University of Illinois
268 RAL, Box 55-5
600 South Mathews Avenue
Urbana, IL 61801
Professor Chan received his BSc in Chemistry from the University of British Columbia in 2006 and his PhD from Simon Fraser University in 2011 with Prof. Andrew Bennet. For his graduate work, he was recognized with the Boehringer Ingelheim Doctoral Research Award for the top Canadian thesis in the areas of organic and bioorganic chemistry. From 2011 to 2014 he was a Human Frontiers Science Program Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California, Berkeley with Prof. Christopher Chang. He began his independent career at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in 2014 and is currently an Associate Professor of Chemistry.
1) complex molecule synthesis; 2) chemical biology; 3) analyte-responsive imaging agents; 4) drug delivery platforms
Photoacoustic (PA) imaging is a powerful imaging modality that is based on the detection of sound waves generated by an optically excited chromophore. Due to the low scattering of sound in biological tissues, this state-of-the-art approach is ideal for non-invasive, deep-tissue bioimaging of live animals and human organs. Our group is currently developing bioorthoganol chemical probes for the early diagnosis of cancer. Moreover, we are applying these chemical tools to study tumor progression and metastasis in vivo.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a widespread infectious disease caused by M. tuberculosis and is responsible for nearly two million deaths each year. Unfortunately, existing drugs are becoming obsolete owing to non-compliance which has led to the emergence of multiple and extensively drug-resistance strains. Drawing from our expertise in organic synthesis and mechanistic enzymology, we are currently developing new small-molecule inhibitors that target crucial TB-specific enzymatic activities to study and treat TB infections.
Neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD) are characterized by a decline in cognitive abilities that result from neuronal cell death. It is believed that hypoxia, oxidative stress, metal ion signaling, and neurotransmission all play a role in the neuropathology of AD; however, their interplay is inadequately studied, especially in the context of in vivo biological systems. Our group is currently developing chemical and protein-based probes to discover the mechanisms underlying this medical condition.
Awards and Honors
2021 Helen Corley Petit Scholar
2021 Teachers Ranked as Excellent
2020 Teachers Ranked as Excellent
2019 Beckman Fellow Award
2018 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award
2018 Center for Advanced Study Fellowship
2018 NSF CAREER Award
2018 Research Corporation Scialog Fellow
2017 Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship
2013 Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Doctoral Research Award
2012 Dean of Graduate Studies Convocation Medal
2012 Human Frontier Science Program Postdoctoral Fellowship
2010 Faculty of Science Excellence in Teaching Award
2010 Bruker Prize in Chemical Spectroscopy
2009 Varian Canada Inc. Award
2008 Barbara Ferrier Chemistry Research Award
2006 Creo Achievement Award in Chemistry
Additional Campus Affiliations
Associate Professor, Chemistry
Department Affiliate, Biochemistry
Associate Professor, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology
Chan, J. K. F., & Knox, H. J. (2022). Bioreducible N-oxide-based probes for imaging of hypoxia. (U.S. Patent No. 11292803).
Chan, J. K. F., Anorma, C. D., & Bearrood, T. E. (2022). Selective Fluorescent Probe For Aldehyde Dehydrogenase. (U.S. Patent No. 11407725).
Chan, J. K. F., & Pino, N. W. (2022). Thiol-based fluorescent probe for reactive species. (U.S. Patent No. 11339175).
East, A. K., Lee, M. C., Smaga, L. P., Jiang, C., Mallojjala, S. C., Hirschi, J. S., & Chan, J. (2022). Synthesis of Silicon-Substituted Hemicyanines for Multimodal SWIR Imaging. Organic Letters, 24(46), 8509-8513. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.2c03382
Li, J., Dong, Y., Wei, R., Jiang, G., Yao, C., Lv, M., Wu, Y., Gardner, S. H., Zhang, F., Lucero, M. Y., Huang, J., Chen, H., Ge, G., Chan, J., Chen, J., Sun, H., Luo, X., Qian, X., & Yang, Y. (2022). Stable, Bright, and Long-Fluorescence-Lifetime Dyes for Deep-Near-Infrared Bioimaging. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 144(31), 14351-14362. https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.2c05826