Dr Hai Deng
Dr Hai Deng

Dr Hai Deng



Room 019, Meston Building, Meston Walk, Old Aberdeen AB24 3UE


08/2018 -              Reader, University of Aberdeen, UK

08/2014- 07/2018  Senior Lecturer, University of Aberdeen, UK

10/2008-07/2014   Lecturer, University of Aberdeen, UK 

06/2002-09/2008   Postdoctoral fellow, University of St Andrews, UK 

1999-2002             Ph.D.   University of Wales Swansea, UK 


Memberships and Affiliations

Internal Memberships

PGR coordinator

CM2514 course coordinator

External Memberships

External reviewer for a series of peer-reviewed journals within my area of interest, including Chem. Sci., Chem Comm., ACS Chem. Biol., ChemBioChem, Marine Biotechnology, Org & Biomol. Chem, FEMS Microbiology Ecology, Chemistry today, Marine Drugs, Fish and Shellfish Immunology, and Virulence.

A reviewer of research councils, BBSRC (UK) and FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia in the field of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 2010-2011), Fonds de recherche du Québec - Nature et technologies, Québec, Canada (2015-2016) and charities, Leverhulme Trust (UK).


Research Overview

The projects in my group mainly lie on the interface of chemistry and biology. I have expertise in bioinformatics/biochemistry/genetics/organic chemistry. As such I am interested in identifying novel enzymes in secondary metabolism and exploring novel enzymatic mechanisms (J. Biol. Chem. 2013; ChemBioChem 2014; Chem. Sci. 2015; Chem. Biol. 2015; Angew Chemie Int. Ed. 2015, Org. Biomol. Chem. 2016 and 2017), tracing biosynthesis pathways using bioinformatics and genetic manipulations (Org. Biomol. Chem. 2014; Chem. Biol. 2015; Angew Chemie Int. Ed. 2015), characterizing novel natural product scaffold (Tetrahedron, 2013 and Org. Biomol. Chem., 2015, 2016 and 2017). These interests inevitably take us towards designing novel substrates for enzymes (industrial biotechnology/ biotransformation/synthetic biology), inhibiting enzymes (medicinal chemistry), applying these biocatalysts to industrial biotechnology and synthetic biology. The expertise established in my laboratory is:

  • Using chemical tools for enzymology studies;
  • Synthetic biology enabling industrial biological application;
  • Chemical synthesis of small molecules;
  • Biotransformation of novel enzymes for lead compound discovery.
  • Genome mining of biosynthetic genes from microbial genomes for natural product discovery;
  • Genetic manipulation of microbial biosynthetic genes;
  • Microbiology, especially cultivation and fermentation of marine-derived and terrestrial actinobacteria for analysis of secondary metabolite profiles.
  • Molecular taxonomy of new actinobacteria.

Research Areas

Biological and Environmental Sciences

Research Specialisms

  • Industrial Biotechnology
  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Applied Chemistry

Our research specialisms are based on the Higher Education Classification of Subjects (HECoS) which is HESA open data, published under the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International licence.

Funding and Grants

We gratefully thank the funding bodies below for financial supports of our research

MRC, BBSRC, Leverhulm Trust, EU FP7, Tenuvas.




Teaching Responsibilities

CM4518 Biological origin of natural products

CM1020 Chemistry for Biosciences 1

CM1512 Chemistry for Biosciences 2

CM3534 Organic and Biological Chemistry



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