Li Research Group


Welcome to the Li Research Group at the Department of Chemistry, UMASS Boston!

Research Areas: Carbohydrate Chemistry – Chemical synthesis, enzymatic synthesis, and methodology. Carbohydrate Application in immunology and drug discovery.


Our research interests are at the interface of the chemistry and biology of carbohydrates, including organic synthesis, enzymatic synthesis, glycobiology, and drug discovery. Via interacting with protein receptors, carbohydrates play important roles in many fundamental biological processes, such as inflammation, microbial infections, tumor metastasis and immune responses. At the center of investigations in these areas is the study of carbohydrate‒protein interactions, which is hindered by the inaccessibility of oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates in well-defined form. Aiming at changing the feedstock of carbohydrates to related biological studies, the Li lab is developing chemical and chemoenzymatic methods to expedite the assembly of oligosaccharide and mimics with automation. The resultant glycans or glycomimetics are exploited as component of therapeutic vaccines for various diseases including cancer. Members of our group are exposed to the interdisciplinary frontier of glycosciences from chemical/enzymatic synthesis to bioconjugation, immunotherapy and drug discovery.
Li Group