Prof. Hongwei Liu
Telephone: +86-10-64806074 
Address: Institute of Microbiology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, No.1 Beichenxi Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing Postcode:100101

Research Areas

He has devoted himself to natural product chemistry in order to search compounds with antibacterial, antitumor bioactivities, with the materials of traditional Chinese medicine and ethnic drug, edible and medicinal fungi, and marine organism. Fifty articles were published on Organic Letters, Food Chemistry, Journal of natural products, Tetrahedron, Phytochemistry, et al. Our current research projects include collection and fermentation of rare edible and medicinal fungi from the Tibet Plateau, extraction, isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive secondary metabolites. 


Ph. D. in Fishery Science, Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (2001.10-2004.09)
Ph. D. in Medicinal Chemistry, Shenyang Pharmaceutical University (1998.9-2003.7)
B.S., Shenyang Pharmaceutical University (1993.9-1998.7)


Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Tsinghua University (2004.10-2006.09)

Assosicated Professor, Capital Medical University (2006.10-2008.12)

Principal Investigator (PI), CAS (2009.1-)

Research Interests

Our current research projects focus on high-valuable utilizing of rare edible and medicinal fungi:
(1) Collect rare edible and medicinal fungi systematically to establish resource library. The strains of edible and medicinal fungi are grown in solid-state culture medium, with the reference of the fermentation of red yeast rice. Then screen target strains with indexes of biological activities and chemical fingerprints. 
(2) Extract, isolate, structure elucidate, and activity evaluate of bioactive secondary metabolites from fermentation products of rare edible and medicinal fungi, which can provides lead compounds for innovative medicines.
(3) Explore the pharmacodynamics foundation and mechanisms of action about the traditional edible and medicinal fungi, combining chemistry with pharmacology closely.


1. Studies on the biological ametabolites from medicinal fungi (the bird's nest fungus)
Bird's nest fungi are a small group of saprophytic fungi that have an unique way of reproducing. They belong to the family Agaricaceae with three genera Nidula, Cyathus and Crucibulum. They have been known as a fascinating group of fungi not only for their special appearance but also their potential of producing a group of diterpenoids with unique skeleton. The genus Cyathus is known for production of cyathins, a class of diterpenoids with a unique [5-6-7] tricyclic ring skeleton and showing anti-inflammatory activity and antibiotic activity. In our searching for cytotoxic natural products from the medicinal mushroom, the EtOAc extract of the solid culture of the fungus C. africanus showed NO inhibition and cytotoxicity against Hela cell line in vitro. Chemical investigation on the organic extract led to the isolation of eight secondary metabolites including five new cyathane diterpenoids named cyathins D-H. The part results of our research have been published in Fitoterapia (2013,84, 22-31).




2.    The Chemical Study of Hericium erinaceus

11 new isoindolin-1-ones were isolated from the solid culture of H. erinaceus, and most of them showed α-glucosidase inhibitory activity with IC50 in range of 5-25μM, preliminary structure-activity analysis indicated that the terpenoid side chain and the phenolic hydroxyl groups contributed greatly to the α-glucosidase inhibitory activity.