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Aik Lab

Chemical and Structural Biology Lab

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Our Vision

3D structures of protein/nucleic acid complexes

We are interested in studying protein-nucleic acid complexes in various contexts, such as RNA metabolism, viral replication, and cancer. We also aspire to be innovative in designing therapies using structures of protein/nucleic acid complexes as guides.

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Our Techniques

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Structural Biology

Our core technique is macromolecular X-ray crystallography. We are also interested in using other structural biology tools such as cryo-electron microscopy and NMR to obtain structural information of macromolecules.

Chemical Biology

We also take advantage of powerful techniques in chemistry to detect, analyse and probe biomolecules. Examples of techniques we frequently use are mass spectrometry and liquid chromatography. We also incorporate molecular biology techniques in our research.

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Our Research Highlights

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Structures of ALKBH5-m6A RNA complexes

March 25, 2022

We determined structures of ALKBH5, an m6A demethylase, in complex with a substrate RNA containing m6A modification. The structures gave unprecedented insights into how ALKBH5 recognises the Gm6AC consensus motif and its mechanisms of m6A demethylation involving a proton shuttle network in the active site. Congratulations to Simran and Samson as main contributors to our publication in Nucleic Acids Research!


Structure-based design of potent and selective FTO Inhibitors

November 11, 2021

We recently published our work on structure-based design FTO inhibitors, in collaboration with the Schofield Group from the University of Oxford. The fat mass and obesity associated protein, FTO, is an RNA m6A oxygenase involved in cancer and obesity; therefore FTO is a potential therapeutic target. Congratulations to Samson and Yi Min who contributed to this article in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry!

Get in Touch

Department of Chemistry

Hong Kong Baptist University 

Kowloon Tong, Hong Kong SAR

HKBU site:

+852 3411 6682

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