Chi-Huey Wong

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Chi-Huey Wong
Voa chinese Chi-Huey Wong 12May10.jpg
Born (1948-08-03) August 3, 1948 (age 70)
United States
Alma materNational Taiwan University
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Scientific career
chemical biology

Chi-Huey Wong (Chinese: 翁啟惠; born August 3, 1948) is a Taiwanese-born American biochemist. He is a professor of chemistry and chemical biology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California, and National Sun Yat-sen University in Taiwan . His expertise is bioorganic and synthetic chemistry, especially in carbohydrate chemistry and chemical biology.

He was elected as a member of Taiwan's Academia Sinica in 1994, the American Academy of Arts and Science in 1996, United States National Academy of Science in 2002.


Wong received his BS and MS degrees from National Taiwan University in Taipei, Taiwan.

In 1982, Wong earned his PhD degree in Chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, in the United States, where he carried out research under the supervision of George M. Whitesides. He continued on as a postdoctoral researcher in the same laboratory after Whitesides had relocated to Harvard University.

In 1983, he joined the faculty at Texas A&M University, before moving to Scripps in 1989 as Ernest W. Hahn Chair in Chemistry.

As a pioneer in glycoscience research, Wong has developed the first enzymatic method for the large-scale synthesis of oligosaccharides and the first programmable automated synthesis of oligosaccharides. These methods have been used to solve major problems and create new opportunities in carbohydrate-mediated biological recognition and disease control. Of particular significance is his development of carbohydrate-based vaccines for the treatment of breast cancer and infectious diseases and glycan microarrays for the high-throughput analysis of protein-carbohydrate interaction. Overall, research in the Wong lab encompasses a broad spectrum of bioorganic and synthetic chemistry. Development of small molecules targeting proteins and RNA has been performed to investigate how small molecules interact with biologically important molecules and in turn, learn more about the function of those molecules. Development of both synthetic and bioorganic strategies is also paramount to his research. Programmable one-pot reactions are being developed for the synthesis of complex oligosaccharides and glycan arrays and complement his chemo-enzymatic strategies for the assembly of homogeneous glycoproteins with well-defined glycan structure and other biologically active molecules.

Since 2003, Wong became the founding director of The Genomics Research Center of Academia Sinica. He was later appointed by the President of the Republic of China to head Academia Sinica, the national academy of science in Taiwan. He took the office on 19 October 2006.[1] He was awarded the F.A. Cotton Medal for Excellence in Chemical Research of the American Chemical Society in 2008, The International Enzyme Engineering Award in 1999, the US Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award in 2000, The American Chemical Society Claude S. Hudson Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry in 1999, the Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry in 2005, the Arthur C. Cope Award in 2012, and the Wolf Prize in Chemistry in 2014.[2]

− In 2016, he was involved in a insider trading scandal related to a biotech company OBI Pharma, Inc. headquartered in Taiwan. He had held shares in OBI Pharma for his artist daughter, Yuh Shioh Wong [3][4], and himself. His funds were then invested in two other companies that had invested in OBI Pharma.[5] When the allegations surfaced in March 2016, Wong was in the United States.[6] He attempted to resign his position as president of the Academia Sinica twice while overseas. Both requests were rejected by the president of Taiwan, Ma Ying-jeou.[7] Wong returned to Taiwan in mid-April.[8] He presented a letter to the president during a meeting on 26 April, which stated that Wong would not formally resign, but hand administrative duties to the vice president of the Academia Sinica until a new leader was selected.[9] Shortly after the meeting, Wong's request for a leave of absence was rejected by Ma.[10] After further consideration, Ma chose to approve Wong's resignation on 10 May.[11][12] The Shilin District Court indicted Wong on charges of corruption relating to OBI Pharma in January 2017.[13] Following the indictment, the Control Yuan voted to impeach Wong in July.[14] In February 2018, the Shilin District Prosecutors Office announced that charges of insider trading against Wong had been dropped, though an investigation into corruption had not yet concluded.[15][16][17] The Shilin District Court acquitted Wong on charges of graft in December 2018.[18]


  1. ^ "Academia Sinica welcomes new institute president". Taipei Times. 20 October 2003. Retrieved 5 November 2016.
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^
  4. ^ Pan, Jason. "Wong denies allegations of financial impropriety". Taipei Times.
  5. ^ Chen, Chih-chung; Chang, S.C. (27 April 2016). "Legislative motion calls on Academia Sinica head to quit". Central News Agency. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  6. ^ "Academia Sinica boss Wong Chi-huey ordered home". Taipei Times. 30 March 2016. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  7. ^ Loa, Lok-sin (31 March 2016). "Wong Chi-huey offers resignation". Taipei Times. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  8. ^ Hsieh, Chia-chen; Su, Justin; Chen, Chih-chung; Chang, S.C. (14 April 2016). "Academia Sinica head returning to face OBI Pharma controversy". Central News Agency. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  9. ^ Liu, Claudia; Su, Justin; Lu, Hsin-hui; Hsu, Elizabeth (25 April 2016). "Embattled Academia Sinica head under more pressure to resign". Central News Agency. Retrieved 25 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Academia Sinica's Wong requests leave, Ma denies it". Taipei Times. 27 April 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2016.
  11. ^ Normile, Dennis (11 May 2016). "Head of Taiwan's Academia Sinica resigns". Science Magazine. Retrieved 21 February 2018.
  12. ^ "President approves resignation of Academia Sinica head (update)". Central News Agency. 10 May 2016. Retrieved 10 May 2016.
  13. ^ Chieh, Huang; Chin, Jonathan (10 January 2017). "Academic charged with corruption". Taipei Times. Retrieved 10 January 2017.
  14. ^ Pan, Jason (5 July 2017). "Control Yuan vote 9-0 to impeach Wong Chi-huey". Taipei Times. Retrieved 5 July 2017.
  15. ^ Kao, Evelyn; Hsiao, Po-wen (21 February 2018). "Insider trading charges dropped against ex-Academia Sinica head". Central News Agency. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  16. ^ Pan, Jason (23 February 2018). "Wong Chi-huey cleared of insider trading charge". Taipei Times. Retrieved 22 February 2018.
  17. ^ Tremblay, Jean-François (11 June 2018). "Taiwan's biotech industry stands at a crossroads". Chemical and Engineering News. Retrieved 11 June 2018.
  18. ^ Lin, Chia-nan (29 December 2018). "Court acquits academic of graft". Taipei Times. Retrieved 29 December 2018.
  • Y. Ichikawa, C.-H. Wong et al. "Chemical-enzymatic synthesis and conformational study of sialyl lewis x and derivatives" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1992, 114, 9283-97.
  • Z. Zhang, C.-H. Wong et al. "Programmable one-pot oligosaccharide synthesis" J. Am. Chem. Soc. 1999, 121, 734-53.
  • K. M. Koeller, C.-H. Wong "Enzymes for chemical synthesis" Nature, 2001, 409, 232-40.
  • P. Sears and C.-H. Wong "Toward automated synthesis of oligosacchadides and glycoproteins" Science 2001, 291, 2344-50.
  • Y.-L. Huang, C.-H. Wong et al. "Carbohydrate-based vaccines with a glycolipid adjuvant for breast cancer" Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2013, 110, 2517-22.

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