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

Marine Biodiscovery Centre


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 



Research Interests

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 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


Further Info

External Responsibilities

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).

Admin Responsibilities

Exam paper coordinator

Erasmus coordinator

Recent invited lectures

Natural product symposium. Aberdeen. Dec. 03. 2008. "In vitro biosynthesis of 4-fluorothreonine"

Scottish Perkin Meeting. Aberdeen. Dec. 17. 2008. "Duf62 protein is a SAM hydroxide adenosyltransferase: A new SAM enzyme"

Zing Natural product conference, Antigua and Barbuda. March 1-4, 2009. "New halogenated natural products from the Atacama Desert, Chile"



Currently viewing:

Page 1 of 8 Results 1 to 10 of 71

  • Maglangit, F, Fang, Q, Kyeremeh, K, Sternberg, JM, Ebel, R & Deng, H 2020, 'A Co-Culturing Approach Enables Discovery and Biosynthesis of a Bioactive Indole Alkaloid Metabolite', Molecules, vol. 25, no. 2, 256. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25020256
  • Wu, L, Tong, MH, Raab, A, Fang, Q, Wang, S, Kyeremeh, K, Yu, Y & Deng, H 2020, 'An unusual metal-bound 4-fluorothreonine transaldolase from Streptomyces sp. MA37 catalyses promiscuous transaldol reactions', Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, vol. 104, pp. 3885-3896. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s00253-020-10497-z
  • Maglangit, F, Alrashdi, S, Renault, J, Trembleau, L, Victoria, C, Tong, MH, Wang, S, Kyeremeh, K & Deng, H 2020, 'Characterization of the promiscuous N-acyl CoA transferase, LgoC, in legonoxamine biosynthesis', Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, vol. 18, no. 12, pp. 2219-2222 . [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/d0ob00320d
  • Wu, L, Maglangit, F & Deng, H 2020, 'Fluorine biocatalysis', Current Opinion in Chemical Biology, vol. 55, pp. 119-126. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbpa.2020.01.004
  • Li, Y, Liu, Y, Li, Q, Tian, T, Zhou, W, Cui, Y, Wang, X, cheng, X, Ding, Q, Wang, X, Wu, J, Deng, H, Li, Y, Meng, X, Deng, Z, Hong, X & Xiao, Y 2020, 'Novel NIR-II organic fluorophores for bioimaging beyond 1550 nm', Chemical Science, vol. 11, no. 10, pp. 2621-2626. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/C9SC06567A
  • Fang, Q, Maglangit, F, Wu, L, Ebel, R, Kyeremeh, K, Andersen, JH, Annang, F, Perez de Nanclares, G, Reyes, F & Deng, H 2020, 'Signalling and Bioactive Metabolites from Streptomyces sp. RK44', Molecules, vol. 25, no. 3, 460. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25030460
  • Fang, Q, Maglangit, F, Mugat, M, Urwald, C, Kyeremeh, K & Deng, H 2020, 'Targeted isolation of indole alkaloids from Streptomyces sp. CT37', Molecules, vol. 25, no. 5, 1108. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25051108
  • Wang, S & Deng, H 2020, 'The X-factor: enhanced β-oxidation on intracellular triacylglycerols enabling overproduction of polyketide drug-like molecules in microorganisms', Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology, vol. 5, no. 1, pp. 19-20. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.synbio.2020.01.005
  • Yun, X, Zhang, Q, Lv, M, Deng, H, Deng, Z & Yu, Y 2019, 'In vitro reconstitution of the biosynthetic pathway of 3-hydroxypicolinic acid', Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 454-460. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/c8ob02972e
  • Zeng, X, Chen, Z, Tang, L, Yang, H, Liu, N, Zhou, H, Li, Y, Wu, J, Deng, Z, Yu, Y, Deng, H, Hong, X & Xiao, Y 2019, 'A novel near-infrared fluorescent light-up probe for tumor imaging and drug-induced liver injury detection', Chemical Communications, vol. 55, no. 17, pp. 2541-2544. [Online] DOI: https://doi.org/10.1039/c8cc10286d
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