Bing Gong


Bing Gong.

Bing Gong


Bing Gong


Research Interests

Biomimetic chemistry; medicinal chemistry; organic synthesis and catalyst development; supramolecular chemistry; transmembrane channels and carriers for molecules and ions; cryoprotection of cells


  • Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Cancer Fund Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California at Berkeley, 1991-1994
  • PhD, The University of Chicago, 1990
  • BS, Sichuan University, 1984

Awards and Honors

  • Jacob F. Schoellkopf Medal by the American Chemical Society Western New York Section, 2022 
  • UB Distinguished Professor Award, SUNY at Buffalo 2022 
  • Exceptional Scholar Award, SUNY at Buffalo 2019 
  • Top 100 Federal Grantee, SUNY at Buffalo 2002 
  • Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell Fund Postdoctoral Fellowship 1991–1994


  • Biomimetic chemistry: foldamers and DNA-mimetic information storing molecules, protein-like porous foldamers and pore-containing macrocycles
  • Medicinal chemistry: Development of small-molecule therapeutics for diseases such as cancer, cystic fibrosis and cell membrane-related diseases;
  • Organic chemistry: Synthesis of designed molecules with desired properties and functions; enzyme-like organocatalysts based on biomimetic structures
  • Supramolecular chemistry: Biomimetic supramolecular architectures based on the instructed self-assembly and molecular recognition of molecular components
  • Transmembrane transport of molecules and ions: Synthetic channels and carriers for intracellular delivery of biologically and medicinally important molecules and ions
  • Cryopreservation of valuable cells: The development of non-toxic, biocompatible strategies for the long-term cryopreservation of high-value cells for use in cell-based therapy.

Research Summary

Research in our laboratory involves the creation of bioinspired and biocompatible structures based on the combination of design, synthesis, and further characterization. The major areas of research include: protein-like folding molecules and macrocycles; medicinally important compounds as therapeutics for diseases; enzyme-like organocatalysts based on biomimetic structures; protein-like architectures based on the self-assembly and molecular recognition of designed molecules; synthetic channels and carriers for the cross-membrane transport of biologically and medicinally important molecules and ions; and biocompatible, non-toxic compounds for the long-term preservation of high-value cells.

Biomimetic chemistry: Protein-Like Folding Molecules

These molecules have backbones adopting crescent and helical shapes based on a strategy of enforced folding established in our group. In addition to their exterior that can be readily modified to suit various media/environments, many of these molecules contain large (nanosized) interior cavities and pores. The specific strategy includes the introduction of intramolecular hydrogen bonding interactions that serve to rigidify the molecules, forcing curved conformations that further fold into helical shapes. Nanosize holes down the center of these molecules are created. Crescents and helices with cavities of adjustable diameters are readily available. These nanoporous molecules are being studied as novel hosts/receptors, as antimicrobial agents, and as catalysts.

Medicinal chemistry: Bioactive compounds as molecular therapeutics for diseases

Two major classes of compounds we created are being developed as potential drugs: (1) Small molecules that specifically bind to quadruplex DNAs, a major anticancer target; and (2) molecules that serve as channels and carriers for transporting disease-related molecules and ions across cell membranes

Organic Chemistry: The synthesis of functional molecules and development of enzyme-like organocatalysts

We design and synthesize a variety of molecules with desired functions for use in fields such as medicinal, biomimetic, supramolecular, and materials chemistry. Besides, we are also developing highly efficient, enzyme-like organocatalysts based on bioinspired structures we created over the years.

Synthetic channels: Transporting bio/medically important molecules and ions across cell membranes

We have been developing molecular and supramolecular structures as channels and carriers for delivering bioactive compounds into cells. The delivered compounds serve as drugs, cell-protectants, and other bioprobes.

Cell therapy: A chemical approach for the cryopreservation of cells

The preservation of cells for clinical applications requires completely biocompatible, non-toxic techniques. We are developing novel strategies for the intracellular delivery of well-known, readily available natural products that cannot permeate the cell membranes but exhibit superb cell-protecting capabilities if enter cells. Our approach involves the synthetic modification of these compounds into membrane-penetrating, non-toxic derivatives that can readily enter cells.

Selected Recent Publications

  • Sobiech, T. A.; Zhong Y. L.; Gong, B. Cavity-containing aromatic oligoamide foldamers and macrocycles: progress and future perspectives. Org. & Biomol. Chem. 2022, Advance Article. DOI: 10.1039/D2OB01467J
  • Shen, Y.; Fei, F.; Zhong, Y. L.; Fan, C. H.; Sun, J. L.; Hu, J.; Gong, B.; Czajkowsky, D.; Shao, Z. F. Controlling water flow through a synthetic nanopore with permeable cations. ACS Cent. Sci. 2021, 7, 2092-2098.
  • Zhong, Y. L.; McGrath, J. K.; Gong B. Dipropinonates of sugar alcohols as water-soluble, nontoxic cpas for dmso-free cell cryopreservation. ACS Biomater. Sci. Eng. 2021, 7, 4757-4762.
  • Oligo(5-amino-N-acylanthranilic acids): Amide bond formation without coupling reagent and folding upon binding anions. Cao, R. K.; Rossdeutcher, R. B.; Wu, X. X.; Gong, B. Org. Lett. 2020, 22, 7496–7501
  • Multiturn hollow helices: synthesis and folding of long aromatic oligoamides. Zhong, Y. L.; Kauffmann, B.; Xu, W. W.; Lu, Z. L.; Ferrand, Y.; Huc, I.; Zeng, X. C.; Liu, R.; Gong, B. Org. Lett. 2020, 22, 6838-6942.
  • Wang, Q. H.; Zhong, Y. L.; Miller, D. P.; Lu, X. X.; Tang, Q.; Lu, Z. L.; Zurek, E.; Liu, R.; Gong, B. Self-assembly and molecular recognition in water: Tubular stacking and guest-templated discrete assembly of water-soluble, shape-persistent macrocycles. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 2915-2924.
  • Zhang, Y. K.; Zhong, Y. L.; Connor, A. L.; Miller, D. P.; Cao, R. K.; Shen, J.; Song, B.; Baker, E. S.; Tang, Q.; Pulavarti, S. V. S. R. K.; Liu, R.; Q. W.; Lu, Z. L.; Szyperski, T.; Zeng, H. Q.; Li, X. P.; Smith, R. D.; Zurek, E.; Zhu, J.; Gong, B. Folding and assembly of short α, β, γ-hybrid peptides: Minor variations in sequence and drastic differences in higher-level structures. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 14239−14248.
  • Zhong, Y. L.; Yang, Y.; Shen, Y.; Xu, W. W.; Wang, Q. H.; Connor, A. L.; Zhou, X. B.; He, L.; Zeng, X. C.; Shao, Z. F.; Lu, Z. L.; Gong, B. Enforced tubular assembly of electronically different hexakis(m-phenylene ethynylene) macrocycles: persistent columnar stacking driven by multiple hydrogen bonding interactions. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 15950-15957.
  • Wei, X. X.; Zhang, G. Q.; Shen, Y.; Zhong, Y. L.; Liu, R.; Yang, N.; Al-mkhaizim, F. Y.; Kline, M.; He, L.; Li, M. F.; Lu, Z. L.; Shao, Z. F.; Gong, B. Persistent organic nanopores amenable to structural and functional tuning. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 2749–2754.
  • Li, X. W.; Li, B.; Chen, L.; Hu, J. C.; Wen, C. D. Y.; Zheng, Q. D.; Wu, L. X.; Zeng, H. Q.; Gong, B.; Yuan, L. H. Liquid-crystalline mesogens based on cyclo[6]aramides: distinctive phase transitions in response to macrocyclic host–guest interactions. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 11147–11152.
  • Wu, X. X.; Rui Liu, R.; Sathyamoorthy, B.; Yamato, K.; Liang, G. X.; Shen, L.; Ma, S. F.; Sukumaran, D. K.; Szyperski, T.; Fang, W. H.; He, L.; Chen, X. B.; Gong, B. Discrete stacking of aromatic oligoamide macrocycles. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 5879–5882.
  • Gong, B.; Shao, Z. F. Self-assembling organic nanotubes with precisely defined, sub-nanometer pores: formation and mass transport characteristics. Acc. Chem. Res. 2013, 46, 2856–2866.
  • Zhou, X. B.; Liu, G. D.; Yamato, K.; Shen, Y.; Cheng, R. X.; Wei, X. X.; Bai, W. L.; Gao, Y.; Li, H.; Liu, Y.; Liu, F. T.; Czajkowsky, D. M.; Wang, J. F.; Dabney, M. J.; Cai, Z. H.; Hu, J.; Bright, F. V.; He, L.; Zeng, X. C.; Shao, Z. F.; Gong, B. Self-assembling sub-nanometer pores with unusual mass-transporting properties. Nature Commun. 2012, 3, 949. DOI: 10.1038/ncomms1949.
  • Gong, B. Molecular Duplexes with encoded sequences and stabilities. Acc. Chem. Res. 2012, 45, 2077 - 2087.
  • Yang, Y. A.; Feng, W.; Hu, J. C.; Zou, S. L.; Gao, R. Z.; Yamato, K.; Kline, M.; Cai, Z. H.; Gao, Y.; Wang, Y. B.; Li, Y. B.; Yang, Y. L.; Yuan, L. H.; Zeng, X. C. Gong, B. Strong aggregation and directional assembly of aromatic oligoamide macrocycles. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011, 133, 18590-18593.
  • Ferguson, J. S.; Yamato, K.; Liu, R.; He, L.; Zeng, X. C.; Gong, B. One-pot formation of large macrocycles with modifiable peripheries and internal cavities. Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 3150-3154.
  • Feng, W.; Yamato, K.; Yang, L. Q.; Ferguson, J.; Zhong, L.J.; Zou, S. L.; Yuan, L.H.; Zeng, X. C.; Gong, B. Efficient kinetic macrocyclization. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 2629–2637.
  • Helsel, A. J.; Brown, A. L.; Yamato, K.; Feng, W.; Yuan, L. H.; Clements, A.; Harding, S. V.; Szabo, G.; Shao, Z. F.; Gong, B. Highly conducting transmembrane pores formed by aromatic oligoamide macrocycles. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 15784-15785.
  • Li, M. F.; Yamato, K.; Ferguson, J. S.; Singarapu, K. K.; Szyperski, T.; Gong, B. Sequence-specific, dynamic covalent crosslinking in aqueous media. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2008, 130, 491-500.
  • Gong, B. Hollow crescents, helices and macrocycles from enforced folding and folding-assisted macrocyclization. Acc. Chem. Res. 2008, 41, 1376-1386.