catalysis in renewable energy generation and pharmaceuticals. Fundamental understanding of DNAzymes and aptamers, and their applications in environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics, and targeted drug delivery.Employing principles from biology for directed assembly of nanomaterials, and its applications in photonics and sensing.

For more and latest information about the Lu group research, please visit Lu group.

Honors & Awards

Royal Society of Chemistry Applied Inorganic Chemistry Award, 2015
Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2015
Ranked among the world's most influential researchers, as part of the Thompson/Reuters mostly highly cited list in 2015, 2016 and 2017
Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2007
Society of Biological Inorganic Chemistry (SBIC) Early Career Award, 2007
Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professors Award, 2002
Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 1999

Office Address

Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
A322 CLSL, Box 8-6
600 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801

Office Phone

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Research Output

A Designed Metalloenzyme Achieving the Catalytic Rate of a Native Enzyme

Yu, Y., Cui, C., Liu, X., Petrik, I. D., Wang, J. & Lu, Y., Sep 16 2015, In : Journal of the American Chemical Society. 137, 36, p. 11570-11573 4 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • In vitro selection of a sodium-specific DNAzyme and its application in intracellular sensing

    Torabi, S. F., Wu, P., McGhee, C. E., Chen, L., Hwang, K., Zheng, N., Cheng, J. & Lu, Y., May 12 2015, In : Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 112, 19, p. 5903-5908 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Using personal glucose meters and functional DNA sensors to quantify a variety of analytical targets

    Xiang, Y. & Lu, Y., Sep 1 2011, In : Nature Chemistry. 3, 9, p. 697-703 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • DNA as a powerful tool for morphology control, spatial positioning, and dynamic assembly of nanoparticles

    Tan, L. H., Xing, H. & Lu, Y., Jun 17 2014, In : Accounts of chemical research. 47, 6, p. 1881-1890 10 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Why copper is preferred over iron for oxygen activation and reduction in haem-copper oxidases

    Bhagi-Damodaran, A., Michael, M. A., Zhu, Q., Reed, J., Sandoval, B. A., Mirts, E. N., Chakraborty, S., Moënne-Loccoz, P., Zhang, Y. & Lu, Y., Mar 1 2017, In : Nature Chemistry. 9, 3, p. 257-263 7 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Activities

    • 1 Oral presentation

    Faculty Research Spotlight: COVID-19

    Martin Burke (Speaker), & Yi Lu (Speaker)

    May 29 2020

    Activity: Talk typesOral presentation

    Press / Media