Faqing Huang




  • Diploma Chemistry; Xianyang Normal College; (1978-1999)
  • Ph.D.; Chemistry/Biochemistry; Duke University; (1990-1994)
  • Post-Doc.; RNA catalysis; University of Colorado; (1995-1998)

Research Interests:

  • RNA catalysis, structure, function, and mechanism
  • Generation of functional RNA (ribozymes and aptamers)
  • Development of novel RNA labeling technologies (fluorescence and bioconjugation)
  • The origin and evolution of life
  • Chemical biology
  • RNAi-based anti-cancer agents
  • Protection and delivery of therapeutic siRNA

Current Research:

Funded by both NASA and NIH, our research spans different areas from chemistry, biology, to molecular medicine. A central unifying theme of our broad research programs is RNA.

  • Like proteins, RNA molecules can adopt various defined 3-dimentional structures, which may lead to different functions that do not exist in nature. By using the powerful in vitro selection (SELEX) techniques and random RNA libraries, we have been conducting experiments to isolate RNA sequences with novel enzymatic properties.
  • Our lab has developed a novel in vitro transcription system to prepare RNA by T7 RNA polymerase. We are expanding the system so that a wide variety of RNA conjugates, such as biotin, fluorophores, and other biomolecules, can be synthesized and are broadly available to other life scientists.
  • The combination of new functional RNA molecules isolated by SELEX with our new RNA labeling technology makes our lab uniquely suitable to study structure/function/mechanism of functional RNA molecules
  • Many of our research projects are aimed at exploring the origin and evolution of life, which is as old a topic as the human history itself. We ask fundamental questions such as what preceded our current biological world, what biomolecules are very ancient, and how these earlier molecules and living systems evolved.
  • RNAi is a relatively new discovery, but has profound implications in biosciences and biomedicine Based on our lab’s expertise and experience, we are uniquely positioned to explore the great potential of RNAi in biomedical applications. Our lab is the only one in the world that has the ability to synthesize siRNAs with different bioconjugations. These siRNA conjugates possess unique properties for siRNA protection and may be used to guide siRNA to specific target cells to achieve anti-cancer effects.
  • All our research projects involve the integration of chemistry with biosciences, which forms the basis of a relatively new area called chemical biology.

Selected Publications:

  1. Scales, C.W., Huang, F., Li, N., Vasilieva, Y.A., Ray, J., Convertine, A.J. and McCormick, C.L. (2006) Corona- Stabilized Interpolyelectrolyte Complexes of SiRNA with Nonimmunogenic, Hydrophilic/Cationic Block Copolymers Prepared by Aqueous RAFT Polymerization. Macromolecules, 39, 6871-6881.
  2. Guo, S., Huang, F. and Guo, P. (2006) Construction of folate-conjugated pRNA of bacteriophage phi29 DNA packaging motor for delivery of chimeric siRNA to nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. Gene Ther., 13, 814-820.
  3. Coleman, T.M. and Huang, F. (2005) Optimal random libraries for the isolation of catalytic RNA. RNA Biology, 2, 129-136.
  4. Li, N., Yu, C., and Huang, F. (2005) Novel cyanine-AMP conjugates for efficient 5′RNA fluorescent labeling by one step transcription and replacement of [γ-32P]ATP in RNA structural investigation, Nucleic Acids Res. 33, e37.
  5. Coleman, T.M., Li, N. and Huang, F. (2005) A simple and efficient method to prepare thioesters in aqueous solutions. Tetrahedron Lett., 46, 4307-4310.
  6. Li, N. and Huang, F. (2005) Ribozyme-catalyzed aminoacylation from CoA thioesters, Biochemistry 44, 4582-4590.
  7. Coleman, T. M., Wang, G., and Huang, F. (2004) Superior 5' homogeneity of RNA from ATP-initiated transcription under the T7 phi 2.5 promoter, Nucleic Acids Res. 32, e14.
  8. Huang, F. (2003) Efficient incorporation of CoA, NAD and FAD into RNA by in vitro transcription. Nucleic Acids Res., 2003, 31, e8.
  9. Coleman, T.M. and Huang, F. (2002) RNA-Catalyzed Thioester Synthesis. Chem. Biol., 9, 1227-1236.


Huang, F. (2003) RNA Containing Coenzymes, Biotin, or Fluorophores, and Methods for Their Preparation and Use. C.J. Yu, F. Huang, X. Ying (2005): Nucleoside Cyanine Dye Derivatives for RNA Labeling and Nucleic Acid Detection and Methods for Using Same.