Chun Li

Ph.D., Distinguished Professor

Institute of Biochemical Engineering
Department of Chemical Engineering
Tsinghua University

Lab of Biotransformation and Synthetic Biosystems, Room 407, Building Yingshi
Institute of Biochemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering
Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084
Office Telphone:+86-10-62799893
Labortory Telphone:+86-10-62793967


Chinese Version -->


Tianjin University  China
  Ph.D., Biochemical Engineering  1997- 2001
Shihezi University China
  M.S., Microbiology 1992-1995
Shihezi University  China
  B.S., Plant Protection  1988- 1992


Professor, Institute of Biochemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering,
    Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Professor, Chair, Department of Biochemical Engineering, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering,
    Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
Professor, Chair, Department of Biological Engineering, School of Life Sciences,
    Beijing Institute of Technology, Beijing 100081, China
Visiting Professor, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering,
    University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL 61801, USA
Professor, College Dean, College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering,
    Shihezi University, Xinjiang Province 832000, China
Postdoctoral Fellow, Institute of Biochemical Engineering, Department of Chemical Engineering,
    Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China
Assistant Professor, Department of Food Engineering,
    Shihezi University, Xinjiang Province 832000, China


He has been focusing his research on biotransformation and synthesis of plant (licorice) natural products in microbial cell factories, engineering application and reprogramming industrial microorganisms with multiple-stress resistance via constructing Multilevel Defense System (MDS), and microbial control and plant health since 2000. Professor Chun Li has published over 220 peer reviewed papers in ACS Energy Lett, ACS Catal, N C, AIChE J, Chem Eng Sci, Metabolic Eng, ACS Synth Biol, JBC, AEM, CEJ, J PhyChem Lett, Bioresource Technol, Small and so on with over 3000 citations (H-Index 35) as reported in Web of Science. Totally 31 national patents were granted and four projects have been applied and demonstrated in industrial scale in China.


He lectured several courses during pasted 15 years: “Introduction to Biological Engineering and Technology”, “Enzyme Engineering and Biocatalysis” and “Microbiology” for undergraduates, “Synthetic Biology” and “Modern Biotechnology” for master students, and “Biomolecular Engineering” for PhD students. Professor Chun Li also are interested in writing teaching books and academic chapters as following below, in  which 《Introduction to Biological Engineering and Technology》 and 《Biochemistry》 were prized the first class by China Federation of Petroleum and Chemical Industries.

  • 《Synthetic Biology》(Chinese) in 2019,China Chemical Industry Press
  • 《Introduction to Biological Engineering and Technology》(Chinese) in 2015,China Chemical Industry Press
  • 《Introduction to Biochemical Engineering》in 2011,China Chemical Industry Press
  • 《Biochemistry》(Chinese, National Excellent Teaching Book)in 2010, China High Education Press
  • 《Biochemistry》(Chinese) in 2017,China Chemical Industry Press
  • 《Cell Culture Engineering》(Chinese)in 2012, China High Education Press
  • 《Bioreaction Engineering Principle》(Chinese)in 2013, Tsinghua Press
  • 《Bacteria in Agrobiology》Chapter 18 in 2013, Springer-Verlag Press
  • 《Engineering Microbial Metabolism for Chemical Synthesis》Chapter 6 in 2018, World Scientific Press
  • 《Information Technology and Agricultural Engineering》in 2012, Springer Berlin Heidelberg Press,  DOI: 10.1007/978-3-642-27537-1_107, Application Efficacy of Biological Seed Coating Agent from Combination of PGPR on Cotton in the Field.
  • 《Yeasts in Biotechnology》in 2019, DOI: 10.5772/intechopen.85846, De Novo Synthesis of Plant Natural Products in Yeast.


  • Excellent talents plan of new century of Ministry of Education in 2004
  • The award of Huo Yingdong Education Foundation in 2005
  • 2nd Class Natural Science of Tianjin Government in 2006
  • Special government allowance of the State Council in 2006
  • 2nd Class Invention Award of Ministry of Education in 2014
  • National Science Foundation for Distinguished Young Scholars in 2014
  • Hou Debang Innovation Award for Chemical Science and Technology in 2017
  • Voted Chief Scientist for Propagating the Biological Engineering in China in 2017
  • Gold Prizes for International Genetically Engineered Machine Competition (iGEM) in 2012-2019


Associate Editor of Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology
Editorial Board of Synthetic and Systems Biotechnology, Chemical Industry and Engineering Progress, Chinese Journal of Process Engineering, Chinese Journal of Bioprocess Engineering, Chines Journal of Catalysis
Branch director of Chinese Industry Biochemical and Molecular Biotechnology Society
Associate director of Branch of Industrial and Environmental Biotechnology, Chinese Society of Biotechnology
Associate director of Branch of Synthetic Biology, Chinese Society of Biotechnology
Associate director of Branch of Biochemical Engineering, The Chemical Industry and Engineering Society of China

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS (in current 5 years)

  1. Sun Wentao, Xue Haijie, Liu Hu, Lv Bo, Yu Yang*, Wang Ying*, Huang Meilan, Li Chun*, Controlling chemo- and regioselectivity of a plant P450 in yeast cell toward rare licorice triterpenoid biosynthesis. ACS Catalysis 2020, 4253-4260.
  2. Liu Hu, Cao Mingming, Wang Ying, Lv Bo and Li Chun*. Bioengineering oligomerization and monomerization of enzymes: learning from natural evolution to matching the demands for industrial applications. Critical Reviews in Biotechnology, 2020, 40(2):231-246 
  3. Xu Ke, Qin Lei, Bai Wenxin, Wang Xiaoyan, Li Fan, Ren Shichao, Gao Xiaopeng, Chen Bo, Tong Yi, Li Jun, Li Bing-Zhi, Yuan Ying-Jin, and Li Chun*. Multilevel Defense System (MDS) Relieves Multiple Stresses for Economically Boosting Ethanol Production of Industrial Saccharomyces cerevisiae. ACS Energy Lett. 2020, 5, 572−582
  4. Ming Zhu, Caixia Wang, Wentao Sun, Anqi Zhou, Ying Wang, Genlin Zhang, Xiaohong Zhou, Yixin Huo, Li Chun*. Boosting 11-oxo-β-amyrin and glycyrrhetinic acid synthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae via pairing novel oxidation and reduction system. Metabolic Engineering, 2018, 45, 43-50.
  5. Ke Xu,Bo Lv,Yi-Xin-Huo,Li Chun*. Toward the lowest energy consumption and emission in biofuel production: combination of ideal reactors and robust hosts. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 2018, 50: 19-24.
  6. Lv Bo, Sun Hanli, Huang Shen, Feng Xudong, Jiang Tao, Li Chun*.  Structure-guided engineering of the substrate specificity of a fungal β-glucuronidase toward triterpenoid saponins. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2018, 93(2):433-443.
  7. Yu Yuan, Chang Pengcheng, Yu Huan, Ren Huiyong, Hong Danning, Li Zeyan, Wang Ying, Song Hao, Huo Yixin and Li Chun*. Productive Amyrin Synthases for Efficient α-amyrin Synthesis in Engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae. ACS Synthetic Biology, 2018, 7(10), 2391-2402.
  8. Xudong Feng, Xiaoyan Wang, Beijia Han, Changling Zou, Yuhui Hou, Lina Zhao and Chun Li*.  Design of Glyco-Linkers at Multiple Structural Levels to Modulate Protein Stability. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters. 2018, 9, 4638−4645
  9. Xu Yinghua, Feng Xudong, Jia Jintong, Chen Xinyi, Jiang Tian, Rasool Aamir, Lv Bo, Qu Liangti, Li Chun*. A Novel β-Glucuronidase from Talaromyces pinophilus Li-93 Precisely Hydrolyzes Glycyrrhizin into Glycyrrhetinic Acid 3-O-Mono-β-d-Glucuronide. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2018,84(19):00755-18
  10. Zhao Yujia, FanJingjing, Wang Chen, Feng Xudong*, Li Chun*. Enhancing oleanolic acid production in engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Bioresource Technology. 2018 (257) :339–343.
  11. Yinghua Xu, Yanli Liu, Aamir Rasool, Wenwen E, Li Chun*. Sequence Editing Strategy for Improving Performance of β-glucuronidase from Aspergillus terreus. Chemical Engineering Science, 2017, 167: 145-153.
  12. Yujia Zhao, Bo Lv, Xudong Feng*, Li Chun*. Perspective on Biotransformation and De Novo Biosynthesis of Licorice Constituents. Journal Agriculture Food Chemistry. 2017, 56(51): 14949-14958
  13. Jia Haiyang, Sun Xiangying, Sun Huan, Li Chenyi, Wang Yunqian, Feng Xudong, Li Chun*. Intelligent Microbial Heat-Regulating Engine (IMHeRE) for Improved Thermo-Robustness and Efficiency of Bioconversion. ACS Synthetic Biology, 2016, 5(4): 321-320.
  14. Aamir Rasool, Genlin Zhang, Zhe Li, Li Chun*. Engineering of Terpenoid Pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Cooverproduce Squalene and Oleic acid. Chemical Engineering Science, 2016, 152:457-467
  15. Xudong Feng, Heng Tang, Beijia Han, Bo Lv, Chun Li*. Engineering the thermostability of β-glucuronidase from Penicillium purpurogenum Li-3 by loop transplant. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, 2016. 100(23), 9955-9966
  16. Zhang Genlin, Cao Qian, Liu Jingzhu, Liu Baiyang, Li Jun, Li Chun*. Refactoring ß-amyrin synthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. AIChE Journal. 2015, 61(10): 3172-3179.
  17. Li Zhe, Guo Xiaoxiao, Feng Xudong, Li Chun*. An environment friendly and efficient process for xylitol bioconversion from enzymatic corncob hydrolysate by adapted Candida tropicalis. Chemical Engineering Journal. 263 (2015) 249–256
  18. Qiao Lifeng, Lv Bo, Feng Xudong, and Li Chun*. A new application of aptamer: One-step purification and immobilization of enzyme from cell lysates for biocatalysis. Journal of Biotechnology. 2015, 203: 68-76.