Hongda Huang

Associate Professor Department of Biology

Dr. Hongda Huang, received his bachelor degree (years 2000-2004) in molecular biology and PhD (years 2004-2010) in structural biology at School of Life Sciences of University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). His PhD was trained with both X-ray crystallography and NMR spectroscopy by Prof. Yunyu Shi (Member of Chinese Academy of Sciences) and Prof. Jihui Wu. In Jan 2011, He joined the laboratory of Dr. Dinshaw J. Patel (Member of National Academy of Sciences, USA) at Structural Biology Program of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC) in New York as a postdoc to study the structure and function of key epigenetic regulators. He joined Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) as an associate professor in 2017.

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Dr. Huang’s research is mainly focused on understanding the molecular mechanism of epigenetic regulation of the genome through structural biology and biochemistry techniques. Epigenetic regulation of the eukaryotic genome involves DNA methylation (DNA methyltransferases, demethylases and reader modules), histone modifications (histone methylation, acetylation, phosphorylation, ubiquitination et al.), chromatin remodeling, histone variants (especially variants of histone H2A and H3) and histone chaperones. Epigenetic regulation could influence gene transcription, DNA replication, DNA repair and cell development. Thus, dysfunction of epigenetic regulators can give rise to human diseases, including cancer. The structural and functional studies of key protein complex in epigenetics can help to elucidate their molecular mechanism and help to open new doors for development of inhibitors and for disease treatment.

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(#co-first authors, *corresponding authors)

1. Na Wang #, Hongyu Bao #, Liu Chen, Yanhong Liu, Yue Li, Baixing Wu * and Hongda Huang *. (2019) Molecular basis of abasic site sensing in single-stranded DNA by the SRAP domain of E. coli yedK. Nucleic Acids Res 47, 10388-10399.

2. Na Wang #, Christophe Bosc #, Sung Ryul Choi #, Benoit Boulan, Leticia Peris, Natacha Olieric, Hongyu Bao, Fatma Krichen, Liu Chen, Annie Andrieux, Vincent Olieric, Marie-Jo Moutin *, Michel O. Steinmetz * and Hongda Huang *. (2019) Structural basis of tubulin detyrosination by the vasohibin-SVBP enzyme complex. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 26, 571-582.

3. Shanhui Liao #, Girish Rajendraprasad #, Na Wang # Susana Eibes, Jun Gao, Huijuan Yu, Gao Wu, Xiaoming Tu, Hongda Huang *, Marin Barisic *, Chao Xu *. (2019) Molecular basis of vasohibins-mediated detyrosination and its impact on spindle function and mitosis. Cell Research 29, 533-547.

4. Huang, H. #, Deng, Zh. #, Vladimirova, O., Wiedmer, A., Lu, F., Lieberman, P.* and Patel, D.J*. (2016). Structural Basis Underlying Viral Hijacking of a Histone Chaperone Complex. Nature Communications 7, 12707.

5. Saredi, G. #, Huang, H. #, Hammond, C., Bekker-Jensen, S., Forne, I., Reverón-Gómez, N., Foster, B., Mlejnkova, L., Bartke, T., Cejka, P., Mailand, N., Imhof, A., Patel, D.* and Groth, A.* (2016). H4 K20me0 marks post-replicative chromatin and recruits the TONSL-MMS22L DNA repair complex. Nature 534, 714-718.

6. Huang, H. #, Strømme, C.B. #, Saredi, G., Hödl, M., Strandsby, A., González-Aguilera, C., Chen, Sh., Groth, A.* & Patel, D.J.* (2015). A unique binding mode enables MCM2 to chaperone histones H3-H4 at replication forks. Nature Structural & Molecular Biology 22, 618-626.

7.Elsasser, S.J. #, Huang, H. #, Lewis, P.W., Chin, J.W., Allis, C.D.* & Patel, D.J.* (2012). DAXX envelops a histone H3.3-H4 dimer for H3.3-specific recognition. Nature 491:560-565.

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Welcome to the Department of Biology! Since its establishment in 2012, the Department of Biology has attracted internationally renowned professors to join as leaders and dozens of young scientists to start their independent academic career here pursuit of excellence in research and teaching. The research interests of our faculty members include diverse topics such as systems biology, plant biology, neurobiology, structural biology and molecular cell biology. The primary goals of our faculty are to address the most significant fundamental biological questions and to develop new strategies to treat various complex diseases. Such efforts will benefit from the shared inter-disciplinary collaborative spirit deeply rooted in the minds of all the faculty members working in different departments at SUSTech.


Mentoring the next generation biologists with the highest standards is another primary task of the Department of Biology. Our professors choose internationally acclaimed textbooks to teach core courses biological sciences, biotechnology and bioinformatics. Undergraduates are encouraged to join the laboratory early to get firsthand working experience in basic and/or applied biological research, which helps them to consolidate the mastering of basic techniques, to broaden their knowledge horizons and to acquire the capabilities of problem identifying, hypothesis formulating and problem solving.


Life science, one of the fastest developing natural scientific disciplines, has been the driving force behind the growth of the world economy and provides the know for the development of new technologies serving to improve the human health and welfare at large. Wit generous financial support from the Shenzhen municipal government, we are confident that the Department of Biology in SUSTech will surely grow into a top tier globally-renowned research and teaching center!


Undergraduate Major:
Biological Sciences


Master & PhD degree program:

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