Chung-Hang LEUNG 梁重恒

Chung-Hang LEUNG 梁重恒

Academic Qualifications

  • PhD, City University of Hong Kong
  • BSc (Hons), City University of Hong Kong


Department of Pharmacology,
Yale University School of Medicine
Postdoctoral Associate
Associate Research Scientist
Department of Chemistry,
The University of Hong Kong
Research (Honorary) Assistant Professor2007-2010
School of Chinese Medicine,
Hong Kong Baptist University
Research Assistant Professor2011-2011
Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences,
University of Macau
Assistant Professor    
Associate Professor


Undergraduate Courses

  1. From Cells to Organisms
  2. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology I
  3. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II
  4. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology II – Laboratory
  5. Wonders in Life Science and Health: Biomedical Science
  6. Final Year Projects

Postgraduate Courses

  1. University Teaching I
  2. Drug Targets and Drug Discovery
  3. Targets and Models for Drug Screen.


Research Interests

  1. Drug discovery
  • Discovery of natural products and metal-based compounds for important molecular targets with special emphasis on modulators of protein-protein interactions and gene transcription.
  1. Luminescent sensing methods
  • Detection of enzyme activities for high-throughput drug screening
  • Detection of hazardous substances such as metal ions and toxins for quality control and food safety

Group Pages

We are now looking for postgraduate students and research assistants who wish to participate in our research projects on drug discovery and sensing of biomolecules. For further information, please contact Dr. Leung at

Selected publications

    1. Yang GJ, Wang WH, Mok SWF, Wu C, Law BYK, Miao XM, Wu KJ, Zhong HJ, Wong CY, Wong VKW,* Ma DL,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* Selective inhibition of lysine-specific demethylase 5A (KDM5A) using a rhodium(III) complex for triple-negative breast cancer therapy. Angew Chem Int Ed (in press)
      Inside back cover
    2. Yang GJ, Zhong HJ, Ko CN, Yu WS, Vellaisamy K, Ye M, Ma DL,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2018) Identification of a rhodium(III) complex as a Wee1 inhibitor against TP53-mutated triple-negative breast cancer cells. Chem Commun 54, 2443.
      Front cover
    3. Vellaisamy K, Li GD, Ko CN, Zhong HJ, Fatima S, Kwan HY, Wong CY, Kwong WJ,* Tan WH,* Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2018) Cell imaging of dopamine receptor using agonist labeling iridium(III) complex. Chem Sci 9, 1075.
      Inside front cover
    4. Wang WH, Vellaisamy K, Li GD, Wu C, Ko CN, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2017) Development of a long-lived luminescence probe for visualizing β-galactosidase in ovarian carcinoma cells. Anal Chem 89, 11679.
    5. Sun H, Li WB, Dong ZZ, Hu C, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL,* Ren KN.* (2018) A suspending-droplet mode paper-based microfluidic platform for low-cost, rapid, and convenient detection of lead(II) ions in liquid solution. Biosens Bioelectron 99, 361.
    6. Liu LJ, Wang WH, Huang SY, Hong YJ, Li GD, Lin S, Tian JL, Cai ZW,* Wang HMD,* Ma DL,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2017) Inhibition of the Ras/Raf interaction and repression of renal cancer xenografts in vivo by an enantiomeric iridium(III) metal-based compound. Chem Sci 8, 4756.
      Inside back cover
    7. Ko CN, Yang C, Lin S, Li SN, Dong ZZ, Liu JB,* Lee SMY,* Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2017) A long-lived phosphorescence iridium(III) complex as a switch on-off-on probe for live zebrafish monitoring of endogenous sulfide generation. Biosens Bioelectron 94, 575.
    8. Kang TS, Wang WH, Zhong HJ, Dong ZZ, Huang Q, Mok SWF, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Wong VKW,* Ma DL.* (2017) An anti-prostate cancer benzofuran-conjugated iridium(III) complex as a dual inhibitor of STAT3 and NF-κB. Cancer Lett 396, 76.
    9. Dong ZZ, Lu LH, Wang WH, Li GD, Kang TS, Han QB, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2017) Luminescent detection of nicking endonuclease Nb.BsmI activity by using a G-quadruplex-selective iridium(III) complex in aqueous solution. Sensor Actuat B-Chem 246, 826.
    10. Yang C, Wang WH, Liang JX, Li GD, Vellaisamy K, Wong CY, Ma DL,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2017) A rhodium(III)-based inhibitor of lysine-specific histone demethylase 1 as an epigenetic modulator in prostate cancer cells. J Med Chem 60, 2597.
    11. Wang WH, Yang C, Lin S, Vellaisamy K, Li GD, Tan WH,* Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2017) First synthesis of an oridonin-conjugated iridium(III) complex for the intracellular tracking of NF-κB in living cells. Chem Eur J 23, 4929.
    12. Liu CF, Yang C, Lu L, Wang WH, Tan WH,* Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2017) Luminescent iridium(III) complexes as COX-2-specific imaging agents in cancer cells. Chem Commun 53, 2822.
      Back cover
    13. Dong ZZ, Lu L, Ko CN, Yang C, Li S, Lee MY, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2017) A MnO2 nanosheet-assisted GSH detection platform by using iridium(III) complex as a switch-on luminescent probe. Nanoscale 9, 4631.
      Inside front cover
    14. Zhong HJ,* Wang WH, Kang TS, Yan H, Yang YL, Xu LP, Wang YQ, Ma DL,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2016) A rhodium(III) complex as an inhibitor of neural precursor cell expressed, developmentally down-regulated 8-activating enzyme with in vivo activity against inflammatory bowel disease. J Med Chem 60, 497.
    15. Ma DL,* Lin S, Wang WH, Yang C, Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2017) Luminescent chemosensors by using cyclometalated iridium(III) complexes and their applications. Chem Sci 8, 878.
    16. Lin S, Lu L, Kang TS, Mergny JL, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2016) The interaction of an iridium(III) complex with G-quadruplex DNA and its application in luminescent switch-on detection of Siglec-5. Anal Chem 88, 10290.
    17. Yang C, Wang WH, Chen LM, Liang JX, Lin S, Lee SMY, Ma DL,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2016) Discovery of a VHL and HIF1α interaction inhibitor with in vivo angiogenic activity by structure-based virtual screening. Chem Commun 52, 12837.
    18. Liu LJ, Wang WH, Zhong Z, Lin S, Lu L, Wang YT, Ma DL,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2016) Inhibition of TLR1/2 dimerization by enantiomers of metal complexes. Chem Commun 52, 12278.
      Front cover
    19. Lin S, Kang TS, Lu L, Wang WH, Ma DL,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2016) A G-quadruplex-selective luminescent probe with an anchor tail for the switch-on detection of thymine DNA glycosylase activity. Biosens Bioelectron 86, 849.
    20. Ma DL,* Wang M, Liu CF, Miao XM, Kang TS, Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2016) Metal complexes for the detection of disease-related protein biomarkers. Coord Chem Rev 324, 90.
    21. Miao XM, Wang WH, Kang TS, Liu JB, Shiu KK, Leung CH, Ma DL.* (2016) Ultrasensitive electrochemical detection of miRNA-21 by using an iridium(III) complex as catalyst. Biosens Bioelectron 86, 454.
    22. Lu L,* Mao ZF, Kang TS, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2016) A versatile nanomachine for the sensitive detection of platelet-derived growth factor-BB utilizing a G-quadruplex-selective iridium(III) complex. Biosens Bioelectron 85, 300.
    23. Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Liu LJ, Leung KH, Ma DL.* (2016) Epigenetic modulation by inorganic metal complexes. Coord Chem Rev 319, 25.
    24. Kang TS, Mao ZF, Ng CT, Wang M, Wang WH, Wang CM, Lee SMY, Wang YT, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2016) Identification of an Iridium(III)-Based Inhibitor of Tumor Necrosis Factor-α. J Med Chem 59, 4026.
    25. Zhong HJ, Lee BR, Boyle JW, Wang WH, Ma DL,* Chan PWH,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2016) Structure-based screening and optimization of cytisine derivatives as inhibitors of the menin-MLL interaction. Chem Commun 52, 5788.
      Front cover
    26. Liu LJ, He BY, Miles JA, Wang WH, Mao ZF, Che WI, Lu JJ, Chen XP, Wilson AJ, Ma DL,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2016) Inhibition of the p53/hDM2 protein-protein interaction by cyclometallated iridium (III) compounds. Oncotarget 7, 13965.
    27. Zhong HJ, Lu L, Wong CL-C , Peng C, Yan SC, Ma DL,* Cai ZW,* Wang HMD* and Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2015) An iridium(III)-based irreversible protein-protein interaction inhibitor of BRD4 as a potent anticancer agent. Chem Sci 6, 5400.
    28. Liu LJ, Lu L, Zhong HJ, He BY, Kwong D, Ma DL,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2015) An Iridium(Ⅲ) complex inhibits JMJD2 activities and acts as a potential epigenetic modulator. J Med Chem 16, 6697.
    29. Wang WH, Mao ZF, Wang M, Liu LJ, Kwong DWJ, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2016) A long lifetime luminescent iridium(III) complex chemosensor for selective switch-on detection of Al3+ ions. Chem Commun 52, 3611.
      Front cover
    30. Lin S, Yang C, Mao Z, He BY, Wang YT, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2016) A G-pentaplex-based assay for Cs+ ions in aqueous solution using a luminescent Ir(III) complex. Biosens Bioelectron 77, 609.
    31. Leung KH, He BY, Yang C, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Wang HM,* Ma DL.* (2015) Development of an aptamer-based sensing platform for metal ions, proteins and small molecules through terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-induced G-quadruplex formation. ACS Appl Mater Interfaces 7, 24046.
    32. Lin S, He B, Yang C, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Mergny JL,* Ma DL.* (2015) Luminescence switch-on assay of interferon-gamma using a G-quadruplex-selective iridium(III) complex. Chem Commun 51, 16033.
      Front cover
    33. Zhong Z, Liu LJ, Dong ZQ, Lu L, Wang M, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL,* Wang YT.* (2015) Structure-based discovery of an immunomodulatory inhibitor of TLR1-TLR2 heterodimerization from a natural product-like database. Chem Commun 51, 11178.
    34. Lu L, Wang M, Liu LJ, Wong CY, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2015) A luminescence switch-on probe for terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase (TdT) activity detection by using an iridium(III)-based i-motif probe. Chem Commun 49, 9953.
    35. Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Liu LJ, Lu L, He B, Kwong DWJ, Wong CY,* Ma DL.* (2015) A metal-based tumour necrosis factor-alpha converting enzyme inhibitor. Chem Commun 51, 3973.
      Front cover
    36. Leung KH, He HZ, Zhong HJ, Lin S, Wang YT, Ma DL,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2015) Label-free luminescence switch-on detection of hepatitis C virus NS3 helicase activity using a G-quadruplex-selective probe. Chem Sci 6, 2166.
      Front cover
    37. Ma DL,* Chan DSH, Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2014) Group 9 organometallic compounds for therapeutic and bioanalytical applications. Acc Chem Res 47, 3614.
    38. Lu L, Chan DSH, Kwong DWJ, He HZ,* Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2014) Detection of nicking endonuclease activity using a G-quadruplex-selective luminescent switch-on probe. Chem Sci 5, 4561.
      Inside front cover
    39. Ma DL,* Chan DSH, Wei G, Zhong HJ, Yang H, Leung LT, Gullen EA, Chiu P,* Cheng YC,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2014) Virtual screening and optimization of Type II inhibitors of JAK2 from a natural product library. Chem Commun 50, 13885.
      Inside front cover
    40. Ma DL,* Liu LJ, Leung KH, Chen YT, Zhong HJ, Chan DSH, Wang HMD,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2014) Antagonising STAT3 dimerization with a rhodium(III) complex. Angew Chem Int Ed 53, 9178.
      Back cover
      Selected as very important paper
      Highlighted by SciBX, Nature Publishing Group, 2014, 7(26)
    41. Liu LJ, Leung KH, Chan DSH, Wang YT, Ma DL,* Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2014) Identification of a natural product-like STAT3 dimerization inhibitor by structure-based virtual screening. Cell Death Dis 5, e1293.
    42. He HZ, Leung KH, Wang W, Chan DSH, Leung CH, Ma DL.* (2014) Label-free luminescence switch-on detection of T4 polynucleotide kinase activity using a G-quadruplex-selective probe. Chem Commun 50, 5313.
      Inside front cover
    43. Leung CH (Corresponding author),* He HZ, Liu LJ, Wang M, Chan DSH, Ma DL.* (2013) Metal complexes as inhibitors of transcription factor activity. Coord Chem Rev 257, 3139.
    44. Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Zhong HJ, Chan DSH, Ma DL.* (2013) Bioactive iridium and rhodium complexes as therapeutic agents. Coord Chem Rev 257, 1764.
    45. Leung KH, He HZ, Ma VPY, Zhong HJ, Chan DSH, Zhou J, Mergny JL, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2013) Detection of base excision repair enzyme activity using a luminescent G-quadruplex selective switch-on probe. Chem Commun 49, 5630.
      Front cover
    46. Ma DL,* Chan DSH, Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2013) Drug repositioning by structure-based virtual screening. Chem Soc Rev 42, 2130.
    47. Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Zhong HJ, Yang H, Cheng Z, Chan DSH, Ma VPY, Abagyan R, Wong CY, Ma DL.* (2012) A metal-based inhibitor of tumor-necrosis factor-alpha. Angew Chem Int Ed 51, 9010.
    48. Ma DL,* Xu T, Chan DSH, Man BYW, Fong WF, Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2011) A Highly Selective, Label-Free, Homogenous Luminescent Switch-On Probe for the Detection of Nanomolar Transcription Factor NF-kappaB. Nucleic Acids Res 39, e67.
    49. Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Chan DSH, Man BYW, Wang CJ, Lam W, Cheng YC, Fong WF, Hsiao WLW, Ma DL.* (2011) Simple and convenient G-quadruplex-based turn-on fluorescence assay for 3’-5’exonuclease activity. Anal Chem 83, 463.
    50. Chan DSH, Lee HM, Yang F, Che CM, Wong CCL, Abagyan R, Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Ma DL.* (2010) Structure-Based Discovery of Natural Product-Like TNF-alpha Inhibitors. Angew Chem Int Ed 49, 2860.
      A hot paper chosen by the Editors for its importance in a rapidly evolving field of high current interest
      Highlighted by SciBX, Nature Publishing Group, 2010, 3(13)

Full Publication List

Book Chapters

  • Leung CH (Corresponding author),* Kang TS, Yang C, Leung KH, Ma DL.* (2017) Biological applications of supramolecular coordination complexes. In: Atwood, J. L., (ed.) Comprehensive Supramolecular Chemistry II, Elsevier. Vol. 5, 3.
  • Ma DL,* Liu LJ, Lin S, Wang M, Chan DSH, Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2015) Recent advances in the discovery and development of protein-protein interaction modulators by virtual screening. eBook Series: Frontiers in computational chemistry, Bentham Science Publishers. 1, Chap. 4, 121.
  • Ma DL,* Wang M, Liu LJ, Lin S, Lu L, Ai Z, Tang FK, Chan DSH, Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2015) G-quadruplex DNA for the construction of sensing platforms. eBook Chapter: DNA G-quadruplexes as new anticancer targets. Future Science Ltd. July, 230.
  • Ma DL,* Ma VPY, Leung KH, Zhong HJ, He HZ, Chan DSH, Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2012) Structure-based approaches targeting oncogene promoter G-quadruplexes. Oncogene. InTech.
  • Ma DL,* Ma VPY, Chan DSH, Leung KH, Zhong HJ, Leung CH (Corresponding author).* (2012) Natural products as inhibitors of the ubiquitin/ubiquitin-like protein-proteasome pathway. Natural Products: Structure, Bioactivity and Applications. Nova Science Publishers, Inc.


  • A luminescent iridium(III) complex and its uses thereof for the G-quadruplex-based switch-on rapid detection of lead ions. Ma DL, Lin S, Leung CH (US Patent Application No. US20170102331A1), 13 Apr 2017.
  • Methods of detecting helicase activity. Ma DL, Leung CH, He BY, Zhong HJ (US Patent No. 14,950,538), 24 Nov 2015.
  • Methods for antagonizing STAT3 dimerization and compounds for use therein. Leung CH, Ma DL, Wang HM (US Patent No. 9,657,044 B2), 23 May 2017.
  • An iridium(III)-based irreversible protein-protein interaction inhibitor of BRD4 as a potent anticancer agent. Leung CH, Ma DL, Wang HM, Zhong HJ (US Patent No. 9,840,526 B1), 12 Dec 2017.
  • Development of lead ion testing paper with naked-eye observable readout for ten min on-site detection. Ma DL, Leung CH, Ren K (US Patent Application No. US20170102330A1), 13 Apr 2017.
  • Development of lead ion testing paper with naked-eye observable readout for ten min on-site detection. Ma DL, Leung CH, Ren K (Hong Kong Short Term Patent No. HK1224889), 12 Oct 2016.

Professional Contributions

  • Grant reviewer, Blanc – Accords bilatéraux 2013 – SIMI 7 2013 program of the French National Research Agency
  • Guest Editor, Methods Special Issues
  • Guest Editor, Current Alzheimer Research
  • Editorial Board Member, Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Analytical & Molecular Techniques
  • Editorial Board Member, Austin Food Sciences
  • Panelist, The 11th Meeting of Consortium for Globalization of Chinese Medicine
  • Member, The Consortium for Globalization of Chinese Medicine
  • Member, International Society of Chinese Medicine 


  • Incentive Award Scheme for Outstanding Academic Staff 2017/2018
  • Science and Technology Award Third Prize, China Association for Instrumental Analysis (CAIA) 2016/2017
  • Awardee of Faculty-level Academic Award Scheme 2016/2017
  • Second Class Award, “Key issues in Chinese medicine quality evaluation: Fundamental research and applications”
  • 2016 Macau Awards for Science and Technology, FDCT, Macao SAR
  • Second Class Award, “Modulation of biological targets involved in cancer development by Traditional Chinese Medicine and natural products”
  • 2014 Macau Awards for Science and Technology, FDCT, Macao SAR

Student Awards

  • Postgraduate Science and Technology Research and Development Award, LIU Li-Juan (Graduated student), 2018
  • Postgraduate Science and Technology Research and Development Award, YANG Chao (Graduated student), 2018
  • Postgraduate Science and Technology Research and Development Award, ZHONG Hai-Jing (Graduated student), 2016
  • Second Class Award, “Detection of 5′-3′ exonuclease activity using a metal-based luminescent switch-on probe”
    13th Challenge Cup, BOCOM (Bank of Communications) National College Students Extracurricular Scientific Work Competition, 2013

Contact Details

Room 7037, N22
Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences (ICMS)
University of Macau Avenida da Universidade, Taipa, Macau
Telephone: (853) 8822-4688
Fax: (853) 2884-1358