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He Dong

He Dong

Associate Professor

Office: 169 Science & Engineering Innovation & Research Building (SEIR)
Phone:817 272 5421
Mentis Profile

B.S. Tsinghua University, 1999
M.S. Tsinghua University, 2002
Ph.D. Rice University, 2008
Post Doctorate: 
Emory University, 2008-2009
University of California, Berkeley, 2009-2012

Research Interests:

De novo peptide and protein mimetic design
Supramolecular chemistry
Antimicrobial and cell penetrating peptide design and self-assembly
Nanomaterials for drug and gene delivery
Hydrogel biomaterials and tissue engineering

Current Research:

Our research program lies at the interface of chemistry, materials science and biology with an emphasis on molecular self-assembly and supramolecular chemistry of soft matter nanomaterials. Current research is primarily focused on the supramolecular assemblies based on peptides, proteins and polymers. The goal is to fundamentally understand specific molecular interactions involved in natural proteins and utilize the knowledge acquired to guide the synthesis and assembly of manmade materials as protein mimics. These materials exhibited well-defined hierarchical structures and various built-in biological functions to suit a wide range of applications in drug and gene delivery, antimicrobial therapy and tissue engineering. While our research emphasis is on soft matter assembly, we also seek to integrate the study of inorganic colloidal nanoparticles into our program to broaden the utility of these hybrid materials.



He Dong jointed UT Arlington in Jan 2018 as an Associate Professor. Prior to this position, she was as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Science at Clarkson University (2012-2017). He Dong obtained a PhD degree in organic chemistry at Rice University in 2008 where she focused on the self-assembly of nanostructured peptides into 3-D scaffolds for tissue regeneration. From 2008-2009, she was a postdoctoral researcher in Prof. Elliot Chaikof lab at Emory University focusing on anti-inflammatory peptide drug development. She continued her postdoctoral research from 2009 to 2012 in Prof. Ting Xu group at the University of California, Berkeley where she developed self-assembled hybrid peptide-polymer conjugates as long-circulating nanocarriers for cancer therapy.

He Dong’s research spans from chemistry, materials science to biomedical sciences. Currently her primary research interests lie in the construction of biomaterials based on the self-assembly of peptides/proteins and block-copolymers for a wide range of biomedical applications including drug delivery, gene/siRNA delivery, vaccine delivery and antimicrobial therapy development. He Dong has been actively involved in various educational and outreach activities by mentoring local high school students and providing opportunities for summer internship to local high school teachers. She is also an active participant to disseminate research discovery and knowledge to local community people through public lectures and discussions. He Dong recently received a NSF Faculty Early Career Award and is currently a member of the American Chemical Society, American Physical Society, Materials Research Society and biomedical Science Society.

Publications (since 2013):

  1. Su Yang, He Dong*, “Modular Design and Self-assembly of Multidomain Peptides Towards Cytocompatible Supramolecular Cell Penetrating Nanofibers”, RSC Advances, 2020, in press.
  2. Weike Chen, Shuxin Li, John Lang,Yan Chang, Zui Pan, Peter Kroll, Xiankai Sun, Liping Tang, He Dong*, “Combined Tumor Environment Triggered Self-Assembling Peptide Nanofibers and Inducible Multivalent Ligand Display for Cancer Cell Targeting with Enhanced Sensitivity and Specificity”, Small, 2020, in press.
  3. Xiushuang Yuan, Linhai Jiang, Weike Chen, Bo Song, Wei Chen, Xiaobing Zuo, Xiankai Sun, Xiaopeng Li, Kent Kirshenbaum, Shizhong Luo, He Dong*, “Self-assembly of Chimeric Peptides Toward Molecularly Defined Hexamers with Controlled Multivalent Ligand Presentation”, Chemical Communications, 2020 56, 7128-71731.
  4. He Dong, ““Editorial to the Themed Issue of Recent Advances in Self-assembled Peptides”, Molecules, 2019, 24, 3089-3092.
  5. Weike Chen, Su Yang, Shuxin Li, John C. Lang, Chuanbin Mao, Peter Kroll, Liping Tang, He Dong*, “Self-Assembled Peptide Nanofibers Display Natural Antimicrobial Peptides to Selectively Kill Bacteria without Compromising Cytocompatibility”, ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 2019, 11, 28681-28689.
  6. Weike Chen, Shuxin Li, Paul Renick, Su Yang, Nikhil Pandy, Cara Boutte, Kytai T. Nguyen, Liping Tang*, and He Dong*, “Bacterial Acidity-Triggered Antimicrobial Activity of Self-assembling Peptide Nanofibers”, Journal of Materials Chemistry B, 2019, 7, 2915-2919.
  7. Dawei Xu, Louise DeRidder, Brendan Elmore, He Dong*, “Self-assembly of Filamentous Cell Penetrating Peptides for Gene Delivery”, Methods in Molecular Biology2018, 1777, 271-281.
  8. Dawei Xu, Weike Chen, Yuto J. Tobin-Miyaji, Carolyn Sturge, Su Yang, Brendan Elmore, Anju, Singh, Christine Pybus, David Greenberg, Timothy J. Sellati*, Wei Qiang*, He Dong*, “Fabrication and Microscopic and Spectroscopic Characterization of Cytocompatible Self-Assembling Antimicrobial Nanofibers”, ACS Infectious Diseases, 2018, 4, 1327-1335.
  9. Su Yang, Dawei Xu, He Dong*, “Design and Fabrication of Reduction-Sensitive Cell Penetrating Nanofibers For Enhanced Drug Efficacy”, Journal of Materials Chemistry B2018, 6, 7179-7184. (2018 Emerging Investigators)
  10. Linhai Jiang, Su Yang, Reidar Lund, He Dong*, “Shape-specific Nanostructured Protein Mimics From de novo Designed Chimeric Peptides”, Biomaterials Science, 2018, 6, 272-279. (Featured on journal front cover)
  11. Dawei Xu, Damien S. K. Samways, He Dong*, “Self-assembling Peptides for Optimal Cell Uptake and Therapeutic Delivery”, Bioactive Materials, 2017, 2, 260-268.
  12. Xi-Rui Zhou, Yimeng Cao, Qiang Zhang, Xi-Bo Tian, He Dong, Long Chen, Shi-Zhong Luo, “Self-assembly Nanostructure Controlled Sustained Release, Activity and Stability of Peptide Drugs”, International Journal of Pharmaceutics., 2017, 528, 723-731.
  13. JooChuan Ang, Benson T. Jung, He Dong, Ting Xu, “Kinetic Pathway of 3-Helix Micelle Formation”, Biomacromolecules, 2017, 18, 976-984.
  14. Linhai Jiang, Dawei Xu, Ling Liu, Reidar Lund*, He Dong*, “Protein-like Nanoparticles Based on Orthogonal Self-assembly of Chimeric Peptides”, Small, 2016, 12, 5126-5131.
  15. Dawei Xu, Linhai Jiang, Louis DeRidder, Brendan Elmore,Maurish Bukhari, Qiang Wei, Damien S. K. Samways*, He Dong*, Membrane Activity of a Supramolecular Peptide-based Chemotherapeutic Enhancer, Molecular Biosystems, 2016, 12, 2695-2699.
  16. De Dennis A. Delgado, Katelynne Doherty, Qinghui Cheng, Hyeongeun Kim, Dawei Xu, He Dong, Christof Grewer and Wei Qiang,Distinct membrane disruption pathways induced by the 40-resdiue -amyloid peptides, Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2016, 291, 12233-12244.
  17. Dawei Xu, Qian Ran, Yang Xiang, Fadi Bou-Abdallah, Reidar Lund, Zhongjun Li*, He Dong*, Toward Hemocompatible Self-assembling Antimicrobial Nanofibers: Understanding the Synergistic Effect of Supramolecular Structure and PEGylation on Hemocompatibility, RSC Advances, 2016, 6, 15911-15919.
  18. Xiaobo Liu, Mouna Marrakchi, Dawei Xu, He Dong*, Silvana Andreescu*, Biosensors Based on Modularly Designed Synthetic Peptides for Recognition, Detection and Live/Dead Differentiation of Pathogenic Bacteria, Biosensors and Bioelectronics, 2016, 80, 9-16.
  19. Linhai Jiang, Dawei Xu, Timothy Sellati, He Dong*, “Self-Assembly of Cationic Multidomain Peptide Hydrogels: Supramolecular Nanostructure and Rheological Property Dictate Antimicrobial Activity”, Nanoscale, 2015, 7, 19160-19169.
  20. Dawei Xu, Derek Dustin, Linhai Jiang, Damien, S. K. Samways, He Dong*, “Designed Filamentous Cell Penetrating Peptides: Probing Supramolecular Structure-Dependent Membrane Activity and Transfection Efficiency”, Chemical Communications, 2015, 51, 11757-11760. (Featured on journal front cover)
  21. He Dong, Reider Lund, Ting Xu, “Micelle Stabilization via Entropic Repulsion: Balance of Force Directionality and Geometric Packing of Subunit”, Biomacromolecules, 2015, 16, 743-747.
  22. Dawei Xu, Linhai, Jiang, Anju Singh, Miao Yang, Derek Dustin, Ling, Liu, Reidar Lund, Timothy Sellati, He Dong*, “Designed Supramolecular Filamentous Peptides: Balance of Nanostructure, Cytotoxicity and Antimicrobial Activity”, Chemical Communications, 2015, 51, 1289-1292.
  23. Nikhil Dube, Jai Seo, He Dong, Jessica Shu, Reidar Lund, Lisa Mahakian, Katherine Ferrara, Ting Xu, “Effect of Core Composition of 3-Helix Micelles on Cargo Encapsulation Stability and Pharmacokinetics”, Biomacromolecules, 2014, 15, 2963-2970.
  24. Geng Li, Jun Wu, Xu Qin, Jianhui Zhu, Kodandaraman Viswanathan, He Dong, P. Somasundaran, Richard A. Gross, “Chemo-enzymatic Routes to Lipopeptides and Their Colloidal Properties”, Langmuir, 2014, 30, 6889-6896.
  25. Miao Yang, Dawei Xu, Linhai Jiang, Lin Zhang, Derek Dustin, Reidar Lund, Ling Liu, He Dong*, Filamentous Supramolecular Peptide-Drug Conjugates as Highly Efficient Drug Delivery Vehicles, Chemical Communications, 2014, 50, 4827-3832.
  26. Bin Cao, Linlin Li, Haiyan Wu, Qiong Tang, Bingbing Sun, He Dong, Jiang Zhe, Gang Cheng, Zwitteration of Dextran: A Facile Route to Integrate Antifouling, Switchability and Optical Transparency into Natural Polymers, Chemical Communications, 2014, 50, 3234-3237.
  27. Nikhil Dube, Jessica Y. Shu, He Dong, Jai W. Seo, Elizabeth Ingham, Azadeh Kheirolomoom, Pin-Yuan Chen, John Forsayeth, Krystof Bankiewicz, Katherine W. Ferrara, Ting Xu, Evaluation of DOX-Loaded 3-Helix Micelles as Nanocarriers, Biomacromolecules, 2013, 14 (10), 3697–3705.



2017 National Science Foundation Early Career Award

2008 John L. Margrave Outstanding Graduate Thesis Award

2008 Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Graduate Students Abroad