Lau Group

Chemical and synthetic biology
We operate at the interface of chemistry, bioengineering and nanoscience.

Our research

We are architects of the molecular world. We use organic chemistry and synthetic biology to control the shape and assembly of the molecules of life - peptides and proteins - to design new medicines, materials, and catalysts.

We are based in the School of Chemistry. We collaborate widely with research groups locally and internationally. Our group is associated with the Sydney Nano Institute, the Drug Discovery Initiative, the ARC Centre of Excellence in Peptide and Protein Science, and the ARC Centre of Excellence in Synthetic Biology.

Two primary areas of research in the lab currently are:

  • Drug discovery and synthetic chemistry - Telomeres
    Cyclised peptides and fragments as therapeutic candidates for targeting telomere-associated proteins in cancer.
  • Synthetic biology and protein engineering - Compartmentalisation
    Encapsulin protein cages as synthetic organelles for biomanufacturing.
Graphic visualising the areas of research undertaken by the Lau Group

Our people

Yu Heng Lau, Group leader

Postdoctoral researchers

  • Dr Lisa Alcock
  • Dr Taylor Szyszka

PhD students

  • Eric Jenner
  • Eva Gao
  • Felicia Lie
  • Haritha Sudhakar
  • Lachlan Adamson
  • Reginald Young
  • Sumyee Wu
  • Tiancheng Huang

Honours students

  • Jackie Yau
  • Joshua Mills

Undergraduate students

  • Michael Lin
  • James Luong (Honours 2022)
  • Sophia You (Honours 2022; Summer scholar 2020)
  • Mai Nielsen (DL student 2022)
  • Chan Li (Undergraduate volunteer 2022)
  • Nuren Tasneem (MPhil student/Summer scholar/TSP student)
  • Anthea Ford (Denison summer scholar 2022)
  • Erekle Kobakhidze (DL student 2021)
  • Luke Schulz (DL student 2021)
  • Quynh Ngoc Vu (Graduate researcher 2019-2021)
  • Oliver Liang (Summer scholar 2020)
  • Rishik Bhandary (Honours 2019)
  • Annmaree Kenny (DL student 2019)
  • Suleka Hersi (Summer scholar 2019)
  • Joanna Huang (Summer scholar 2019)
  • Paris Jeffcoat (Honours 2018)
  • Erin Humphries (TSP student 2018)
  • Lucy Jimenez (TSP student 2018)
  • Chuyang Zhang (Nanjing visiting student 2018)
  • Oliver Rathje (Summer scholar/volunteer 2018)
  • Michael Liu (Summer scholar/TSP student 2018)

Join us

We are always interested in welcoming enthusiastic and talented individuals with different skills and diverse backgrounds to join our team!

Whether you are a prospective undergraduate, honours student (current honours projects can be found here), visiting Masters student, PhD candidate or postdoc, feel free to email Yu Heng to learn more about our research and the current opportunities available.

Dr Yu Heng Lau

Senior Lecturer and Westpac Research Fellow
  • School of Chemistry F11, University of Sydney NSW 2006

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