Senior Research Fellow, MediCity


+358 29 450 4503
Tykistökatu 6

Areas of expertise

Dynamic Combinatorial Chemistry
Supramolecular Chemistry
Bio-functional Materials
Systems Chemistry


Jianwei Li received his Bachelor degree from Huazhong Agriculture University in 2006. Inspired by the lock-and-key principle, he then started his Master study in supramolecular chemistry in Prof. Huakuan Lin’s lab at Nankai University. In 2009, he moved to the University of Groningen in Netherlands for his PhD study with Prof. Sijbren Otto, investigating self-assembly in complex chemical systems. In March 2014, he obtained his doctorate degree and then joined the group of Prof. Hagan Bayley in Oxford University, UK as a postdoctoral researcher, where he explored reversible chemical reaction and catalysis in protein nanopores at single-molecule level. From September 2016, he started his independent career funded by Turku Collegium for Science and Medicine (TCSM) as a senior researcher at the department of chemistry, University of Turku. In the following years, he will be leading a group to play the interface between systems chemistry and other emerging fields such as materials chemistry, enzymology and biology.


Molecular Systems Engineering is an emerging field by understanding the fundementals of molecular properties and dynamics in synthetic complex systems, and exploring sophisticated functions for advanced applications in biomedicine, materials and energy. Our laboratory uses the tools of dynamic combinatorial chemistry (DCC), supramolecular chemistry and computer chemistry to fabricate the framework of complex chemical systems, investigates the self-assembly in such systems and uncovers the working principles at molecular level behind them. We have learned that self-assembly can not only direct the formation of beautiful and intriguing structures i.e. catenanes and “Russian-doll”-like supramolecular architectures, but also promote the molecules to make copies of themselves as the living matters in nature. Currently we are trying to extend the board of DCC into the fields of materials science, enzymology and biology by three lines of research: 1) dynamic combinatorial biomaterials for controlling cell behaviors; 2) enzyme-directed DCC; and 3) DCC in vivo.


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