Yi Lu

 Yi Lu

Contact Information

Department of Chemistry
University of Illinois
A322 CLSL, Box 8-6
600 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Jay and Ann Schenck Professor of Chemistry
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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

Research Description

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.

Distinctions / Awards

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Bhagi-Damodaran, Ambika, Matthew A. Michael, Qianhong Zhu, Julian Reed, Braddock A. Sandoval, Evan N. Mirts, Saumen Chakraborty, Pierre Moënne-Loccoz, Yong Zhang, and Yi Lu Role of nonheme metal in heme-copper oxidases: Why is copper preferred over iron for oxygen activation and reduction? Nature Chemistry 9 2017, p. 257-263.
Yu, Yang, Chang Cui, Igor Petrik, Jiangyun Wang, and Yi Lu A Designed Metalloenzyme Achieving the Catalytic Rate of a Native Enzyme J. Am. Chem.Soc. 137 2015, p. 11570–11573.
Torabi, Seyed-Fakhreddin, Peiwen Wu, Claire E. McGhee, Lu Chen, Kevin Hwang, Nan Zheng, Jianjun Cheng, and Yi Lu In vitro selection of a sodium-specific DNAzyme and its application in intracellular sensing Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 112 2015, p. 5903–5908.
Xiang, Yu, and Yi Lu Using personal glucose meters and functional DNA sensors to quantify a variety of analytical targets Nature Chemistry 3 2011, p. 697-703.
Tan, Li Huey, Hang Xing, and Yi Lu DNA as a Powerful Tool for Morphology Control, Spatial Positioning and Dynamic Assembly of Nanoparticles Acc. Chem. Res. 47 2014, p. 1881–1890.