Dr Hai Deng

Dr Hai Deng


Dr Hai Deng
Dr Hai Deng

Contact Details

work +44 (0)1224 272953
The University of Aberdeen 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


Exam paper coordinator

Erasmus coordinator


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.

Current Research

1. Characterization of new fluorometabolites and related fluorometabolisms in Streptomyces sp. MA37 (with Professor David O'Hagan and Dr Yi Yu, China).

2. New biosynthetic pathways of various bioactive natural products for potential lead compound discovery, such as the potential antibacterial natural product holomycin (Process Biochem., 2011), the potent antitumour agent actinomycin G (Mol Biosystems, 2013 ), and other antibacterial natural products (with Professor Zixin Deng, Dr Yi Yu (China)). We gratefully thank Royal Society, Tenovus Scotland for financial support.

3. New antibacterial natural product discovery of new bacterial strains from various natural sources (Mrs Xiaoling Wang, Tetrahedron, 2013) (with Professor Marcel Jaspars). Royal Society and Leverhulm Trust are gratefully appreciated.

4. The investigation of bacterial natural products required for virulence (with Professor Christopher Secombes and Professor Marcel Jaspars, J. Biol. Chem. 2013, Marine Drugs, 2013 ). EASTBIO BBSRC is gratefully appreciated.

5. A new organofluorine-specific method for fluorometabolite discovery (Analytical Chemistry, 2012 and J. At. Anal. Spect, 2013) (with Professor Joerg Feldmann).


Cormac Murphy (Ireland)

Yi Yu (Wuhan, China)

Yunjun Zhou (Shanghai, China)

Kwaku Kyeremeh (Legon, Ghana)

Research 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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