Li, Xin

Work hard. Play hard.

Li, Xin


Greater Bay Biomedical InnoCenter

Junior Principal Investigator


  • 2022 - Present

    Shenzhen Bay Laboratory         Junior Principal Investigator

  • 2017 - 2022

    The University of Hong Kong         Post-doctoral Fellow

  • 2013 - 2017

    The University of Hong Kong         Ph.D. in Chemical Biology

  • 2008 - 2012

    Zhejiang University         B.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Science

Research Areas

 (1) Development of chemical proteomics approaches for the identification and characterization of protein-protein interactions mediated by histone and non-histone modifications 

 (2) Development and biological activity evaluation of inhibitors targeting protein-protein interactions 

 (3) Target identification of bioactive small molecules, peptides, and natural products

 (4) Mapping the proteome-wide ligandability of drug-like fragments


The research of Dr. Xin Li focuses on the development of chemical tools and methods to resolve the biological significance of histone epigenetic modifications and explore new strategies to target abnormal histone modifications for disease treatment. His main academic achievements include: (1) the development and application of a universal chemical proteomics platform that enables the identification and functional characterization of crotonylation and other modifications-mediated interaction networks to elucidate their regulatory mechanisms and biological significance; the development of the first-in-class YEATS domain inhibitors with anticancer activity, providing a series of lead compounds for drug discovery campaigns targeting the YEATS domain; and the development of the first method to evaluate the activity of bromodomain inhibitors in living cells, facilitating the further development of bromodomain inhibitors. Dr. Li has published more than 20 papers in Nat. Chem. Biol., J. Am. Chem. Soc., Nat. Commun., Acc. Chem. Res., etc.



• 2020 - Hong  Kong  Research  Grants  Council  (RGC) Postdoctoral Fellowship (nominated  and supported by HKU)

Selective Publications

1. X. Li*, S. Liu, X. Li, X. D. Li*, YEATS Domains as Novel Epigenetic Readers: Structures, Functions, and Inhibitor Development. ACS Chem. Biol., 2022, doi:10.1021/acschembio.1c00945.  (*co-corresponding author)

2. X. Li, X. D. Li, Integrative Chemical Biology Approaches to Deciphering the Histone Code: A Problem-Driven Journey. Acc. Chem. Res., 2021, 54, 3734-3747.

3. Y. Jiang, G. Chen, X.-M. Li, S. Liu, G. Tian, Y. Li*, X. Li*, H. Li*, X. D. Li*, Selective targeting of AF9 YEATS domain by cyclopeptide inhibitors with preorganized conformation. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2020, 142, 21450-21459. (*co-corresponding author)

4. A. Zhu#, X. Li#, L. Bai#, G. Zhu, Y. Guo, J. Lin, Y. Cui, G. Tian, L. Zhang, J. Wang, X. D. Li, L. Li, Biomimetic a-selective ribosylations enable two-step modular syntheses of biologically important ADP-ribosylated peptides. Nat. Commun., 2020, 11, 5600. (#co-first author)

5. X. Li#, Y. Wu#, G. Tian, Y. Jiang, Z. Liu, X. Meng, X. Bao, L. Feng, H. Sun, H. Deng, X. D. Li, Chemical proteomic profiling of bromodomains enables the wide-spectrum evaluation of bromodomain inhibitors in living cells. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2019, 141, 11497-11505. (#co-first author)

6. Y. Zhou, L. Chen, J. Peng, L. Xie, L. Meng, Q. Li, J. Zhang, X. D. Li, X. Li*, X. Huang*, X. Li*, DNA-encoded dynamic chemical library and its applications in ligand discovery. J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2018, 140, 15859-15867. (*co-corresponding author)

7. X. Li#, X.-M. Li#, Y. Jiang, Z. Liu, Y. Cui, K. Y. Fung, S. H. E. van der Beelen, G. Tian, L. Wan, X. Shi, C. D. Allis, H. Li, Y. Li, X. D. Li, Structure-guided development of YEATS domain inhibitors by targeting p-p-p stacking. Nat. Chem. Biol., 2018, 14, 1140-1149. (#co-first author)