Che Chi-ming

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Che Chi-ming
Born (1957-09-07) September 7, 1957 (age 65)
British Hong Kong
NationalityHong Kong, China
Occupation(s)Professor, Researcher, Member of Chinese Academy of Science
Known forInorganic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry
Notable workMetal Catalyst, OLED, Anticancer metal complexes

Che Chi-ming (Chinese: 支志明; pinyin: Zhī Zhìmíng; born 7 September 1957), is a Hong Kong chemist currently holding Zhou Guangzhao Professorship in Natural Sciences, following a Dr. Hui Wai-Haan's Chair of Chemistry at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). In 1995, he became the first scientist from Hong Kong to be elected as a member of Chinese Academy of Sciences.[1] He is known for extensive work in inorganic chemistry, photochemistry, and medicinal chemistry.[2]


Che received his B.S. degree at HKU in 1978.[3] He then received his Ph. D degree in inorganic chemistry at HKU working under Professor Chung-Kwong Poon in 1980. After earning his Ph. D., he spent 3 years at California Institute of Technology conducting research in organometallic and bioinorganic chemistry in the laboratory of Harry B. Gray.[4]

Following his research stay in the United States, Che moved back to Hong Kong and started his independent career as a faculty at HKU. During the past 20 years, he has also held visiting lecturer positions at National Taiwan University, Jilin University, Sun Yat-sen University. Moreover, he has been a professor at Nanjing University, Nankai University, and Tsinghua University; and an honorary professor at Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Northeast Normal University, Nanjing University, and other universities.[1]

In 2007, he was elected as a member of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) in Chemical Sciences. In 2013, he was elected as a foreign associate of the United States National Academy of Sciences.

Currently, he is the Chair Professor of the Department of Chemistry at The University of Hong Kong.[1]

In December 2021, it was reported that Che had a "privileged" vote in the 2021 Hong Kong legislative election, where the vote would count approximately 7,215 times more than an ordinary citizen.[5]


Ruthenium(III) porphyrin functionalized with PEG group is used as a catalyst to drive selective pathway of alkene to epoxide or cyclopropane.
Structure of PEGylated Gold(III) Conjugates

Che's research interests cover various areas in chemistry such as inorganic chemistry, materials science, photochemistry, and biomedical sciences.[6] He has been engaged in inorganic chemistry research, organometallic synthesis where he and his group have studied high-valent and multimetallic complexes.[7] These molecules have been investigated for their luminescent and catalytic properties. Notable systems that Che has developed include: catalysts for asymmetric olefin epoxidation,[8] biomimetic oxidation catalyst featuring recognition elements, and molecular devices based on luminescent materials.[9]

Triplet Emitters[edit]

Che is a pioneer for the chemistry of d8 and d10 metal complexes including their excited state chemistry and closed shell metal-metal interactions of d8 and d10 metal ions.[10] His team has successfully developed practical tetradentate platinum(II)[11] and gold(III)[12] Emitters which are comparable if not superior in performances to the World best Iridium(III) Phosphors

Metal Catalysts[edit]

Che has pioneered the developed of Ru-OXO system which has opened up numerous opportunities for efficient catalytic oxidation processes.[13][14]

Furthermore, Che and co-workers developed new methods for epoxidation, cyclopropanation, and aziridination of alkenes.[8][15] His work on bioinorganic chemistry, has produced new understanding for several important processes including modern nitrogen fixation.[16]

Anti-Cancer Metal Complexes[edit]

Another notable work from Che's group has been the development of gold-, platinum-, ruthenium- and palladium based metal compounds with anti-tumor activity.[17][18][19] Specifically, they found that PEGylated gold(III) conjugates can exhibit multifunctional properties and undergo selective delivery to tumor tissues. Importantly, some of these compounds do not exhibit harmful cytotoxicity to normal cells, as many Pt-based anti-cancer agents do.[20][21]

Notable awards[edit]

  • 2006 First Class Prize of the State Natural Science Award of China
  • 2006 TWAS Prize in chemistry from the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World
  • 2013 Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Centenary Prize


  1. ^ a b c "Prof. C.M. Che". Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  2. ^ "Chi-Ming Che". Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  3. ^ "Chi-Ming CHE - Our Members". The Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  4. ^ "Prof. Chi-Ming Che - Federation of Asian Chemical Societies". Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  5. ^ FactWire (2021-12-15). "Factwire: 41 privileged voters have 7,200 times greater power than a regular Hong Kong voter following election revamp". Hong Kong Free Press HKFP. Retrieved 2021-12-16.
  6. ^ "Professor CHE Chi Ming | Croucher Foundation". Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  7. ^ Che, Chi Ming.; Cheng, Wing Kin. (1986-07-01). "Novel UV-vis spectral feature and electrochemical behavior of high-valent osmium(VI) dioxo complex of 1,4,8,11-tetramethyl-1,4,8,11-tetraazacyclotetradecane (TMC). Reversible three-electron redox couple and vibronic structured UV-vis absorption bands involving trans-[Os(VI)(TMC)O2]2+". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 108 (15): 4644–4645. doi:10.1021/ja00275a062. ISSN 0002-7863.
  8. ^ a b Chan, Wing-Kei; Liu, Peng; Yu, Wing-Yiu; Wong, Man-Kin; Che, Chi-Ming (2004-05-01). "Highly Diastereoselective Epoxidation of Allyl-Substituted Cycloalkenes Catalyzed by Metalloporphyrins". Organic Letters. 6 (10): 1597–1599. doi:10.1021/ol0496475. ISSN 1523-7060. PMID 15128245.
  9. ^ Cheng, Gang; So, Gary Kwok-Ming; To, Wai-Pong; Chen, Yong; Kwok, Chi-Chung; Ma, Chensheng; Guan, Xiangguo; Chang, Xiaoyong; Kwok, Wai-Ming (2015-07-14). "Luminescent zinc(II) and copper(I) complexes for high-performance solution-processed monochromic and white organic light-emitting devices". Chemical Science. 6 (8): 4623–4635. doi:10.1039/C4SC03161J. ISSN 2041-6539. PMC 5667404. PMID 29142704.
  10. ^ "Chi-Ming CHE - Our Members - the Hong Kong Academy of Sciences 香港科學院".
  11. ^ Cheng, Gang; Kwak, Yoonhyun; To, Wai-Pong; Lam, Tsz-Lung; Tong, Glenna So Ming; Sit, Man-Ki; Gong, Shaolong; Choi, Byoungki; Choi, Wha il; Yang, Chuluo; Che, Chi-Ming (13 November 2019). "High-Efficiency Solution-Processed Organic Light-Emitting Diodes with Tetradentate Platinum(II) Emitters". ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces. 11 (48): 45161–45170. doi:10.1021/acsami.9b11715. PMID 31718137. S2CID 207962058.
  12. ^ Zhou, Dongling; To, Wai-Pong; Tong, Glenna So Ming; Cheng, Gang; Du, Lili; Phillips, David Lee; Che, Chi-Ming (15 January 2020). "Luminescent Tetradentate Gold(III)‐TADF Emitters: Microwave‐Assisted Synthesis and High Performance OLEDs With EQEs Up To 25 % and Long Operational Lifetime". Angewandte Chemie. doi:10.1002/ange.201914661. S2CID 243070975.
  13. ^ Che, Chi Ming; Yam, Vivian Wing Wah (1987-02-01). "Model complexes for the cis-ruthenium(VI)-dioxo system. Novel chemistry of [RuIII(N4O)(OH2)][ClO4]2 (N4OH = bis[2-(2-pyridyl)ethyl][2-hydroxy-2-(2-pyridyl)ethyl]amine)". Journal of the American Chemical Society. 109 (4): 1262–1263. doi:10.1021/ja00238a055. ISSN 0002-7863.
  14. ^ Che, Chi-Ming; Ho, Clare; Lau, Tai-Chu (1991-01-01). "Tuning the reactivities of ruthenium–oxo complexes with robust ligands. A ruthenium(IV)–oxo complex of 6,6′-dichloro-2,2′-bipyridine as an active oxidant for stoichiometric and catalytic organic oxidation". J. Chem. Soc., Dalton Trans. (8): 1901–1907. doi:10.1039/dt9910001901. ISSN 1364-5447.
  15. ^ Zhang, Jun-Long; Che, Chi-Ming (2002-05-01). "Soluble Polymer-Supported Ruthenium Porphyrin Catalysts for Epoxidation, Cyclopropanation, and Aziridination of Alkenes". Organic Letters. 4 (11): 1911–1914. doi:10.1021/ol0259138. ISSN 1523-7060. PMID 12027645.
  16. ^ Che, Chi-Ming; Lam, Hon-Wah; Tong, Wai-Fong; Lai, Ting-Fong; Lau, Tai-Chu (1989-01-01). "Model reactions for nitrogen fixation. Photo-induced formation and X-ray crystal structure of [Os2(NH3)8(MeCN)2(N2)]5+ from [OsVI(NH3)4N]3+". Journal of the Chemical Society, Chemical Communications (24): 1883–1884. doi:10.1039/C39890001883. ISSN 0022-4936.
  17. ^ Zou, Taotao; Lum, Ching Tung; Lok, Chun-Nam; Zhang, Jing-Jing; Che, Chi-Ming (2015). "Chemical biology of anticancer gold( ) and gold( ) complexes". Chemical Society Reviews. 44 (24): 8786–8801. doi:10.1039/C5CS00132C. PMID 25868756.
  18. ^ Zou, Taotao; Lok, Chun-Nam; Wan, Pui-Ki; Zhang, Zhi-Feng; Fung, Sin-Ki; Che, Chi-Ming (April 2018). "Anticancer metal-N-heterocyclic carbene complexes of gold, platinum and palladium". Current Opinion in Chemical Biology. 43: 30–36. doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2017.10.014. PMID 29136524.
  19. ^ Che, Chi-Ming; Siu, Fung-Ming (April 2010). "Metal complexes in medicine with a focus on enzyme inhibition". Current Opinion in Chemical Biology. 14 (2): 255–261. doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2009.11.015. PMID 20018553.
  20. ^ "A multi-functional PEGylated gold( iii ) compound: potent anti-cancer properties and self-assembly into nanostructures for drug co-delivery". ResearchGate. Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  21. ^ Lum, Ching Tung; Liu, Xiong; Sun, Raymond Wai-Yin; Li, Xiang-Ping; Peng, Ying; He, Ming-Liang; Kung, Hsiang Fu; Che, Chi-Ming; Lin, Marie C. M. (2010-08-28). "Gold(III) porphyrin 1a inhibited nasopharyngeal carcinoma metastasis in vivo and inhibited cell migration and invasion in vitro". Cancer Letters. 294 (2): 159–166. doi:10.1016/j.canlet.2010.01.033. ISSN 1872-7980. PMID 20163914.