Tang, Xiaoyu

Work Hard, Play Hard

Tang, Xiaoyu


Institute of Chemical Biology

Junior Principal Investigator


  • 2020 - Present

    Shenzhen Bay Laboratory         Junior Principal Investigator

  • 2020

    University of South Carolina         Visiting Professor

  • 2018.09 - 2020

    Ginkgo Bioworks         Research Scientist

  • 2017.03 - 2018.08

    J. Craig Venter & Scripps Institution of Oceanography         Joint Postdoctoral Fellow

  • 2013.11-2017.02

    Scripps Institution of Oceanography & Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences         Postdoctoral Fellow

  • 2009.12 - 2013.08

    University of Tübingen (German Excellence University)         PhD

  • 2006.09 - 2009.06

    Nanjing University of Technology         MSc

  • 2002.09 - 2006.06

    China Pharmaceutical University         Bachelor

Research Areas

Genetically encoded organic molecules are the common chemical language that unites all life, from single cells to communities of organisms. As natural products, they are broadly applied in medicine, agriculture and nutrition. Our research interests are mainly to discover natural products from the marine bacteria and the human microbiota, decipher their biosynthetic enzymes, and interrogate their biological roles. We are using a combination of genetics, genomics, chemistry, biochemistry, and bioinformatics to answer basic biological questions and to develop new therapeutics.



Xiaoyu Tang is an Assistant Professor in the Institute of Chemical Biology at Shenzhen Bay Laboratory. Dr. Tang received his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Science from the Eberhard Karls University of Tübingen (Germany). Dr. Tang did his post-doctoral training with Prof. Bradley S. Moore at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UCSD and JCVI. Before joining SZBL, he was a Scientist at the leading synthetic biology company Ginkgo Bioworks in Boston. He is a recipient of the 2014 PHOENIX Pharmaceutics Science Award. Over the years, he has developed numerous genome mining techniques that are now standard in the biosynthetic community. His laboratory@SZBL employs a multidisciplinary approach to identify and characterize small molecules from microbes, with an emphasis on the marine and human associated bacteria. As of May 2021, Dr. Tang has published a total of 24 manuscripts, which, according to Google Scholar, have been cited about 570 times. He has been a young editorial board member for the journal Chinese Journal of Natural Medicines.


Highlighted in the Nature Chemical Biology News&Views "Biosynthesis: A sulfonate relay revealed"


ChemBioChem Cover Story, ChemBioChem Readers’ Choice 2019


Highlighted in the news of C&EN “Bacteria behind tooth decay make antibiotics that take out their competitors”

Related News




• PHOENIX Pharmaceutical Science Award, 2014                                                                  

One of the most prestigious pharmaceutical science awards in Germany, Austria and Switzerland                         

• “Tübingen Antibacterial Agents” Graduate Fellowship, 2009-2012                                                       

Baden-Württemberg Government, Germany

• Distinguished Master Thesis Award in Jiangsu Province, China, 2010                                                         

• The Scientists Exchange Fellowship in the Field of Biotechnology, 2009

Baden-Württemberg Government, Germany

Selected Publications

1. H. Zhang, Z. Hui, M. Cai, X. Zou, S. Huang, W. Shi, M. Liang, Y. Lin, J. Shen, M. Sui, X. Li, Q. Lai, J. Dou, Y. Ge, M. Zheng, Z. Shao, X. LuoX. Tang*Global screening and genetic engineering of Tistrella enable sustainable production of didemnin drugs. Research Square (preprint), DOI: 10.21203/

2. Y. Zhang, G. Liao, M. Wang, Z. Zhang, L. Liu, Y. Song, D. Wang, T. Hao, J. Feng, B. Xia, Y. Wang, X. Tang*, Y. Chen*. Human-associated bacteria adopt an unusual route for synthesizing 3-acetylated tetramates for environmental adaptation. Microbiome2023, 11, 97

3. G. Liao, C. Mi, L. Yang, H. Zhang, X. Ding, M. Cai, H. Wang, W. Mei*, H. Dai*X. Tang*p-Quinone methide-mediated nonenzymatic formation of chalcane-containing dimers in dragon’s blood. Organic Letters 2022, 24(50), 9275–9280

4. H. Zhang, G. Liao, X. Luo*X. Tang*Harnessing nature’s biosynthetic capacity to facilitate total synthesis. National Science Review 2022, 9(10), nwac178

5. L. Hou, H. Tian, L. Wang, Z. E. Ferris, J. Wang, M. Cai, E. A. Older, M. R. K. Raja, D. Xue, W. Sun, P. Nagarkatti, M. Nagarkatti, H. Chen, D. Fan, X. Tang*, J. Li*Identification and biosynthesis of pro-inflammatory sulfonolipids from an opportunistic pathogen Chryseobacterium gleumACS Chemical Biology 2022, 17(5), 1197–1206