Huiwang Ai

Ai, Huiwang

Primary Appointment

Associate Professor, Molecular Physiology and Biological Physics


  • BS, Chemistry, Tsinghua University
  • PhD, Chemical Biology, University of Alberta
  • Postdoc, Chemical Biology, The Scripps Research Institute

Contact Information

1340 Jefferson Park Ave
Pinn Hall Rm. 4020, PO Box 800736
Charlottesville, VA 22908
Telephone: 434-924-5665

Research Disciplines

Biochemistry, Biology, Biophysics, Biotechnology, Cancer Biology, Cell and Developmental Biology, Chemistry, Molecular Biology, Molecular Pharmacology, Neuroscience, Physiology, Translational Science

Research Interests

Spatiotemporal Regulation of Biological Signaling; Protein Engineering for Imaging, Diagnostics, and Therapeutics

Research Description

Our lab develops novel molecular probes to peer into cells and brains to understand their communications. We use a collection of innovative techniques, such as protein engineering, fluorescence and bioluminescence imaging, synthetic chemistry, and mass spectrometry, to dissect signaling pathways involving redox-active molecules, neurotransmitters, and protein post-translational modifications (PTMs). Our immediate goal is to monitor biological signaling in real time with excellent spatial resolution and molecular precision in physiologically relevant environments. Our long-term goal is to apply these new probes to live cells and rodent models to understand communications relevant to toxicity of chemicals, cancer development and progression, cognition and behavior, and neurological disorders. Moreover, these basic research efforts are actively being translated to develop novel protein-based diagnostics and therapeutics.

List of Publications in Pubmed

Selected Publications