Ho-Leung Ng Protein Structure Lab

Our lab studies the atomic structure of proteins using experimental and computational approaches. Our primary experimental tool is X-ray crystallography. We apply our knowledge of structure to help design drugs, deepen understanding of protein structure and function, and address fundamental questions of protein engineering, stability, and solubility. Our lab also develops new techniques for the analysis of X-ray crystallographic data. We strive to be the best at research and teaching at Kansas State University.


September 2017
We are settling into our new labs in Chalmers Hall at K-State. Our new labs are nicer and larger than our previous! We are looking for new students to join our team and continue our adventures in protein science.

June 2017
Our lab will be moving to the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Kansas State University in August. It has been a privilege and pleasure to serve the students of Hawaii.

New paper from our lab published, "Recombinant expression in E. coli of human FGFR2 with its transmembrane and extracellular domains". This is the work of Adam Bajinting. Structure determination next!

May 2017
Congratulations to new graduates, Michelle, John, and Ted!

April 2017
Congratulations to Michelle who will be pursuing her PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology at UC Davis!

Ho joined the Editorial Board of the journal Scientific Reports from Nature Publishing Group.

December 2016
Congratulations to Michelle for taking first place in the Sciences for her presentation at the campus-wide UROP symposium! She is the second student from our lab to have received this highest honor.

August 2016
New paper published in the Journal of Molecular Graphics and Modelling, "Simulations reveal increased fluctuations in estrogen receptor-alpha conformation upon antagonist binding".

July 2016
New paper published in Current Opinion in Structural Biology, "Structure-guided wavelength tuning in far-red fluorescent proteins," again in collaboration with Michael Lin from Stanford.

Ho presented the lab's work on detecting hydrogen atoms from X-ray crystallography maps at the Gordon Conference on Diffraction Methods in Structural Biology in Maine.

June 2016
New paper published in Nature Biotechnology, "A bright cyan-excitable orange fluorescent protein facilitates dual-emission microscopy and enhances bioluminescence imaging in vivo," in collaboration with Michael Lin's lab at Stanford! Coauthors from our lab include Alex, Nilou, Clement, and Michelle.

John Ngo is doing a summer research internship on HIV in India. Ernest Puletasi is doing his summer research internship in Cameroon.

May 2016
Congratulations to new graduates Shalin Zhang, Mary Lui, Jinny Ching, Sally Choi, Nicole Bui, Grant Takara!

Adam Bajinting will be attending medical school at St. Louis University. Mary Lui will be attending pharmacy school at UH Hilo. Jinny Ching will be attending the PhD program in nursing at UH Manoa. Grant Takara will be pursuing his MS in engineering at UH Manoa.

March 2016
Leading computational/medicinal chemist, Prof. Gisbert Schneider from ETH Zurich, visited our lab to talk about his work on the intelligent design of new drugs that are simple to synthesize. We are collaborating with Dr. Schneider's group on designing new inhibitors for drug resistant leukemia.

January 2016
Renowned Harvard chemistry professor, Alan Aspuru-Guzik, visited our group to talk about his research on applications of machine learning to predicting new molecules with potential applications to energy storage. Applications of machine learning to drug discovery is a new research topic for our lab.

December 2015
New paper published! Ataie N, Xiang J, Cheng N, Brea EJ, Lu W, Scheinberg DA, Liu C, Ng HLStructure of a TCR mimic antibody with target predicts pharmacogenetics. J. Molec. Biol. 2015. link

We had a great time at Pacifichem! Aloha to all our visiting chemist friends from around the world. Ho gave a talk about the lab's work on analyzing red fluorescent proteins by crystallography and computational methods.

Congratulations to MS graduates Allison Kagawa and Cisco Jimenez and BS graduates Adam Bajinting and Ryan Vidad! Cisco is joining Schrodinger, a leading computational chemistry software company!

August 2015
New paper published! Kim J, Kagawa A, Kurasaki K, Ataie N, Cho IK, Li QX, Ng HL. Large scale identification of membrane proteins with properties favorable for crystallization. Protein Sci. 2015. link

Ryan Vidad, Stephen Macaspac, and Ho attended the national meeting of the American Chemical Society in Boston. Ryan and Stephen presented their findings on identifying the drug binding sites in the G-protein coupled estrogen receptor by molecular modeling. Ho presented analysis about the complex of the experimental cancer therapeutic antibody, ESK1, bound to the HLA receptor with cancer antigen peptide WT1.

July 2015
John Ewalt attended the Berkeley Summer QM/MM Workshop to learn about the use of hybrid quantum and molecular mechanics calculations. John is applying these methods to study the physical mechanisms of fluorescence in red fluorescent proteins. Thank you to the NSF and EPSRC for funding!

June 2015
Undergraduates Michelle Hu and John Ngo will be studying abroad for the fall, Michelle at UMass (that's abroad for us!) and John in Japan.

Jessie is the new Chinese national record holder in 5 free diving events! Can you hold your breath for 6 minutes?!?

Ho received a grant from the Hawaii Community Foundation to study allosteric inhibition of aromatase, the key enzyme in estrogen production, and a major drug target for breast cancer.

April 2015
Congratulations to Clement Tran Tang for getting accepted to the UH Hilo Pharmacy School, Kellie Kurasaki and Kiyonari Noguchi for getting into UH Medical School, and Dong Kuk Huh for getting into the Rice University PhD program in synthetic biology!

Congratulations to Ryan Vidad and Stephen Macaspac for receiving UROP awards for Fall 2015!

November 2014
Congratulations to Kellie, Adam, Dong Kuk, and Michelle for receiving UROP awards for Spring 2015!

June 2014
Jinny and Ho presented research on computational crystallography at the Northwest Crystallography Workshop at Oregon State University.

Ho received an NSF CAREER Award to support research on locating hydrogen atoms from x-ray and neutron crystallographic data, and continued teaching and outreach efforts.

May 2014
Congratulations to Clement, Jared, and Dane who graduated with their bachelors degrees! Dane will be starting at the UH School of Medicine in July!

April 2014
Congratulations to Jinny, Kellie, and Adam for receiving UROP awards for the fall!

March 2014
Congratulations to Nilou for publishing the first paper from our lab! Her crystal structure of a new highly red-shifted fluorescent protein was published in a paper titled, "Non-invasive intravital imaging of cellular differentiation with a bright red-excitable fluorescent protein", in Nature Methods. This was a collaboration with Michael Lin's lab at Stanford.

November 2013
Congratulations to Dane for receiving the Best Oral Research Presentation award in Natural Sciences at the UROP Fall Forum!

Congratulations to Jinny, Clement, Rance, and Kellie for receiving UROP undergraduate research awards!

July 2013
Nilou was chosen to give a talk at the American Crystallographic Association annual meeting on identifying membrane proteins for crystallization. Ho gave talks on locating hydrogen atoms from X-ray crystallography maps and the role of crystallography in undergraduate research and education.

May 2013
Double congratulations to Samson for graduating with a bachelors degree and being accepted to the UHM Chemistry PhD program!

Congratulations to Kiyo for receiving the Giichi Fujimoto Award given to the top junior Chemistry major at UH Manoa!

April 2013
Congratulations to Adam, Jared, and Dane for receiving research funding from the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program!

Ho received funding from the Victoria S. and Bradley L. Geist Foundation to support further research on the G-protein coupled estrogen receptor, a potential drug target for breast cancer and cardiovascular disease.

March 2013
Congratulations to Nilou for being selected to speak about our work on identifying membrane proteins for crystallization at the West Coast Protein Crystallography Workshop!

crystal structure of a protein kinase dimer