Xu Zhengren


Zhengren Xu

Assistant Professor

Research Areas

Natural Product Biosynthesis


Total Synthesis


Education & Positions

University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), B.S., 1994.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ph.D., 2000.

¨¦cole Polytechnique F¨¦d¨¦rale de Lausanne (EPFL), Postdoctoral Fellow, 2011-2014.

The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), Postdoctoral Fellow, 2014-2018.

School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Peking University, Assistant Professor, 2018-.


Faculty Accolades

Research Interests

Our research will focus on understanding how natural products, especially bioactive alkaloids, are made in nature. We have specially interests in those enzymes that can make key C-C bonds in the biosynthesis, and harnessing these reactivities for broader substrates, hence expanding the biocatalytic toolkits for the total synthesis of natural products. We will also study how to make natural product total synthesis more efficient by incorporating the biocatalytic toolkits into the synthetic design.


Grants and fundings

Youth Thousand-Talents Program of China

Principal Investigator



1. Pan, G.;# Xu, Z.;# Guo, Z.; Hindra; Ma, M.; Yang, D.; Zhou, H.; Gansemans, Y.; Zhu, X.; Huang, Y.; Zhao, L.-X.; Jiang, Y.; Cheng, J.; Nieuwerburgh, F. V.; Suh, J.-W.; Duan, Y.; Shen, B.* Discovery of the leinamycin family of natural products by mining actinobacterial genomes. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2017, 114, E11131-E11140. (#contribute equally)

2.Zhang, B.;# Xu, Z.;# Teng, Q.;# Pan, G.; Ma, M.; Shen, B.* A long-range acting dehydratase domain as the missing link for C17-dehydration in iso-migrastatin biosynthesis. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 7247-7251. (#contribute equally)

3. Xu, Z.; Wang, Q.; Zhu, J.* Total syntheses of (-)-mersicarpine, (-)-scholarisine G, (+)-melodinine E, (-)-leuconoxine, (-)-leuconolam, (-)-leuconodine A, (+)-leuconodine F, and (-)-leuconodine C: self-induced diastereomeric anisochronism (SIDA) phenomenon for scholarisine G and leuconodines A and C. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 6712-6724.

4. Xu, Z.; Wang, Q.; Zhu, J.* Palladium-catalyzed decarboxylative vinylation of potassium nitrophenyl acetate: application to the total synthesis of (¡À)-goniomitine. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 3272-3276.

5. Xu, Z.;# Bao, X.;# Wang, Q.; Zhu, J.* An enantioselective total synthesis of (-)-isoschizogamine. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 14937-14940. (#contribute equally)