Dr Yu Heng Lau

BSc(Adv) MSc Sydney; PhD Cambridge
Lecturer in Chemistry
Group leader - Chemical and Synthetic Biology

Member of The University of Sydney Nano Institute

F11 - Chemistry Building
The University of Sydney

Telephone +61 2 8627 5562
Fax +61 2 9351 3329

Website Group Website
Google Scholar

Biographical details

Dr Yu Heng Lau is a lecturer and group leader in the School of Chemistry. He completed his PhD at the University of Cambridge, developing new chemical methods for synthesising peptide-based therapeutics. He then moved to Harvard Medical School as a Sir Henry Wellcome Postdoctoral Fellow in the field of synthetic biology, building recoded synthetic genomes in bacteria and engineering self-assembling protein nanocompartments in yeast.

Yu Heng's research lies at the interface of synthetic chemistry, synthetic biology and bioengineering. His work takes inspiration from macromolecules found in nature, harnessing the power of biocompatible chemistry to create new medicines, advanced materials and catalysts.

Research interests

We have a number of research projects available that cover a range of chemical and biological topics, including:

  • design and synthesis of peptide-based anti-cancer therapeutics
  • nanoscale scaffolds for chemo-enzymatic catalysis
  • self-assembling proteins for drug delivery
  • templated synthesis of highly monodisperse nanomaterials
  • new bioorthogonal chemical reactions for protein labelling

Whether you are a prospective undergraduate, Honours student, PhD candidate or postdoc, see our group webpage for more info, and please feel free to contact me to learn more about our research and the current opportunities available.

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We are currently advertising a fully-funded PhD position in the group! Previous experience in organic chemistry or molecular biology is desirable but not necessary. Excellent communication skills are essential. At least 9 months prior research experience is needed. Details on applying for the advertised PhD program can be found here.

We are always interested in welcoming enthusiastic and talented individuals from diverse backgrounds to join our team!

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Lau, Y., Clegg, J., Price, J., Macquart, R., Todd, M., Rutledge, P. (2018). Molecular switches for any pH: A systematic study of the versatile coordination behaviour of cyclam scorpionands. Chemistry - A European Journal, 24(7), 1573-1585. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., Giessen, T., Altenburg, W., Silver, P. (2018). Prokaryotic nanocompartments form synthetic organelles in a eukaryote. Nature Communications, 9(1), 1311-1-1311-7. [More Information]
  • Iegre, J., Ahmed, N., Gaynord, J., Wu, Y., Herlihy, K., Tan, Y., Lopes-Pires, M., Jha, R., Lau, Y., Sore, H., et al (2018). Stapled peptides as a new technology to investigate protein-protein interactions in human platelets. Chemical Science, 9(20), 4638-4643. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., Stirling, F., Kuo, J., Karrenbelt, M., Chan, Y., Riesselman, A., Horton, C., Schafer, E., Lips, D., Weinstock, M., et al (2017). Large-scale recoding of a bacterial genome by iterative recombineering of synthetic DNA. Nucleic Acids Research, 45(11), 6971-6980. [More Information]
  • Xu, W., Lau, Y., Fischer, G., Tan, Y., Chattopadhyay, A., de la Roche, M., Hyvonen, M., Verma, C., Spring, D., Itzhaki, L. (2017). Macrocyclized extended peptides: Inhibiting the substrate-recognition domain of tankyrase. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139(6), 2245-2256. [More Information]
  • Wu, Y., Villa, F., Maman, J., Lau, Y., Dobnikar, L., Simon, A., Labib, K., Spring, D., Pellegrini, L. (2017). Targeting the genome-stability hub Ctf4 by stapled-peptide design. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 56(42), 12866-12872. [More Information]
  • Wu, Y., Olsen, L., Lau, Y., Jensen, C., Rossmann, M., Baker, Y., Sore, H., Collins, S., Spring, D. (2016). Development of a multifunctional benzophenone linker for peptide stapling and photoaffinity labelling. ChemBioChem, 17(8), 689-692. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., Wu, Y., de Andrade, P., Galloway, W., Spring, D. (2015). A two-component 'double-click' approach to peptide stapling. Nature Protocols, 10(4), 585-594. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., Wu, Y., Rossmann, M., Tan, B., de Andrade, P., Tan, Y., Verma, C., McKenzie, G., Venkitaraman, A., Hyvonen, M., et al (2015). Double Strain-Promoted Macrocyclization for the Rapid Selection of Cell-Active Stapled Peptides. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 54(51), 15410-15413. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., de Andrade, P., Wu, Y., Spring, D. (2015). Peptide stapling techniques based on different macrocyclisation chemistries. Chemical Society Reviews, 44(1), 91-102. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., de Andrade, P., Quah, S., Rossmann, M., Laraia, L., Skold, N., Sum, T., Rowling, P., Joseph, T., Verma, C., et al (2014). Functionalised staple linkages for modulating the cellular activity of stapled peptides. Chemical Science, 5(5), 1804-1809. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., de Andrade, P., Skold, N., McKenzie, G., Venkitaraman, A., Verma, C., Lane, D., Spring, D. (2014). Investigating peptide sequence variations for 'double-click' stapled p53 peptides. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 12(24), 4074-4077. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., de Andrade, P., McKenzie, G., Venkitaraman, A., Spring, D. (2014). Linear aliphatic dialkynes as alternative linkers for double-click stapling of p53-derived peptides. ChemBioChem, 15(18), 2680-2683. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., Price, J., Todd, M., Rutledge, P. (2011). A Click Fluorophore Sensor that Can Distinguish Cu(II) and Hg(II) via Selective Anion-Induced Demetallation. Chemistry - A European Journal, 17(10), 2850-2858. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., Rutledge, P., Watkinson, M., Todd, M. (2011). Chemical sensors that incorporate click-derived triazoles. Chemical Society Reviews, 40(5), 2848-2866. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., Spring, D. (2011). Efficient synthesis of Fmoc-protected azido amino acids. Synlett, 2011 (13), 1917-1919. [More Information]
  • Scully, C., Lau, Y., Jensen, P., Rutledge, P. (2011). Synthesis, electrochemistry and metal binding properties of monosubstituted ferrocenoyl peptides with thioether-containing sidechains. Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 696(3), 715-721. [More Information]

Conferences

  • Lau, Y., Spring, D. (2012). Azide-based macrocyclisation strategies towards functionalised stapled peptides. 243rd ACS National Meeting and Exposition, USA:  .

2018

  • Lau, Y., Clegg, J., Price, J., Macquart, R., Todd, M., Rutledge, P. (2018). Molecular switches for any pH: A systematic study of the versatile coordination behaviour of cyclam scorpionands. Chemistry - A European Journal, 24(7), 1573-1585. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., Giessen, T., Altenburg, W., Silver, P. (2018). Prokaryotic nanocompartments form synthetic organelles in a eukaryote. Nature Communications, 9(1), 1311-1-1311-7. [More Information]
  • Iegre, J., Ahmed, N., Gaynord, J., Wu, Y., Herlihy, K., Tan, Y., Lopes-Pires, M., Jha, R., Lau, Y., Sore, H., et al (2018). Stapled peptides as a new technology to investigate protein-protein interactions in human platelets. Chemical Science, 9(20), 4638-4643. [More Information]

2017

  • Lau, Y., Stirling, F., Kuo, J., Karrenbelt, M., Chan, Y., Riesselman, A., Horton, C., Schafer, E., Lips, D., Weinstock, M., et al (2017). Large-scale recoding of a bacterial genome by iterative recombineering of synthetic DNA. Nucleic Acids Research, 45(11), 6971-6980. [More Information]
  • Xu, W., Lau, Y., Fischer, G., Tan, Y., Chattopadhyay, A., de la Roche, M., Hyvonen, M., Verma, C., Spring, D., Itzhaki, L. (2017). Macrocyclized extended peptides: Inhibiting the substrate-recognition domain of tankyrase. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 139(6), 2245-2256. [More Information]
  • Wu, Y., Villa, F., Maman, J., Lau, Y., Dobnikar, L., Simon, A., Labib, K., Spring, D., Pellegrini, L. (2017). Targeting the genome-stability hub Ctf4 by stapled-peptide design. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 56(42), 12866-12872. [More Information]

2016

  • Wu, Y., Olsen, L., Lau, Y., Jensen, C., Rossmann, M., Baker, Y., Sore, H., Collins, S., Spring, D. (2016). Development of a multifunctional benzophenone linker for peptide stapling and photoaffinity labelling. ChemBioChem, 17(8), 689-692. [More Information]

2015

  • Lau, Y., Wu, Y., de Andrade, P., Galloway, W., Spring, D. (2015). A two-component 'double-click' approach to peptide stapling. Nature Protocols, 10(4), 585-594. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., Wu, Y., Rossmann, M., Tan, B., de Andrade, P., Tan, Y., Verma, C., McKenzie, G., Venkitaraman, A., Hyvonen, M., et al (2015). Double Strain-Promoted Macrocyclization for the Rapid Selection of Cell-Active Stapled Peptides. Angewandte Chemie - International Edition, 54(51), 15410-15413. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., de Andrade, P., Wu, Y., Spring, D. (2015). Peptide stapling techniques based on different macrocyclisation chemistries. Chemical Society Reviews, 44(1), 91-102. [More Information]

2014

  • Lau, Y., de Andrade, P., Quah, S., Rossmann, M., Laraia, L., Skold, N., Sum, T., Rowling, P., Joseph, T., Verma, C., et al (2014). Functionalised staple linkages for modulating the cellular activity of stapled peptides. Chemical Science, 5(5), 1804-1809. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., de Andrade, P., Skold, N., McKenzie, G., Venkitaraman, A., Verma, C., Lane, D., Spring, D. (2014). Investigating peptide sequence variations for 'double-click' stapled p53 peptides. Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry, 12(24), 4074-4077. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., de Andrade, P., McKenzie, G., Venkitaraman, A., Spring, D. (2014). Linear aliphatic dialkynes as alternative linkers for double-click stapling of p53-derived peptides. ChemBioChem, 15(18), 2680-2683. [More Information]

2012

  • Lau, Y., Spring, D. (2012). Azide-based macrocyclisation strategies towards functionalised stapled peptides. 243rd ACS National Meeting and Exposition, USA:  .

2011

  • Lau, Y., Price, J., Todd, M., Rutledge, P. (2011). A Click Fluorophore Sensor that Can Distinguish Cu(II) and Hg(II) via Selective Anion-Induced Demetallation. Chemistry - A European Journal, 17(10), 2850-2858. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., Rutledge, P., Watkinson, M., Todd, M. (2011). Chemical sensors that incorporate click-derived triazoles. Chemical Society Reviews, 40(5), 2848-2866. [More Information]
  • Lau, Y., Spring, D. (2011). Efficient synthesis of Fmoc-protected azido amino acids. Synlett, 2011 (13), 1917-1919. [More Information]
  • Scully, C., Lau, Y., Jensen, P., Rutledge, P. (2011). Synthesis, electrochemistry and metal binding properties of monosubstituted ferrocenoyl peptides with thioether-containing sidechains. Journal of Organometallic Chemistry, 696(3), 715-721. [More Information]

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