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Molecular Medicine


Peng Wu, Ph.D.

Associate Professor
Department of Molecular Medicine
California Campus
Laboratory Website
(858) 784-7626

Scripps Research Joint Appointments

Faculty, Graduate Program

Research Focus

The research in the Wu Laboratory integrates synthetic chemistry with biochemistry to explore the relevance of glycosylation in human disease. The glycome, defined as the full complement of glycans that a cell produces, is involved in a variety of physiological processes, including angiogenesis, fertilization, stem cell development and neuronal development. Changes in the glycome have also been shown to mark the onset of cancer and inflammation. The wealth of biological information encoded in the glycome has motivated researchers to develop methods for its retrieval.

Produced by the secondary metabolism rather than encoded in the genome, glycans are assembled in a step-wise fashion by multiple enzymes and thus by multiple genes. Therefore, genetic and biochemical tools alone cannot be used to define all aspects of the glycome. Rather, many complementary approaches must be applied in parallel in order to assemble a picture of the glycome both from the “bottom up” and from the “top down”.

The major goal of our lab is to develop chemical biology platforms to image and characterize the glycome in the immune system and in tumors. We are also interested in chemical tools that can be used to selectively enrich glycoproteins for their molecular identification. These new tools will facilitate the discovery of new biomarkers for diseases, and assist in the development of clinical diagnostics and therapeutics.

Key biological questions we are interested include: How does cell-surface glycosylation change during immune-cell activation and what is the underlying mechanism? How do tumor cells exploit glycan-lectin interactions to suppress immune-cell activation within the tumor microenvironment? How to boost activities of leukocytes by using small-molecule probes to control cell-surface glycan mediated signaling?


M.S., Chemistry, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, 2001
Ph.D., Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, 2005

Professional Experience

Postdoctoral Associate
2005–2008                 Department of Chemistry, Univ. of California at Berkeley
Assistant Professor
2009–2013                 Department of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University
Associate Professor
2013–2015                 Department of Biochemistry, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University
Scientific Director, Chemical Biology Core Facility
2011–2015                 Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Yeshiva University
Associate Professor
Dec. 2015–Present     Department of Chemical Physiology, The Scripps Research Institute

Awards & Professional Activities

2007-2012 NIH Pathway to Independence Award
2011-2014 DuPont Young Professor Award
2013 Visiting Fellowship, Pembrook College, University of Oxford, UK
2013 David Y. Gin Young Investigator Award, Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry, American Chemical Society
2014 Kavli Fellow
2015 Chinese-American Chemistry and Chemical Biology Professors Association Biomatik Distinguished Faculty Award

Selected References

Engineered glycocalyx regulates stem cell proliferation in murine crypt organoids. Rouhanifard, S.H.; Aguilar Lopez, A.; Meng, L.; Moremen, K.W.; Wu,P. Cell. Chem. Bio. 2018, in press.

Modulating cell-surface receptor signaling and ion channel functions by in situ glycan editing. Jiang, H.; Meng, L.; Lopez-Aguilar, A.; Gao, Z.; Liu, Y.; Tian, X.; Yu, G.; Ovryn, B.; Moremen, K.W.; Wu, P. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, doi: 10.1002/anie.201706535 and 10.1002/ange.201706535.

Inhibition of Delta-induced Notch Signaling Using Fucose Analogs. Schneider, M.; Kumar, V.; Nordstrøm, L.; Feng, L.; Takeuchi, H.;  Stanley, P.; Wu, P.*; Haltiwanger, R. S.* Nat. Chem. Biol. 2018, 14, 65, (*co-corresponding authors). 

Profiling of Protein O-GlcNAcylation in Murine CD8+ Effector- and Memory-like T Cells. Lopez Aguilar, A.; Gao, Y.; Hou, X.; Lauvau, G.; Yates, J.R.; Wu, P. ACS Chem. Biol. 2017, 12, 3031.

Bifluoride-catalyzed Sulfur(VI) Fluoride Exchange (SuFEx) Reaction for the Synthesis of Polysulfates and Polysulfonates. Gao, B.; Zhang, L.; Zheng, Q.; Zhou, F.; Klivansky, L. M.; Lu, J.; Liu, Y.; Dong J.*; Wu, P.*; Sharpless,  K. B.* Nat. Chem. 2017, 9, 1083. (*co-corresponding authors). 

Tracking Surface Glycans on Live Cancer Cells with Single Molecule Sensitivity. Jiang, H.; English, B.; Hazan, R.; Wu, P.;* Ovryn, B.* Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 93, 21.

Biocompatible Click Chemistry Enabled Compartment-Specific pH Measurement Inside E. coli. Yang, M.; Jalloh, A.; Wei, W. Zhao, J.*; Wu. P*; Chen, P.R.* Nat. Commun. 2014, 5, Article number: 4981; doi:10.1038/ncomms5981

CHoMP: A Chemoenzymatic Histology Method for Glycan Detection Using ‘Clickable’ Probes. Rouhanifard, S. H.; López-Aguilar, A.; Wu, P. ChemBioChem. 2014, 15, 2667.

In vivo chemistry. Bertozzi, C. R.; Wu, P. Curr. Opin. Chem, Biol. 2013, 17, 717.

Chemical Probing of Glycans in Cells and Organisms. Rouhanifard, S. H.; Nordstrom, L. U.; Zheng, T.; Wu, P. Chem. Soc. Rev. 2013, 42, 4284.

Detection and Isolation of Dendritic Cells Using Lewis X-functionalized Magnetic Nanoparticles.
Rouhanifard, S. H.; Xie, R.; Zhang, G.; Sun, X.; Chen, X.; Wu, P. Biomacromolecules. 2012, 13, 3039.

Increasing the Efficacy of Bioorthogonal Click Reactions for Bioconjugation: A Comparative Study
Besanceney, C.; Jiang, H.; Zheng, T.; Feng, Lei; Soriano Del Amo, D.; Klivansky, L.; Liu, Y.; Marlow, F.; Wu, P. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 8051.

Tracking N-acetyllactosamine on Cell Surface Glycans in Vivo. Zheng, T.; Jiang, H.; Gros, M., Soriano del Amo, D.; Sundaram, S.; Lauvau, G.; Marlow, F.; Liu, Y., Stanley, P.; Wu, P. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2011, 50, 4113.

Biocompatible copper(I) catalysts for in vivo imaging of glycans. Soriano del Amo, D.; Wang, W.; Jiang, H.; Besanseney, C.; Yan, A, C.; Levy, M.; Liu, Y.; Marlow, F. Wu, P. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2010, 132, 16893.

Chemoenzymatic Synthesis of GDP-L-fucose and the Lewis X Glycan Derivatives. Wang, W.; Hu, T.; Frantom, P. A.; Zheng, T; Gerwe, B.; Soriano del Amo, D.; Seidel, R.D. III; Wu, P. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 2009, 106, 16096.


Single Glycoproteins Caught In Motion

Ligands Let Copper Click Inside Cells

Imaging Molecules On Living Cells

Molecular Medicine Seminar Series
Center for Physiological Proteomics
Department Contacts

CA Faculty

Asahara, Hiroshi
Balch, William E.
Boddy, Michael
Buxbaum, Joel
Catz, Sergio
Conti, Bruno
Cravatt, Benjamin
D'Lima, Darryl
DerMardirossian, Celine
Deryugina, Elena
Elias, Darlene
Encalada, Sandra
Felding, Brunhilde
Fowler, Velia
Friedlander, Martin
Gerace, Larry
Gottesfeld, Joel
Griffin, John
Hanneken, Anne
Heeb, Mary Jo
Henderson, Scott
Hoch, James
Johnson, Eric
Kanaji, Taisuke
Koziol, James
Lamia, Katja
Lipton, Stuart
Loring, Jeanne F.
Loskutoff, David
Lotz, Martin
Makarenkova, Helen P.
Mc Millan, Robert
Miles, Lindsey
Milner, Richard
Modena, Brian
Mosnier, Laurent
Nicholson, Laura
Paulson, James C.
Perego, Marta
Petrascheck, Michael
Pollard, Kenneth Michael
Quigley, James P.
Reed, Steven
Roberts, Edward
Rosen, Hugh
Ruggeri, Zaverio
Russell, Paul
Saez, Enrique
Smider, Vaughn
Srinivasan, Supriya
Steinhubl, Steven
Sutcliffe, J.
Tan, Eng
Topol, Eric
Vanderklish, Peter
Vogt, Peter K.
Wiseman, Luke
Wittenberg, Curt
Wolan, Dennis W.
Wu, Peng
Wu, Xiaohua
Yang, Xiang-Lei
Yates III, John

FL Faculty

Bannister, Thomas
Bohn, Laura M.
Cameron, Michael
Duckett, Derek
Gill, Matt
Griffin, Patrick
Hansen, Scott
Joazeiro, Claudio
Kamenecka, Theodore
Kissil, Joseph
Luo, Junli
McDonald, Patricia
Miller, Courtney
Niedernhofer, Laura
Phinney, Donald G.
Robbins, Paul
Scampavia, Louis
Schimmel, Paul
Smith, Roy
Spicer, Timothy

Affiliated Faculty

Cline, Hollis
Kojetin, Douglas
Lairson, Luke
Paegel, Brian
Rumbaugh, Gavin
Shen, Ben
Solt, Laura A
Su, Andrew
Wu, Chunlei
Ye, Li

Adjunct Faculty