Dr Linfeng Huang (黃林峰博士)

PhD (The Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre, UEA)

Assistant Professor

Dr Linfeng Huang

Contact Information

Office: 1A-210, 2/F, Block 1,
To Yuen Building
Phone: +852 3442-4828
Fax: +852 3442-0549
Email: linfeng.huang@cityu.edu.hk
Web: Personal Homepage
CityU Scholars

Research Interests

  • RNAi biology
  • RNAi technology and therapeutics
  • Antisense RNA
  • Disease gene discovery

Dr Huang received his Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Biological Sciences at China Agricultural University in Beijing. After graduation in 2003, he did a short academic visit at Centre for Ecology and Hydrology-Oxford in UK before pursuing his PhD with Prof. Sir David Baulcombe at the Sainsbury Laboratory, John Innes Centre in UK. He obtained his PhD which was registered at University of East Anglia in 2009. He then did his postdoctoral training with Prof. Judy Lieberman at Boston Children’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School in USA before joining the faculty of the Department of Biomedical Sciences at CityU in Aug, 2014.

Dr Huang has made a few highly significant contributions to the RNA interference (RNAi) field. During his PhD, he studied the molecular mechanism of transcription gene silencing in plants. Using biochemical and genetic approaches, he discovered the subunit structure and associated factors of a novel DNA-dependent RNA polymerase complex, Pol V, which is essential for transcriptional gene silencing in plants (Huang et al, Nat Struct Mol Biol, 2009). More recently he discovered a species of bacterial small RNAs which is similar to eukaryotic small interfering RNA (siRNA). Those bacterial siRNA-like small RNAs, named pro-siRNAs (for prokaryotic siRNAs), were stabilized by ectopic expression of a plant viral siRNA binding protein, p19, in bacteria. Based on this discovery, he co-invented a technology of producing gene specific ‘recombinant’ pro-siRNAs, which is the world’s first cell-based method for producing siRNAs (Huang et al, Nat Biotechnol, 2013; www.pro-siRNA.com).

Research Interests

Dr Huang is passionate about pursuing fundamental questions in RNA biology and firmly believes such knowledge can be exploited to create powerful RNA-based therapeutics.

His primary research interests include developing technologies for RNAi and understanding gene regulation mechanisms by RNA, especially antisense RNA, in bacteria and mammalian cells. He is developing pro-siRNA-based tools for RNAi technology and therapeutics. His lab has recently established bioprocess-based method for large scale production of pro-siRNAs (Kaur et al, Biotechnol Bioeng, 2018). He has also invented tools for performing genome-wide RNAi screen using the pro-siRNA technology, taking advantage of an in-house high content screen platform. The pro-siRNA screen technology has been applied to discover important genes involved in human diseases including cancer and infectious diseases.

His lab studies a few model organisms from bacteria to mammalian systems and utilizes a wide range of techniques from biochemical approaches to high-throughput technology using various state-of-the-art instruments.

Position Availability

PhD positions are available. BSc or MSc students with great passion for applied and basic RNA biology and biotechnology are encouraged to apply. Please contact Dr Huang directly.


  • Linfeng Huang*, Padraig Deighan, Jingmin Jing, Yingxue Li, Elaine Lee, Shirley S. Mo, Heather Hoover, Sahar Abubucker, Nancy Finkel, Larry McReynolds, Ann Hochschild, & Judy Lieberman*, Tombusvirus p19 captures RNase III-cleaved double-stranded RNAs formed by overlapping sense and antisense transcripts in E. coli, posted on bioRxiv, Jan 2019. DOI: 10.1101/510842
  • Guneet Kaur, Hung-chi Cheung, Wei Xu, Jun Vic Wong, For Fan Chan, Yingxue Li, Larry McReynolds, and Linfeng Huang*, Milligram scale production of potent recombinant small interfering RNAs in Escherichia coli, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Jun 2018, doi: 10.1002/bit.26740
  • Zhen Xu, Wei Wang, Yutian Ren, Wenchong Zhang, Peilin Fang, Linfeng Huang, Xin Wang, and Peng Shi, Regeneration of Cortical Tissue from Brain Injury by Implantation of Defined Molecular Gradient of Semaphorin 3A, Biomaterials, Mar 2018, 157, 125-135
  • Linfeng Huang & Judy Lieberman, Production of highly potent recombinant siRNAs in Escherichia coli, Nature Protocols, Dec 2013, 8(12), 2325-2336 (co-corresponding author)
  • Linfeng Huang, Jingmin Jin, Padraig Deighan, Evgeny Kiner, Larry McReynolds, Judy Lieberman, Efficient and specific gene knockdown by small interfering RNAs produced in bacteria, Nature Biotechnology, Apr 2013, 31, 350–356 (commented in “Renewable RNAi” of the same issue; highlighted in SciBX, Mar 2013, 6(11))
  • Thien Ho, Liang Wang, Linfeng Huang, Zhigang Li, Denise W. Pallett, Tamas Dalmay, Kazusato Ohshima, John A. Walsh, Hui Wang, Nucleotide bias of DCL and AGO in plant anti-virus gene silencing, Protein & Cell, Sep 2010, 1(9), 847-858
  • Linfeng Huang, Alexandra M. E. Jones, Iain Searle, Kanu Patel, Hannes Vogler, Nina C Hubner & David C Baulcombe, An atypical RNA polymerase involved in RNA silencing shares small subunits with RNA polymerase II, Nature Structural & Molecular Biology, Jan 2009, 16(1), 91-93
  • H. Wang, L. F.  Huang and J. I. Cooper, Analyses on mutation patterns, detection of population bottlenecks, and suggestion of deleterious-compensatory evolution among members of the genus Potyvirus, Archives of Virology, Aug 2006, 151(8):1625-33
  • Wei E. Huang, Linfeng Huang, Martin Naylor, John P. Carr, Yanhong Li, Andrew C. Singer, Andrew S. Whiteley, and Hui Wang, Quantitative in situ assay of salicylic acid in tobacco leaves using genetically modified Acinetobacter sp. ADP1 biosensor, The Plant Journal, Jun 2006, 46(6):1073-1083
  • D. W. Pallett, L. Huang, J. I. Cooper, H. Wang, Within-population variation in hybridisation and transgene transfer between wild Brassica rapa and Brassica napus, Annals of Applied Biology, Apr 2006, 148(2):147-155
  • L. F. Huang, Naylor, M., Pallett, D.W., Reeves, J., Cooper, J.I., and Wang, H, The complete genome sequence, organization and affinities of carrot red leaf virus, Archives of Virology, Sep 2005, 150(9):1845-55
  • Wei E. Huang, Hui Wang, Hongjun Zheng, Linfeng Huang, Andrew C. Singer, Ian Thompson, Andrew S. Whiteley, Chromosomally located gene fusions constructed in Acinetobacter sp. ADP1 for environmental detection of salicylate, Environmental Microbiology, Sep 2005, 7(9):1339-48
  • H. Zhou, H. Wang, L. F. Huang, M. Naylor, and P. Clifford, Heterogeneity in codon usages of Sobemovirus genes, Archives of Virology, Aug 2005, 150(8):1591-605