Chi-Ming Che

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Chi-Ming Che
British Hong Kong
NationalityHong Kong, China
OccupationProfessor, Researcher, Member of Chinese Academy of Science
Known forInorganic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemistry
Notable work
Metal Catalyst, OLED, Anticancer metal complexes

Chi-Ming Che (Chinese: 支志明; pinyin: Zhī Zhìmíng; born 1957 in Hong Kong), 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]


Che's research interests cover various areas in chemistry such as inorganic chemistry, materials science, photochemistry, and biomedical sciences.[5] He has been engaged in inorganic chemistry research, organometallic synthesis where he and his group have studied high-valent and multimetallic complexes.[6] These molecules have been investigated for their luminescent and catalytic properties. Notable systems that Che has developed include: catalysts for asymmetric olefin epoxidation,[7] biomimetic oxidation catalyst featuring recognition elements, and molecular devices based on luminescent materials.[8]

Metal Catalysts[edit]

Che has pioneered the developed of Ru-OXO system which has opened up numerous opportunities for efficient catalytic oxidation processes.[9][10]

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

Furthermore, Che and co-workers developed new methods for epoxidation, cyclopropanation, and aziridination of alkenes.[7][11] His work on bioinorganic chemistry, has produced new understanding for several important processes including modern nitrogen fixation.[12]

Anti-Cancer Metal Complexes[edit]

Another notable work from Che's group has been the development of gold-based organometallic compounds with anti-tumor activity. 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.[13][14]

Structure of PEGylated Gold(III) Conjugates

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. ^, National Academy of Sciences -. "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. ^ "Professor CHE Chi Ming | Croucher Foundation". Retrieved 2017-06-05.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ 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.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ 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.
  11. ^ 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.
  12. ^ 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. doi:10.1039/C39890001883. ISSN 0022-4936.
  13. ^ "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.
  14. ^ 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.