Dr Yuning Hong

Dr Yuning Hong

Senior Lecturer

College of Science, Health and Engineering

School of Molecular Sciences

Department of Chemistry and Physics

Room 623, LIMS1, Melbourne (Bundoora)

Research centres

La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science





Membership of professional associations

MRACI; American Chemical Society; Australian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology; Australian Society for Biophysics

Area of study


Brief profile

Dr Yuning Hong received her BSc in Applied Chemistry from Sun Yat-sen University in 2006. She then obtained her PhD in 2011 under Prof Ben Zhong Tang at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). After graduation, she moved to US to take up a postdoctoral position in Biophysical Chemistry in Prof Ekaterina V. Pletneva’s group at Dartmouth College. She returned to HKUST in September 2012 as a Research Assistant Professor and Junior Research Fellow of Institute for Advanced Study, before moving to University of Melbourne as a McKenzie Fellow in May 2014. She joined La Trobe Institute for Molecular Science as  Bruce Stone Fellow since September 2016 to set up her own research group. She was recently awarded a 3-year ARC DECRA commenced in 2017. Her research is mainly focused on the development of novel luminescent materials with aggregation-induced emission feature and exploration of their applications such as recognition of important biological substances, monitoring of change processes of biomolecules, and bio-imaging.

Research specialisation

- Analytical and environmental chemistry

- Neurodegenerative diseases

- Organic, Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry

Teaching units

CHE2MOC Medicinal and Organic Chemistry

Recent publications

For a complete list of publications see: Google Scholar, Researcher ID, Scopus, or ORCiD ID: 0000-0002-8085-1651


Aggregation induced emission of fluorescent bioprobes and methods of using the same: US Patent 9,618,453.

Photostable AIE luminogens for specific mitochondrial imaging and its method of manufacturing thereof: US Patent 9,315,465.

Water-soluble AIE luminogens for monitoring and retardation of fibrillation of amyloid proteins: US Patent 9,279,806.

Aggregation Induced Emission Active Cytophilic Fluorescent Bioprobes for Long-Term Cell Tracking: US Patent 9,409,928.

Aggregation-induced emission luminogens for metal ion detection: US Patent 9,228,949.

Water-soluble AIE luminogens for monitoring and retardation of fibrillation of insulins: US Patent 8,679,738.

Fluorescent water-soluble conjugated polyene compounds that exhibit aggregation induced emission and methods of making and using same: US Patent 8,129,111.

Fluorescent water-soluble conjugated polyene compounds that exhibit aggregation induced emission and methods of making and using same: US Patent 7,939,613.


Chen MZ, Moily NS, Bridgford JL, Wood RJ, Radwan M, Smith TA, Song Z, Tang BZ, Tilley L, Xu X, Reid GE, Pouladi MA, Hong Y* and Hatters D* (2017) A thiol probe for measuring unfolded protein load and proteostasis in cells, Nat Commun., 8: 474.

Kumar M, Hong Y*, Thorn DC, Ecroyd H, and Carver JA* (2017) Monitoring early-stage protein aggregation by an aggregation-induced emission fluorogen, Anal Chem., 89(17): 9322-29.

Soleimaninejad H, Chen MZ, Lou X, Smith TA* and Hong Y* (2017) Measuring macromolecular crowding in cells through fluorescence anisotropy imaging with an AIE fluorogen, Chem Commun., 53(19): 2874-77.

Gao M, Hong Y, Chen B, Wang Y, Zhou W, Wong WWH, Smith TA, and Zhao Z (2017) AIE conjugated polyelectrolytes based on tetraphenylethene for efficient fluorescence imaging and lifetime imaging of living cells, Polym Chem, 8(26): 3862-6, doi: 10.1039/C7PY00564D.

Gan S, Zhou J, Smith TA, Su H, Luo W, Hong Y, Zhao Z and Tang BZ (2017) New AIEgens with delayed fluorescence for fluorescence imaging and fluorescence lifetime imaging of living cells, Mater Chem Front., 1, 2554-8.

Liu M, Onchaiya S, Tan LYF, Haghighatbin MA, Luu T, Owyong TC, Hushiarian R, Hogan CF, Smith TA, Hong Y* (2017) 9-Vinylanthracene Based Fluorogens: Synthesis, Structure-Property Relationships and Applications, Molecules, 22(12): 2148. (Invited article to Special Issue on Aggregation-Induced Emission)

Soleimaninejad H, Hong Y and Smith TA (2016) Time-resolved and polarised microspectroscopy of thin films of bio- and nanomaterials, Physical Chemistry of Interfaces and Nanomaterials XV, 99230M DOI: 10.1117/12.2237084.

Hong Y (2016) Aggregation-induced emission—fluorophores and applications, Methods Appl Fluoresc., 4: 022003.

Lim S, Tang BZ and Hong Y* (2016) AIE luminogens for visualizing cell structures and functions, In ACS Symposium Series: Aggregation-induced emission: materials and applications, Vol 2, Ch 8, 199-216.

Leung WT , Wang Z, Zhao E, Hong Y, Chen S, Kwok RTK, Leung ACS, Wen R, Li B, Lam JWY and Tang BZ (2016) A lysosome‐targeting AIEgen for autophagy visualization, Adv Healthc Mater., 5(4): 427-31.

Chen S, Hong Y,* Zeng Y, Sun Q, Liu Y, Zhao E, Bai G, Qu J, Hao J and Tang BZ* (2015) Mapping live cell viscosity with an aggregation-induced emission fluorogen by means of two‐photon fluorescence lifetime imaging, Chem Eur J., 21(11): 4315-20.

Zhao N, Chen S, Hong Y and Tang BZ (2015) A red emitting mitochondria-targeted AIE probe as an indicator for membrane potential and mouse sperm activity, Chem Commun., 51(71): 13599-602.

Leung WT,# Guo F,# Hong Y,# Zhao E, Kwok RTK, Leung NLC, Chen S, Vaikath NN, El-Agnaf OM, Tang Y, Gai WP and Tang BZ (2015) Detection of oligomers and fibrils of α-synuclein by AIEgen with strong fluorescence, Chem Commun., 51(10): 1866-69.

Leung WT, Hong Y and Tang BZ (2015) Specific imaging and tracking of mitochondria in live cells by a photostable AIE luminogen, Advanced Protocols in Oxidative Stress III, 21-27, Springer New York.

Zhao E, Chen Y, Chen S, Deng H, Gui C, Leung WT, Hong Y, Lam JWY and Tang BZ (2015) A Luminogen with Aggregation‐Induced Emission Characteristics for Wash‐Free Bacterial Imaging, High‐Throughput Antibiotics Screening and Bacterial Susceptibility Evaluation, Adv Mater., 27(33): 4931-37.

Zhao E, Chen Y, Wang H, Chen S, Lam JWY, Leung WT, Hong Y and Tang BZ (2015) Light-enhanced bacterial killing and wash-free imaging based on AIE fluorogen, ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 7(13), 7180-88.

Zhao E,# Hong Y,# Chen S, Leung WT, Chan CYK, Kwok RTK, Lam JWY and Tang BZ (2014) Highly fluorescent and photostable probe for long‐term bacterial viability assay based on aggregation‐induced emission, Adv Healthc Mater., 3(1): 88-96.

Leung CWT,# Hong Y,# Hanske J, Zhao E, Chen S, Pletneva EV and Tang BZ (2013) Superior fluorescent probe for detection of cardiolipin, Anal Chem., 86(2): 1263-68.

Lou X,# Hong Y,# Chen S, Leung WT, Zhao N, Situ B, Lam JWY and Tang BZ (2014) A selective glutathione probe based on AIE fluorogen and its application in enzymatic activity assay, Sci Rep., 4: 4272.

Mei J, Hong Y, Lam JWY, Qin AJ, Tang Y and Tang BZ (2014) Aggregation‐induced emission: the whole is more brilliant than the parts, Adv Mater., 26(31): 5429-79.

Song Z, Hong Y, Kwok RTK, Lam JWY, Liu B and Tang BZ (2014) A dual-mode fluorescence “turn-on” biosensor based on an aggregation-induced emission luminogen, J Mater Chem B, 2: 1717-23.

Leung CWT,# Hong Y,# Chen S, Zhao E, Lam JWY and Tang BZ (2013) A photostable AIE luminogen for specific mitochondrial imaging and tracking, J Am Chem Soc., 135(1): 62-65.

Hong Y, Chen S, Leung WT, Lam JWY and Tang BZ (2013) Water‐soluble tetraphenylethene derivatives as fluorescent “light‐up” probes for nucleic acid detection and their applications in cell imaging, Chem Asian J., 8(8), 1806-12.

Chen S, Hong Y, Liu Y, Liu J, Leung CWT, Li M, Kwok RTK, Zhao E, Lam JWY, Yu Y and Tang BZ (2013) Full-range intracellular pH sensing by an aggregation-induced emission-active two-channel ratiometric fluorogen, J Am Chem Soc., 135(13): 4926-29.

Li M, Hong Y, Wang Z, Chen S, Gao M, Kwok RTK, Qin W, Lam JWY, Zheng Q and Tang BZ (2013) Fabrication of chitosan nanoparticles with aggregation-induced emission characteristics and their applications in long-term live cell imaging, Macro Rapid Commun., 34(9): 767-71.

Hong Y, Lam JWY and Tang BZ in Aggregation-Induced Emission: Applications Wiley: New York, Ch 12, 259-74.

Hong Y, Muenzner J, Grimm SK and Pletneva EV (2012) Origin of the conformational heterogeneity of cardiolipin-bound cytochrome c, J Am Chem Soc., 134(45): 18713-23.

Hong Y, Meng L, Chen S, Leung CWT, Da LT, Mahtab F, Silva DA, Liu J, Lam JWY, Huang X and Tang BZ (2012) Monitoring and inhibition of insulin fibrillation by a small organic fluorogen with aggregation-induced emission characteristics, J Am Chem Soc., 134(3): 1680-89.

Hong Y, Chen S, Leung CWT, Lam JWY, Liu J, Tseng NW, Kwok RTK, Yu Y, Wang Z and Tang BZ (2011) Fluorogenic Zn (II) and chromogenic Fe (II) sensors based on terpyridine-substituted tetraphenylethenes with aggregation-induced emission characteristics, ACS Appl Mater Interfaces, 3(9): 3411-18.

Yu Y, Feng C, Hong Y, Liu J, Chen S, Ng KM, Luo KQ and Tang BZ (2011) Cytophilic fluorescent bioprobes for long‐term cell tracking, Adv Mater., 23(29): 3298-302.

Hong Y, Lam JWY and Tang BZ (2011) Aggregation-induced emission, Chem Soc Rev., 40(11): 5361-88.

*Corresponding authors # Co-first authors