Dr. Zhitao Li
Assistant Professor, Organic Chemistry
- B.S., Fudan University, Shanghai, China 1996
- M.S., Peking University, Beijing, China, 1999, with Professor Wenting Hua
- Ph.D., Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, 1999-2003, with Professor Michael Pirrung
- Science 2 Bldg - Room 332
- Web page:
The research of our group focus on the chemistry and biology of carbohydrate compounds (better known as sugar or saccharides). Carbohydrate is one the three major biopolymers in nature, along with peptide and nucleotides. Compared to other biopolymers, carbohydrate compounds are much more difficult to get, either through chemical synthesis or isolation from natural sources. However, the role of carbohydrate compounds in natural is as important as their counterparts of peptides and nucleotides. Carbohydrates are very important in biological processes like cell adhesion, recognition and migration. Carbohydrates are also involved in many diseases, such as cancer, AIDS, influenza and etc. Carbohydrate-containing natural products are also present in many natural products and drug molecules. Due to all these important functions, carbohydrate related research is currently one of the hottest fields in the pharmaceutical and biotech industry and basic research.