Dr Ivanhoe Leung
MChem, DPhil (Oxf)
Dr Ivanhoe Leung attained his undergraduate and doctorate degrees in Chemistry at the University of Oxford, as a member of St Peter’s College. His DPhil was completed in the laboratories of Profs Christopher J. Schofield FRS and Timothy D. W. Claridge, where he applied NMR spectroscopy to study oxygenase enzymes. After his DPhil he spent a further two years in the same groups as a postdoctoral research assistant. He has also spent time as a visitor in the laboratory of Dr Isabelle Landrieu at the Université Lille 1. Ivan joined the University of Auckland September 2014, where he is currently Senior Lecturer.
For more information about Ivan and his research team, please visit his research group website.
Research | Current
The research of the Leung Research Group lies broadly at the interface between chemistry and biology. We aim to utilise our knowledge in protein structure and enzyme mechanism to help solve some of the world’s most urgent challenges. Our research is multidisciplinary, drawing on the fields of chemistry, biochemistry, biophysical chemistry, enzymology, molecular biology and structural biology. We collaborate closely with a number of research groups from the Schools of Chemical and Biological Sciences at the University of Auckland, as well as colleagues in New Zealand and overseas.
Theme 1: Understanding disease mechanisms
Genetic disorders are associated with many serious and debilitating diseases. Our work aims to understand how genetic mutations may influence the structure and function of proteins and enzymes, establishing the relationship between molecular dysfunctions/dysregulations and the diseases that these mutations may cause.
● Drug Discov. Today 2019, 24. 1295–1303.
Theme 2: Improving treatments and therapies
Infectious disease and antibiotic resistance are some of the biggest health challenges that the world are facing today. Our research tackles the underlying mechanisms that are important for the survival of bacteria, enabling new inhibition targets for the development of new antibiotic agents.
● Med. Chem. Commun. 2017, 8, 2155–2163.
Cancer is amongst the leading causes of death worldwide. We study molecular chaperones and DNA repair enzymes with an aim to develop new anti-cancer agents and chemosensitizers to overcome resistance and enhancing the effect of chemotherapy treatments.
● Bioorg. Med. Chem. Lett. 2017, 27, 277–281.
● Molecules 2018, 23, 2468.
Theme 3: Improving agriculture to feed the world
Despite soaring food cost and the growing world population, millions of tonnes of fresh produce are thrown out every year. We target plant enzymes with an aim to develop new chemical agents to regulate and control the ripening and browning processes of fruits and vegetables in order to reduce unnecessary waste of fresh produce.
● ChemistrySelect 2017, 2, 10435–10441.
Theme 4: Improving methodologies in biochemical research
Protein-ligand interactions are fundamental to almost all biological processes in living organisms. Our laboratory specialises in the application of biophysical techniques, in particular NMR spectroscopy, to measure and quantify such interactions.
● Sci. Rep. 2017, 7, 43727.
Teaching | Current
● CHEM 100 Molecules that Changed the World
● CHEM 260 Introduction to Green Chemistry
● CHEM 350 Topics in Chemistry (Course Coordinator)
● CHEM 360 Contemporary Green Chemistry
● CHEM 390 Medicinal Chemistry
● CHEM 738 Biomolecular Chemistry (Course Coordinator)
● CHEM 750 Advanced Topics in Chemistry
● PHARMACY 213 Pharmacy 1 (Guest Lecturer)
For more detailed information about potential research projects please contact Dr Leung by email. You will have the opportunity to conduct research at the interface between chemistry and biology, and to receive training in molecular biology, enzymology and biophysical chemistry.
● 2019 JSPS HOPE Fellow
● 2019 The University of Auckland Early Career Research Excellence Award
● Scientific Reports, Editorial Board Member
● The 12th Australian and New Zealand Society for Magnetic Resonance (ANZMAG) conference, Scientific Committee
● Green Chemistry New Zealand 2019, Organising Committee (Co-Chair)
● New Zealand Institute of Chemistry (NZIC) Auckland Branch, Chair
● The New Zealand Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (NZSBMB), Auckland Representative
The University of Auckland
● SCS Health and Safety Committee, Academic Coordinator
● Centre for Green Chemical Science, Co-Deputy Director
● School Executive Committee, Member
Areas of expertise
● Biological and organic NMR spectroscopy
● Protein-ligand interactions
● Inhibitor discovery
● Mechanistic enzymology
● Recombinant protein production and purification
Selected publications and creative works (Research Outputs)
- Li, Y., McLarin, M. A., Middleditch, M. J., Morrow, S. J., Kilmartin, P. A., & Leung, I. K. H. (2019). An approach to recombinantly produce mature grape polyphenol oxidase. Biochimie, 165, 40-47. 10.1016/j.biochi.2019.07.002
- Correddu, D., Montaño López JDJ, Vadakkedath, P. G., Lai, A., Pernes, J. I., Watson, P. R., & Leung, I. K. H. (2019). An improved method for the heterologous production of soluble human ribosomal proteins in Escherichia coli. Scientific reports, 9 (1)10.1038/s41598-019-45323-8
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Danilo Correddu
- Correddu, D., & Leung, I. K. H. (2019). Targeting mRNA translation in Parkinson's disease. Drug discovery today, 24 (6), 1295-1303. 10.1016/j.drudis.2019.04.003
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Danilo Correddu
- Zakharenko, A. L., Luzina, O. A., Sokolov, D. N., Kaledin, V. I., Nikolin, V. P., Popova, N. A., ... Zafar, A. (2019). Novel tyrosyl-DNA phosphodiesterase 1 inhibitors enhance the therapeutic impact of topoteсan on in vivo tumor models. European journal of medicinal chemistry, 161, 581-593. 10.1016/j.ejmech.2018.10.055
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Ayesha Zafar, Euphemia Leung, Jinal Patel
- Huang, R., & Leung, I. K. H. (2019). Protein-Small Molecule Interactions by WaterLOGSY. (pp. 477-500). 10.1016/bs.mie.2018.08.020
- Xiang, L., Melton, L. D., & Leung, I. K. H. (2019). Interactions of β-Lactoglobulin With Small Molecules. In P. Varelis, L. Melton, F. Shahidi (Eds.) Encyclopedia of Food Chemistry (pp. 560-565). Elsevier. 10.1016/B978-0-08-100596-5.21488-1
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Laurence Melton
- Son, S. J., Huang, R., Squire, C. J., & Leung, I. K. H. (2019). MCR-1: a promising target for structure-based design of inhibitors to tackle polymyxin resistance. Drug discovery today, 24 (1), 206-216. 10.1016/j.drudis.2018.07.004
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Renjie Huang, Christopher Squire
- Mozhaitsev, E. S., Zakharenko, A. L., Suslov, E. V., Korchagina, D. V., Zakharova, O. D., Vasil'eva IA, ... Chand, R. (2018). Novel Inhibitors of DNA Repair Enzyme TDP1 Combining Monoterpenoid and Adamantane Fragments. Anti-cancer agents in medicinal chemistry10.2174/1871520619666181207094243
Other University of Auckland co-authors: Jinal Patel