Dr. LO Pik Kwan Peggy (羅璧君)

PhD (McGill)

Visiting address
AC1-B6523

Phone: +852 34427840

Author IDs

Willing to take PhD students: yes

Biography

Dr. Peggy Lo received her B.Sc (2004) and M.Phil. (2006) from Hong Kong Baptist University. In 2010, she obtained a Ph.D. in DNA Chemistry from McGill University in Canada. Her Ph.D research focuses on supramolecular chemistry using DNA as a scaffold to build nanotubes and creation of well-defined DNA-mimetic polymers under the supervision of Professor Hanadi F. Sleiman. She then moved to the United States for her postdoctoral research at Harvard University with Professor Hongkun Park from 2010 to 2012. She joined City University of Hong Kong in July 2012.

Her current research interests include design and assembly of bio-inspired DNA-based nanostructures, which are used to address problems in life science and nanomaterials.

Creation of Bio-inspired DNA-based nanostructures

Deliver the well-designed and artificial DNA-based nanostructures to live cells and study their biological functionalities such as targeted delivery of molecular cargo (e.g drugs or proteins) to specific sites in cancer cells, and gene knockdown in a disease cell, etc.

DNA-based nanoelectronics or nanophotonics

Template/position nano-sized components such as nanoparticles, chromophores, electron donors, acceptors and catalytic centers to access light-harvesting devices for solar energy conversion into chemical energy, and precisely pattern memory, and other electronic components for data storage.

Biomolecular sensing and bioimaging

Determine the concentrations of diverse biomolecules in real time at single cell level for eventual use as a medical diagnostic tool, and analyze protein assemblies in biological pathways.

A second active area in her group is design and synthesis of advanced materials such as nanoparticles, small molecules and polymers for medical and bioanalytical research and applications.

Research Interests/Areas

  • Chemical Biology
  • DNA Chemistry
  • Synthetic Chemistry
  • Biomimetics
  • Biomolecular Sensing
  • Bioimaging

Our research group focuses on design and assembly of bio-inspired DNA-based nanostructures, which are used to address problems in life science and materials. These materials are designed to

(i) template/position nano-sized components such as nanoparticles, chromophores, electron donors, acceptors and catalytic centers to access light-harvesting devices for solar energy conversion into chemical energy, and

(ii) precisely pattern memory, and other electronic components for data storage, and

(iii) perform various biological tasks in living cells such as targeted delivery of molecular cargo (e.g drugs or proteins) to specific sites in cancer cells, and gene knockdown in a disease cell, and

(iv) determine the concentrations of diverse biomolecules in real time at single cell level for eventual use as a medical diagnostic tool, and

(v) analyze protein assemblies in biological pathways.

 

A second active area in our group is the design and synthesis of advanced materials such as nanoparticles, organic small molecules and polymers for medical and bioanalytical research and applications. We are particularly interested in using the non-covalent interactions i.e. hydrogen bonding, and/or the dipole-dipole or ionic interactions to induce the self- assembly and recognition of the supramolecular nanostructures.

 

My research projects are highly interdisciplinary and lie at the interface between synthetic chemistry, chemical biological and materials science. They provide students with extensive training in organic synthesis, DNA chemistry, as well as molecular recognition and live cell imaging.

 

Keywords: DNA Chemistry, Molecular Self-Assembly, Live Cells Imaging, Synthetic Chemistry, Chemical Biology, Biomimetics

Qualifications/Experiences

2010-2012Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, USA (Prof. Hongkun Park)
2006-2010 Ph.D Chemistry, McGill University, Canada (Prof. Hanadi F. Sleiman)
2004-2006 M.Sc Chemistry, Hong Kong Baptist University, HK (Prof. Ricky Man Shing Wong)
2001-2004 B.Sc Chemistry, Hong Kong Baptist University, HK (Prof. Ricky Man Shing Wong)

Prizes/Honours


  • Governor General's Gold Medal
    The Top Graduate in the Physical Sciences, McGill University, 2011
  • CSACS Best Paper Award in Chemistry
    Department of Chemistry, McGill University, 2011
  • Carl A. Winkler Award
    Best Chemistry PhD Thesis, Department of Chemistry, McGill University, 2010
  • Macromolecular Sciences and Engineering Division (MSED) of the CSC Award
    Best Graduate PhD Thesis in Polymer Science (across Canada), McGill University, 2010
  • Best Postgraduate Paper Award
    Department of Chemistry, HKBU, 2005-2006
  • Best Honors Undergraduate Project Award in Chemistry
    Department of Chemistry, HKBU, 2003-2004
  • President's Honour Roll
    Department of Chemistry, HKBU, 2002-2004
  • Dean's List Honors
    Department of Chemistry, HKBU, 2001-2002 

 

  • CIHR Chemical Biology Scholarship
    Department of Chemistry, McGill University, 2007-2009
  • Prof. Jerry W. Barrett Scholarship
    Department of Chemistry, Hong Kong Baptist University, 2005-2006

Activities

  1. “Nanomaterials Building on DNA and Nanodiamonds: Preparation and Potential Applications” Carl A. Winkler Award Lecture 2011, Department of Chemistry, McGill University, Montreal, Canada, March, 2012
  2. “ Live Cell Targeting and Orangelle Tracking with Bioconjugated Nanodiamonds ” CCB Seminar Series 2011, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, December, 2011
  3. “Surface Functionization on Nanodiamonds: Towards Targeting in Living Cells” Lukin Group Seminar 2011, Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, May, 2011
  4. “Surface Functionization on Nanodiamonds: Towards Targeting in Living Cells” Walsworth Group Seminar 2011, Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and Department of Physics, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, May, 2011


  1. “Loading and Release of Cargo in DNA Nanotubes with Longitudinal Variation” 239th ACS National Meeting, San Francisco, California, March, 2010 (Oral presentation).
  2. “Nucleobase-Templated Polymerization: Copying the Chain Length and Polydispersity of Living Polymers into Conjugated Polymers”, 13th IUPAC-sponsored International Conference on Polymers and Organic Chemistry , Montreal, Canada, July 2009 (Poster presentation).
  3. “Modular Construction of DNA Nanotubes With Readily Tunable Geometry, Rigidity, Alternating Size and Single- or Double-Stranded Character”, Albany 2009: The l6th Conversation, Albany, USA, June, 2009 (Poster presentation).
  4. “Modular Construction of DNA Nanotubes With Readily Tunable Geometry, Rigidity, Alternating Size and Single- or Double-Stranded Character”, CIFAR Nanoelectronics Program Meeting/Conference, Vancouver, Canada, May, 2009 (Poster presentation).
  5. “Nucleobase-Templated Polymerization: Copying the Chain Length and Polydispersity of Living Polymers into Conjugated Polymers”, 2009 CSACS annual meeting, Montreal, Canada, May, 2009 (Poster presentation).
  6. “Modular Construction of DNA Nanotubes With Readily Tunable Geometry, Rigidity, and Single- or Double-Stranded Character”, CIFAR Nanoelectronics Program Meeting/Conference, Halifax, Canada, November, 2008 (Poster presentation).
  7. “Synthesis and Molecular Recognition of Conjugated Polymer with DNA-Mimetic Properties”, 2008 CSACS Student Symposium, Montreal, Canada, September, 2008 (Poster presentation).
  8. “Synthesis and Molecular Recognition of a Conjugated Polymer with DNA-Mimetic Properties”, CIFAR Nanoelectronics Program Meeting/Conference, Vancouver, Canada, November, 2007 (Poster presentation).
  9. “Synthesis and Structure-Property Relationships of Novel Multi- π -Conjugated Molecular Systems”, 13 th Symposium on Chemistry Postgraduate Research in Hong Kong, April, 2006 (Oral presentation).
  10. “Synthesis and Characterization of Novel Arylene Substituted Calix[4]arene Liquid Crystals”, 40 th IUPAC Congress, Beijing, China, August, 2005 (Poster presentation).
  11. “Synthesis and Characterization of Zig-Zag Oligoaryleneethylenes π -Conjugated Oligomers”, 12 th Symposium on Chemistry Postgraduate Research in Hong Kong, April, 2005 (Poster presentation).

 

Teaching

BCH 1100 General Education: Chemistry (Laboratory section)

BCH 2007 Principles of Organic Chemistry (Laboratory section)