Mei Hong
    Professor of Chemistry
     Massachusetts Institute of Technology
     170 Albany Street
     Cambridge, MA, 02139
     Tel: 617-253-5521
     Email: meihong@mit.edu
  
 
 
 
Education
1992 - 1996    Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California Berkeley
1990 - 1992    B. A. Chemistry, summa cum laude, Mount Holyoke College
 
Positions
2014 -             Professor of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
2007 - 2010    John D. Corbett Professor, Iowa State University (ISU)
2004 - 2014    Professor of Chemistry, ISU
2002 - 2004    Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, ISU
1999 - 2002    Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, ISU
1997 - 1999    Research Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Amherst
1996 - 1997    Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, MIT
 
Awards and Honors
      2016   Fellow of the International Society of Magnetic Resonance (ISMAR)
       2016   Edmond de Rothschild lecturer, Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique, Paris
      2014    Günther Laukien Prize, Experimental NMR Conference
       2013    Award for Outstanding Career Achievement in Research, Iowa State University (ISU)
       2012    Protein Society Irving Sigal Young Investigator Award
       2010    Founders Medal, International Council on Magnetic Resonance in Biological Systems
       2010    Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
       2007    The first John D. Corbett Professorship
       2007    Mid-Career Research Award, ISU
       2006    Agnes Fay Morgan Research Award, Iota Sigma Pi
       2004    Mary Lyon Award, Mount Holyoke College
       2003    Early Achievement in Research/Artistic Creativity Award, ISU
       2003    Pure Chemistry Award, American Chemical Society
       2002    Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow, Sloan Foundation
       2001    CAREER Award, National Science Foundation
       2000    Research Innovation Award, Research Corporation
       1999    Beckman Young Investigator Award, Beckman Foundation
       1998    POWRE Award, National Science Foundation
       1997    National Institute of Health Postdoctoral Fellowship
       1992    American Chemical Society Undergraduate Award, Mount Holyoke College
 
Research Interests
              My research focuses on the development and application of multidimensional and multinuclear (e.g. 13C, 15N, 19F, 31P, 2H and 1H) solid-state NMR spectroscopic techniques to elucidate the structure and dynamics of membrane proteins and other biological macromolecules. In the area of membrane proteins, we are especially interested in the biophysical chemistry and mechanisms of action of ion channels and curvature-inducing membrane proteins such as viral fusion proteins and antimicrobial peptides. Our research has elucidated 1) the drug binding site and inhibition mechanism of the influenza M2 protein; 2) the proton conduction mechanism of the M2 proton channel; 3) the oligomeric structures of β-hairpin antimicrobial peptides and the mechanism of their membrane-disruptive action; 4) the conformational and dynamical changes of a channel-forming colicin during its spontaneous insertion into the lipid membrane. In addition to membrane proteins, we also investigate the structure and dynamics of complex polysaccharides in plant cell walls and amyloid fibrils that are of biomedical and chemical relevance.

            To answer these biological questions, we develop a broad variety of solid-state NMR techniques, such as 1) novel isotopic labeling strategies, multidimensional correlation techniques, and computational methods to facilitate and simplify protein resonance assignment; 2) techniques to extend the distance reach of NMR from a few angstroms to the 1-2 nm range; 3) polarization transfer techniques to measure the depth of insertion and water interactions of membrane proteins; 4) techniques to measure intermolecular binding such as protein-cholesterol and protein-polysaccharide binding; 5) anisotropic-isotropic correlation methods to measure torsion angles, molecular motion, and conformation-dependent chemical shift tensors. The facile design of these techniques enables us to obtain molecular-level insights into the mechanism of action of these biological systems.

Publications
           By August 2017, > 168 papers published, with a Web of Science cumulative h-index of 50.