Dr. YUAN Shuofeng


Assistant Professor

Email: yuansf@hku.hk

ORCID : https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7996-1119

HKU Scholars Hub: https://hub.hku.hk/cris/rp/rp02640


By focusing on small-molecule lead compounds that can be delivered orally and are cheaper and easier for patients to access, Dr. Yuan’s efforts aim to help ensure the world is prepared to quickly develop and equitably deploy effective, accessible antiviral treatments when a pandemic threat emerges. He and colleagues discovered novel druggable factors such as sterol regulatory-element binding proteins (SREBPs, Nature Communications) and Adaptor Related Protein Complex 2 Subunit Mu 1 (AP2M1, Science Advances) for broad-spectrum antiviral therapy. Dr. Yuan has filed >10 patents with novel antivirals for emerging infectious diseases including Influenza, Zika and COVID-19. He is recognized as the worldwide “Highly Cited Researchers” (Clarivate) since 2021 and published >50 first/co-first/corresponding-authored original research articles in the best journals including Nature and Science. Dr. Yuan recently received the MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 (Asia Pacific) and Excellent Young Scientists Fund (Hong Kong and Macao) under China NSFC.

research focus

  1. Virus-triggered host metabolic reprogramming.
  2. Druggable pocketome of viral proteins.

Selected publications

  1. Yuan S*, Yin X*, Meng X*, Chan JF*, Ye ZW*, Riva L, Pache L, Chan CC, Lai PM, Chan CC, Poon VK, Lee AC, Matsunaga N, Pu Y, Yuen CK, Cao J, Liang R, Tang K, Sheng L, Du Y, Xu W, Lau CY, Sit KY, Au WK, Wang R, Zhang YY, Tang YD, Clausen TM, Pihl J, Oh J, Sze KH, Zhang AJ, Chu H, Kok KH, Wang D, Cai XH, Esko JD, Hung IF, Li RA, Chen H, Sun H, Jin DY, Sun R#, Chanda SK#, Yuen KY#. Clofazimine broadly inhibits coronaviruses including SARS-CoV-2. Nature. 2021 May;593(7859):418-423.
  2. Riva L*, Yuan S* (co-first author), Yin X, Martin-Sancho L, Matsunaga N, Pache L, Burgstaller-Muehlbacher S, De Jesus PD, Teriete P, Hull MV, Chang MW, Chan JF, Cao J, Poon VK, Herbert KM, Cheng K, Nguyen TH, Rubanov A, Pu Y, Nguyen C, Choi A, Rathnasinghe R, Schotsaert M, Miorin L, Dejosez M, Zwaka TP, Sit KY, Martinez-Sobrido L, Liu WC, White KM, Chapman ME, Lendy EK, Glynne RJ, Albrecht R, Ruppin E, Mesecar AD, Johnson JR, Benner C, Sun R, Schultz PG, Su AI, García-Sastre A, Chatterjee AK#, Yuen KY#, Chanda SK#. Discovery of SARS-CoV-2 antiviral drugs through large-scale compound repurposing. Nature. 2020 Oct;586(7827):113-119.
  3. Yuan S*, Ye ZW*, Liang R*, Tang K*, Zhang AJ*, Lu G*, Ong CP*, Man Poon VK, Chan CC, Mok BW, Qin Z, Xie Y, Chu AW, Chan WM, Ip JD, Sun H, Tsang JO, Yuen TT, Chik KK, Chan CC, Cai JP, Luo C, Lu L, Yip CC, Chu H, To KK, Chen H, Jin DY, Yuen KY, Chan JF. Pathogenicity, transmissibility, and fitness of SARS-CoV-2 Omicron in Syrian hamsters. Science. 2022 Jun 23: eabn8939.
  4. Chan JF*, Yuan S* (co-first author), Kok KH*, To KK*, Chu H*, Yang J, Xing F, Liu J, Yip CC, Poon RW, Tsoi HW, Lo SK, Chan KH, Poon VK, Chan WM, Ip JD, Cai JP, Cheng VC, Chen H, Hui CK, Yuen KY. A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster. Lancet. 2020 Jan 24. pii: S0140-6736(20)30154-9.
  5. Yuan S*, Wang R*, Chan JF*, Zhang AJ, Cheng T, Chik KK, Ye ZW, Wang S, Lee AC, Jin L, Li H, Jin DY, Yuen KY#, Sun H#. Metallodrug ranitidine bismuth citrate suppresses SARS-CoV-2 replication and relieves virus-associated pneumonia in Syrian hamsters. Nat Microbiol. 2020 Nov;5(11):1439-1448.
  6. Identification of the SARS-unique domain of SARS-CoV-2 as an antiviral target. Qin B, Li Z, Tang K, Wang T, Xie Y, Aumonier S, Wang M, Yuan S# (co-corresponding author), Cui S#. Nat Commun. 2023 Jul 6;14(1):3999.
  7. Neutralisation of SARS-CoV-2 by monoclonal antibody through dual targeting powder formulation. Seow HC, Cai JP, Pan HW, Luo C, Wen K, Situ J, Wang K, Cao H, Leung SWS, Yuan S# (co-corresponding author), Lam JKW#. J Control Release. 2023 Jun;358:128-141.
  8. Li M, Ye ZW, Tang K, Guo L, Bi W, Zhang Y, Tang YD, Rong G, Sawan M, Yin X, Sun R, Yuan S# (co-corresponding author), Dang B#. Enhanced trimeric ACE2 exhibits potent prophylactic and therapeutic efficacy against the SARS-CoV-2 Delta and Omicron variants in vivo. Cell Res. 2022 Apr 13:1-4.
  9. Guo X, Cao J, Cai JP, Wu J, Huang J, Asthana P, Wong SKK, Ye ZW, Gurung S, Zhang Y, Wang S, Wang Z, Ge X, Kwan HY, Lyu A, Chan KM, Wong N, Huang J, Zhou Z, Bian ZX, Yuan S# (co-corresponding author), Wong HLX#. Control of SARS-CoV-2 infection by MT1-MMP-mediated shedding of ACE2. Nat Commun. 2022 Dec 23;13(1):7907.
  10.  Wang R, Chan JF, Wang S, Li H, Zhao J, Ip TK, Zuo Z, Yuen KY, Yuan S# (co-corresponding author), Sun H#. Orally administered bismuth drug together with N-acetyl cysteine as a broad-spectrum anti-coronavirus cocktail therapy. Chem Sci. 2021 Dec 3;13(8):2238-2248.

honors & awards

  1. Global ‘Highly Cited Researchers’ (Clarivate Analytics, 2021&2022&2023).
  2. MIT Technology Review Innovators Under 35 Asia Pacific (2023)
  3. Excellent Young Scientists Fund (Hong Kong and Macao) (China NSFC, 2023)
  4. Gold Medal (48th International Exhibition of Inventions of Geneva, 2023)
  5. Dalton Horizon Prize (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2023)
  6. Young Investigator Award (Pathogens Journal, 2023)
  7. Young Innovator Award (HKU, 2023)
  8. Health and Medical Research Fund Research Fellowship Scheme (HKSAR, 2022)
  9. Research Output Prize (HKU, 2021&2022)
  10. Top 10 Scientific Discoveries (Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, 2021)

Key Grant Records

  1. Developmental Research Project (1U19AI171443-01-5-55087, NIH of USA)
  2. NSFC of China/RGC Joint Research Scheme (N_HKU767/22, RGC of HKSAR)
  3. Mainland-Hong Kong Joint Funding Scheme (MHP/128/22, ITC of HKSAR)
  4. Germany/Hong Kong Joint Research Scheme (G-HKU706/23, RGC of HKSAR)
  5. General Research Fund, Health and Medical Research Fund etc. 

Media Coverage:

join our team

We welcome motivated individuals to join us as Research Assistant, MPhil, PhD students or Postdoc Fellow. Interested candidates please send a cover letter detailing your research interests and CV to Dr. Yuan (yuansf@hku.hk).