Prof. NG Wai-lung, Billy

About me

NG Wai-lung, BillyNG Wai-Lung, Billy 吳濰龍

B.Sc. (1st Hons), Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Pharmacy
Faculty of Medicine
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Fax:(852) 2603 5295
Lab Webpage:

Personal Details

Professor Ng’s research interests are chemical biology, drug discovery, and medicinal chemistry. The Ng lab uses chemical, biological, and bioinformatics tools to develop novel small molecules for the treatment of various diseases, including cancers, infectious and neurodegenerative diseases. He has co-authored more than 20 papers in prestigious journals such as Science, Nature Chemical Biology, Molecular Cell, J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., and ACS Central Science and also serves as a reviewer for more than 20 journals including Science Translational Medicine, Nature Chemical Biology, and Nature Communications. 

Professor Ng obtained his B.Sc. degree in Chemistry (1st Class Hons.) and Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). During his graduate study, he was a Fulbright Scholar at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), under the generous funding supports from the Lee Hysan Foundation and the Fulbright Program. From 2014 – 2016, he joined the University of Oxford as a Croucher Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow. He was then recruited to Harvard Medical School / Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as a research fellow from 2016 – 2019. He was honored as a Young Global Leader (2022) by the World Economic Forum.

***The Ng lab is currently recruiting talented postdoctoral fellows / PhD students / research assistants / visiting scholars. Background in organic synthesis / chemical biology/ cancer biology / pharmacology / molecular biology would be an advantage. Outstanding PhD and postdoc applicants will be nominated for the prestigious HKPF Scheme and RGC Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme respectively. Please send your CV and cover letter to


Research Interests

For more details, please refer to our lab webpage:

Research Interests: Chemical biology, drug discovery, and medicinal chemistry

  • Theme 1: Chemical Inducers of Proximity
  • Theme 2: Carbohydrate-based Drug Discovery
  • Theme 3: Late-stage Modification of Drug-like Molecules.

***The Ng lab is currently recruiting talented postdoctoral fellows / PhD students / research assistants / visiting scholars. Background in organic synthesis / chemical biology/ cancer biology / pharmacology / molecular biology would be an advantage. Outstanding PhD and postdoc applicants will be nominated for the prestigious HKPF Scheme and RGC Postdoctoral Fellowship Scheme respectively. Please send your CV and cover letter to



  • PHAR1110 Fundamentals of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
  • PHAR2131 Pharmaceutical Analysis
  • PHAR4911 Research Project I
  • PHAR4912 Research Project II
  • MEDF 1021 Public Health and Healthcare Ethics
  • GECW1010 University and Society


Representative Publications

For the most updated publication list:

Therapeutic science:

  1. Lo, H. S., Hui, K. P. Y., Lai, H.-M., He, X., Khan, K. S., Kaur, S., Huang, J., Li, Z., Chan, A. K. N., Cheung, H. H.-Y., Ng, K.-C., Ho, J. C. W., Chen, Y. W., Ma, B., Cheung, P. M.-H., Shin, D., Wang, K., Lee, M.-H., Selisko, B., Eydoux, C., Guillemot, J.-C., Canard, B., Wu, K.-P., Liang, P.-H., Dikic, I., Zuo, Z., Chan, F. K. L., Hui, D. S. C., Mok, V. C. T., Wong, K.-B., Mok, C. K. P., Ko, H., Aik, W. S., Chan, M. C. W.# & Ng, W.-L.# Simeprevir potently suppresses SARS-CoV-2 replication and synergizes with remdesivir. ACS Cent Sci (2021) In press. doi: 1021/acscentsci.0c01186. First available on bioRxiv, doi: 10.1101/2020.05.26.116020. (#Corresponding authors)
  1. Le, T.K., Paris, C., Khan, K.S., Robson, F., Ng, W.-L.# & Rocchi, P.# Nucleic acid-based technologies targeting coronaviruses. Trends Biochem Sci 46, 351-365 (2021). (#Corresponding authors)

*This article was selected as a cover art.

  1. Robson, F., Khan, K.S., Le, T.K., Paris, C., Demirbag, S., Barfuss, P., Rocchi, P., Ng, W.-L.# Coronavirus RNA proofreading: molecular basis and therapeutic targeting. Mol Cell 79, 710-727 (2020). (#Corresponding author)
  1. Li, F.*, Ng, W.-L.*, Luster, T. A., Hu, H., Sviderskiy, V.O., Dowling, C.M., Hollinshead, K.E.R., Zouitine, P., Zhang, H., Huang, Q., Ranieri, M., Wang, W., Fang, Z., Chen, T., Deng, J., Zhao, K., So, H.C., Khodadadi-Jamayran, A., Xu, M., Karatza, A., Pyon, V., Li, S., Pan, Y., Labbe, K., Almonte, C., Poirier, J.T., Miller, G., Possemato, R., Qi, J. & Wong, K.K. Epigenetic CRISPR screens identify Npm1 as a therapeutic vulnerability in non-small cell lung cancer. Cancer Res 80, 3556-3567 (2020).

*Co-first authorship; #This article was selected as a cover art.

  1. Li, F., Huang, Q., Luster, T. A., Hu, H., Zhang, H., Ng, W.-L., Khodadadi-Jamayran, A., Wang, W., Chen, T., Deng, J., Ranieri, M., Fang, Z., Pyon, V., Dowling, C. M., Bagdatlioglu, E., Almonte, C., Labbe, K., Silver, H., Rabin, A. R., Jani, K., Tsirigos, A., Papagiannakopoulos, T., Hammerman, P. S., Velcheti, V., Freeman, G. J., Qi, J., Miller, G. & Wong, K.-K. In vivo epigenetic CRISPR screen identifies Asf1a as an immunotherapeutic target in lung adenocarcinoma. Cancer Discov 10, 270-287 (2020).

*This article was highlighted in the spotlight, see Cancer Discov 10, 179-181 (2020).

Medicinal chemistry:

  1. Ng, W.-L. & Shing, T. K. M. Synthetic and biological studies of carbasugar SGLT2 inhibitors. Syn. Org. Chem. Jpn., 1215-1222 (2018).

*This is an invited review article.

  1. Ng, W.-L., Li, H. C., Lau, K. M., Chan, A. K. N., Lau, C. B. & Shing, T. K. M. Concise and stereodivergent synthesis of carbasugars reveals unexpected structure-activity relationship (SAR) of SGLT2 inhibition. Sci Rep 7, 5581 (2017).
  1. Ng, W.-L., Lau, K. M., Lau, C. B. & Shing, T. K. M. Palladium-catalyzed arylation of carbasugars enables the discovery of potent and selective SGLT2 inhibitors. Angew Chem Int Ed 55, 13818-13821 (2016).

*This article was highlighted in Synfacts, 2017, 13, 17.

  1. Shing, T. K. M., Ng, W.-L., Chan, J. Y. & Lau, C. B. Design, syntheses, and SAR studies of carbocyclic analogues of sergliflozin as potent sodium-dependent glucose cotransporter 2 inhibitors. Angew Chem Int Ed 52, 8401-8405 (2013).

*This article was highlighted in Synfacts, 2013, 9, 1147.

Chemical biology:

  1. Imiolek, M., Isenegger, P., Ng, W.-L., Khan, A., Gouverneur, V. & Davis, B. G. Residue-selective protein C-formylation via sequential difluoroalkylation-hydrolysis. ACS Cent Sci 7, 145-155 (2021).
  1. Galan, S. R. G., Wickens, J. R., Dadova, J., Ng, W.-L., Zhang, X., Simion, R. A., Quinlan, R., Pires, E., Paton, R. S., Caddick, S., Chudasama, V. & Davis, B. G. Post-translational site-selective protein backbone alpha-deuteration. Nat Chem Biol 14, 955-963 (2018).
  1. Imiolek, M., Karunanithy, G., Ng, W.-L., Baldwin, A. J., Gouverneur, V. & Davis, B. G. Selective radical trifluoromethylation of native residues in proteins. J Am Chem Soc 140, 1568-1571 (2018).
  1. Wright, T. H., Bower, B. J., Chalker, J. M., Bernardes, G. J., Wiewiora, R., Ng, W.-L., Raj, R., Faulkner, S., Vallee, M. R., Phanumartwiwath, A., Coleman, O. D., Thezenas, M. L., Khan, M., Galan, S. R., Lercher, L., Schombs, M. W., Gerstberger, S., Palm-Espling, M. E., Baldwin, A. J., Kessler, B. M., Claridge, T. D., Mohammed, S. & Davis, B. G. Posttranslational mutagenesis: A chemical strategy for exploring protein side-chain diversity. Science 354, 597 (2016).

*This article was highlighted in C&EN News, 2016, vol. 94, issue 38, and was also featured in Science, 2016, 354, 553 & Nature Method, 2016, 13, 907.

Other collaborative works:

  1. Zhao, L., Li, Z., Vong, J. S. L., Chen, X., Lai, H.-M., Yan, L. Y. C., Huang, J., Sy, S. K. H., Tian, X., Huang, Y., Chan, H. Y. E., So, H.-C., Ng, W.-L., Tang, Y., Lin, W.-J., Mok, V. C. T. & Ko, H. Pharmacologically reversible zonation-dependent endothelial cell transcriptomic changes with neurodegenerative disease associations in the aged brain. Nat Commun 11, 4413 (2020).
  1. Zhao, J., Cheng, S. W., Ng, W.-L., Zhang, Y., Shek, T. L., Ren, T., Yan, X., Li, K., Wang, J. & Zuo, Z. Identification of the in vivo relevant dissolution media for the three active components in EGb 761 tablet for better correlation with their pharmacokinetics in healthy subjects. Eur J Pharm Sci 154, 105515 (2020).
  1. Lai, H. M., Ng, W.-L., Gentleman, S. M. & Wu, W. Chemical probes for visualizing intact animal and human brain tissue. Cell Chem Biol 24, 659-672 (2017).
  1. Lai, H. M., Liu, A. K., Ng, W.-L., DeFelice, J., Lee, W. S., Li, H., Li, W., Ng, H. M., Chang, R. C., Lin, B., Wu, W. & Gentleman, S. M. Rationalisation and validation of an acrylamide-free procedure in three-dimensional histological imaging. PLoS One 11, e0158628 (2016).

Supplementary Information


      • Marie Skłodowska-Curie Fellowship (2016)
      • Croucher Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship (2014 – 2016)
      • Fulbright-Lee Hysan Research Fellowship (2013 – 2014)
      • Hong Kong PhD Fellowship (2010 – 2014)

Awards & Honors

      • Biomedicines Young Investigator Award 2022
      • Young Global Leader, World Economic Forum (2022)
      • Selected Participant of 9th Global Young Scientists Summit (GYSS) (2021)
      • Faculty Innovation Award, CU Medicine (2020)
      • Best Poster Presentation Award, Oxford Synthesis Conference (2016)
      • Travel Award of International Symposium on Chemical Biology (2016)
      • Selected Participant of 65th Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting (2015)
      • Global Scholarship Programme for Research Excellence Award (2013)
      • Professor Charles K. Kao Student Creativity Awards – First Runner-up (2012)
      • T C Cheng Postgraduate Scholarship (2010)
      • College Head List (2009, 2007)
      • Dean’s Honours List (2009, 2008, 2007)
      • Dr. James C.N. Ma Memorial Scholarship (2009, 2008, 2007)
      • Ma Chao Or Memorial Scholarship (2009)
      • Professor Lau Oi-wah Memorial Scholarship (2009)
      • Wong Man Hop Scholarship (2007)

Professional Associations

      • Associate member of American Association for Cancer Research (AACR)
      • Member of International Chemical Biology Society (ICBS)
      • Member of American Chemical Society (ACS)
      • Associate member of Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)

Media Coverage

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