UROP Proceedings 2020-21

Message from the President i Sharing by Students ii-iii UROP Overview 2020-21 iv Mr. Armin and Mrs. Lillian Kitchell Undergraduate Research Awardees 2021 v-vi Abstracts of UROP Projects - 2020-21* School of Science (CHEM, LIFS, MATH, OCES, PHYS) 2-77 School of Engineering (CBE, CIVL, CSE, ECE, IEDA, ISD, MAE) 80-183 School of Business and Management (ACCT, ECON, FINA, ISOM, 186-218 MARK, MGMT) School of Humanities and Social Science (HUMA, SOSC) 220-236 Interdisciplinary Programs Of ce (ENVR) 238-245 Institutes & Centers (IEMS) 248-249 *Abstracts from each school are listed rst by alphabetical order of Department code, and then by alphabetical order of Advisor’s surname. Table of Contents

UROP 1000 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (0 credit with stipend option, offered in summer sessions only) UROP 1100 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Series 1 (1 credit, offered throughout the year) UROP 2100 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Series 2 (1 credit, offered throughout the year; prerequisite is pass in UROP 1100, with approval by project advisors) UROP 3100 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Series 3 (1 credit, offered throughout the year; prerequisite is pass in UROP 2100, with approval by project advisors) UROP 4100 Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program Series 4 (1 credit, offered throughout the year; prerequisite is pass in UROP 3100, with approval by project advisors) Summary of UROP Courses

The year of 2021 marks a significant mi lestone for HKUST as we are celebrating our 30th anniversary. We open a new chapter in the history of HKUST where we will continue exploring and experimenting for societal impact. The Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) has played an indispensable role in providing our undergraduate students hands-on experience in academic research, which has empowered creativity and innovation. This well represents our 30th anniversary theme of “Together We Empower”. As we embark on a new academic year under the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, our dedicated faculty members remain steadfastly committed to providing our undergraduate students exceptional research and learning experiences. Their efforts help boost the research culture and nurture young researchers within the university community. During the 2020-21 academic year, 160 faculty members served as supervisors for 645 students. I am thankful for all the participating faculty members and undergraduate students who have devoted considerable time and efforts in their research projects and contributed to another record high in the UROP enrolment. I trust that all UROP students have had a rewarding research experience while pursuing their passions in diverse academic frontiers. These proceedings highlight the research projects accomplished by our undergraduates under the guidance of their faculty supervisors. I am hopeful that more of our students will join us and immerse themselves in the wonderful journey of discovery. Message from the President Professor Wei SHYY President HKUST i

NG Cheuk Hei BSc in Biochemistry and Cell Biology My experience in my supervisor’s lab was very fruitful under the UROP program. It enriched my understanding on protein traf cking and equipped me with relevant experimental knowledge. I joined research with the sole intention to learn and explore new elds, but during the process of exploring, what I got was way more than I had expected. In addition to the intriguing experience of learning on a given topic, I also had the opportunity to take more control by designing an experiment and exploring ideas of my own. The UROP program offered me much more than knowledge and skill - I was able to experience research rsthand and see how imagination is my only limit. NGUYEN Ha Chau BSc in Biotechnology UROP has brought the eld of research much closer to me. At the beginning, I wanted to join UROP to have a taste of research, but later I realized that research is what I want to pursue for my career. Thanks to numerous opportunities and exible requirements, I can work in a lab on a research topic of my interest without worrying which department that lab belongs to. As a Life Science student working in a Chemical and Biological Engineering lab, I feel lucky since I can balance between gaining basic Life Science knowledge and grasping the practical aspect of it. UROP has helped me form a solid foundation to continue pursuing applied biology in the future. Sharing by Students ii

REN Xuanchi BSc in Computer Science Thanks to UROP, I have had a great chance to work with some helpful professors and begin my rst research project on cutting-edge technology. It has been an excellent opportunity for me to learn how to select a research topic, how to review research papers, how to design and conduct experiments, and how to convert an idea into a paper. Furthermore, participating in research during undergraduate study has enabled me to understand the basics of academic research before moving onto postgraduate study. UROP has inspired me to make continuous effort in research, which is important for me to make my career decisions in the future. MAK Ting Hin BSc in Physics UROP has offered me the opportunity to gain a clearer picture on what academic research is like, by having hands-on experience under supervision in various tasks that an academic researcher would come across with, such as performing experiments, analyzing experimental results, participating in group meetings, writing reports and papers, giving presentations to different target audiences and making posters. It is also a valuable experience for me to practice essential soft skills for becoming a researcher, such as critical thinking and collaboration skills. All these experiences are very helpful to me for preparing my future research career. iii

In the 2020-21 academic year, the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) has seen a substantial growth in participation compared to the previous year. Over 230 faculty supervisors from four Schools and from the Interdiscipl inary Programs Of ce offered around 600 projects for our undergraduates. We also received more than 1,000 applications throughout the academic year, with 645 students were successfully enrolled to the program. To enhance the continuous development of existing UROP projects, the UROP Support Grant Scheme continued providing nancial support for faculty supervisors and their students. Through the Scheme, students also experienced the process of applying for research grants by submitting a joint application with their supervisors. In 2020-21, 41 out of 46 received applications were awarded with an aggregate funding amount of over HK$700,000, after the review by the UROP Of ce and by the UROP Advisory Board. I n t he yea r 2021 , 25 s t uden t s wi t h outstanding research performance were nominated by their UROP supervisors for the Mr. Armin and Mrs. Lillian Kitchell Undergraduate Research Award. Among the nominees, 11 candidates were shortlisted and invited to give an oral presentation on their research ndings to the UROP Advisory Board. The Board recommended 1 Champion, 2 First Runner-Ups and 3 Second Runner-Ups. The faculty supervisors of those 6 student awardees were also recognized also recognized by the UROP Faculty Research Award. The award presentation ceremony was held via Zoom on 23 April 2021. UROP Overview 2020-21 The 2021 Mr. Armin and Mrs. Lillian Kitchell Undergraduate Research Award and the UROP Faculty Research Award iv

Mr. Armin and Mrs. Lillian Kitchell Undergraduate Research Award 2021 v List of Awardees Champion MAK Ting Hin Major / Year: PHYS-IRE / 3 Supervised by: JO Gyu Boong / PHYS Project Title: Machine Learning Aided Detection of the Quantum State in an Atomic Quantum Simulator First Runner-up CHEN Yijia Major / Year: COSC / 3 Supervised by: CHAU Kevin / ECE Project Title: A Real-Time Wavelet-Based Algorithm for Improving Speech Intelligibility First Runner-up & Best Poster Award REN Xuanchi Major / Year: COSC / 4 Supervised by: CHEN Qifeng / CSE Project Title: Self-supervised Dance Video Synthesis Conditioned on Music

Second Runner-up KWOK Tsz Hong Major / Year: PHYS / 4 Supervised by: WONG Michael Kwok Yee / PHYS Project Title: Neural Information Processing: Latency Prediction in the Highway System Second Runner-up NG Cheuk Hei Major / Year: BCB-IRE / 3 Supervised by: GUO Yusong / LIFS Project Title: Analysis of SARS-CoV2 Spike Protein and ACE2 Interaction Second Runner-up NGUYEN Ha Chau Major / Year: BIOT / 3 Supervised by: SUN Fei / CBE Project Title: Spectral Tuning of Water-Soluble Chlorophyll Binding Proteins for Deep Tissue Bioimaging vi

Abstracts of UROP Projects 2020-21 School of Science

School of Science Department of Chemistry 2 Department of Chemistry Construction and Application of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectrometer in Biomolecules Characterization Supervisor: HUANG Jinqing / CHEM Student: CHAU Cheuk Yui Sherman / BICH Course: UROP1000, Summer With its highly distinct, non-destructive characterization of chemical samples, Raman spectroscopy is utilized in a plethora of fields, including pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, and geology. Its rapid identification of samples could therefore prove useful in differentiating between cancerous and non-cancerous breast tissue from the same patients. This report presents the application and viability of surface enhanced Raman spectroscopy in the characterization of biomolecules. The results provide evidence that the biochemical composition of tumor, papilloma, and fibroadenoma notably different but contain a similar spectra pattern. To analyse the spatial configuration of the tissue sample, Raman mapping is also utilized to visually identify the discrepancy between cancerous and noncancerous breast tissue and its influence on Raman scattering. Construction and Application of Surface Enhanced Raman Spectrometer in Biomolecules Characterization Supervisor: HUANG Jinqing / CHEM Student: SUN Weixuan / CHEM Course: UROP1100, Summer Cancer poses a serious threat to modern people health, so rapid detection of cancer is very important. This project focus on using multiple surface enhanced Raman spectrometers to scan different cancer tissue samples then obtain a series of Raman spectra. The purpose is to detect the special characteristic peaks of cancer tissues from the spectra. Analyzing soft wares, such as Origin Lab, are used to rebuild the curve from excel files and process data to build new curves. Then we use a mapping tool as the result has no distinctive features. A normal sample without cancer cells is used as a control group. Single Molecule Manipulation and Characterization of Biomolecules Supervisor: HUANG Jinqing / CHEM Student: SALIM Leon Ritchie / CHEM Course: UROP1000, Summer Scientists have used bulk techniques, such as Raman Spectroscopy and Infrared Spectroscopy, to analyse chemical compounds. However, there are limitations on only using these techniques. There is a need to analyse molecules thoroughly by itself, and this is where Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy comes in. It allows us to meticulously study not only the unfolding, but also the transition states of the biomolecules and the forces in the transitions. This report introduces the Single Molecule Force Spectroscopy and their examples. It also includes the background of optical tweezers and DNA properties. Finally, this report ends with short and long DNA optical tweezers results, the fittings using MATLAB and their analysis.

School of Science Department of Chemistry 3 Single Molecule Manipulation and Characterization of Biomolecules Supervisor: HUANG Jinqing / CHEM Student: LEE Dong Heon / CHEM Course: UROP1100, Summer The single-molecule study opens a new window to investigate molecular structures and their chemical properties. In this project, we focused on DNA stretching as it is widely used as a handle for optical tweezer experiments. The short and long DNAs are extended via optical tweezer then, their concordance rate and fitting parameters are derived. The results interpretation confirmed the current drawbacks of singlemolecule experiments. The short and long DNA experiments exhibited that the sample molecule can interfere with measurements, and utilized extensible WLC may be deficient in modeling the phenomenon. Further, by comparing the data of short and long DNA, we found that the stretching geometry or length of the molecule can also contribute to the difference in the result. Medicinal Chemistry on Novel Type I1/2 ALK Inhibitors for Combating Drug-resistant Mutants Supervisor: HUANG Yong / CHEM Student: MA Wing Yin Timothy / CHEM Course: UROP1100, Fall Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase is a tyrosine kinase which is expressed in different types of cancer tumor. In non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), ALK gene loci on chromosome 2 has caused rearrangement in about 5% of NSCLC tumors. Detecting ALK gene and using suitable therapy is critical in treatment of lung cancer. Anaplastic Lymphoma Kinase (ALK) inhibition is a therapy targeting the ALK-positive tumors and preventing the expressing of this oncogene. This project is aimed to synthesis an ALK inhibitor molecule. Medicinal Chemistry on Novel Type I1/2 ALK Inhibitors for Combating Drug-resistant Mutants Supervisor: HUANG Yong / CHEM Student: WONG Tsz Wang / CHEM Course: UROP2100, Fall It is proposed that the meta, para selective borylation of aromatic esters and amide can be controlled using Ir-catalysis with different ligand in various length, shape and directing group. In the previous project, we have design 4 ligands and 2 of them have been synthesized. In this project, the remaining ligands are synthesized using optimized condition and the Selective CH Remote Borylation of Benzoxazole is studied using quaterpyridine ligand, L4. Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) Spectroscopy, Gas Chromatography/ Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS) are using to confirm the quality, quantity, and purity of the synthesized compounds.

School of Science Department of Chemistry 4 Chemistry of Aromatic Metallacycles Supervisor: JIA Guocheng / CHEM Student: HO Hang Chi / SSCI Course: UROP1100, Summer Osmabenzynes are a family of organometallic complexes containing a benzyne ring with an osmium atom. Organic benzyne is a highly reactive species due to ring strain, which is why it has never been isolated. However, with the substitution of one of the carbons with an Os atom, the complex becomes much more stable. The osmaanthracyne complex (an organometallic analogue of anthracene), the synthesis and reactivity of which will be the focus of this report, is air stable and has been well-characterised. The remarkable stability of osmaanthracyne complex can be attributed to the very large size of the Os atom compared to C, and the steric hindrance caused by the large size of the trimethylsilyl group (TMS), thus protecting the electron-rich benzyne from electrophilic attack. The objective of this study is to study the similarities between anthracene and its organometallic analogue: osmaanthracyne complex. Chemistry of Aromatic Metallacycles Supervisor: JIA Guocheng / CHEM Student: YEUNG Tsz Ho / SSCI Course: UROP1100, Summer Metallabenzynes have much to be studied and discovered. The Jia group was the first to synthesize a metallabenzyne complex. With unsubstituted osmanaphthalynes and osmaanthracynes successfully synthesized by the group before, an unsubstituted osmabenzyne has yet to be synthesized. Taking part in synthesizing and characterizing an unsubstituted osmabenzyne in my UROP1100 project, I successfully synthesized the osmabenzyne 8 with a -TMS group independently. During my experiments, I am fortunate enough to take part in uncovering new discoveries about the synthetic route of the osmabenzyne 8. The following report documents my experimental results and data from my independent synthesis of osmabenzyne 8, as well as discussion on such results. Mentions on future works and the experimental information will also be included.

School of Science Department of Chemistry 5 Synthesis, Reactivity and Catalytic Properties of Transition Metal Carbyne Complexes Supervisor: JIA Guocheng / CHEM Student: HO Tung Ho / SSCI Course: UROP1100, Summer The non-d0 carbyne complexes are difficult to undergo alkyne metathesis. We aim to find an active rhenium carbyne catalyst for alkyne metathesis and test for their activities. We are using an organometallic compound (Rhenium) to have alkyne metathesis with different catalysts. This work demonstrates the complex Re(≡CH2Ph) (PO2) (PMePh2) 2 to react with PhC≡CMe to produce Re(≡CPh) (PO2) (PMePh2) 2 and also Re(≡CH2Ph) (SO2) (PMePh2) 2 to react with PhC≡CMe to produce Re(≡CPh) (SO2) (PMePh2) 2 to check whether they are suitable rhenium carbyne catalysts. It will also show how we synthesis different reactants needed for the metathesis. We will check the correct structure by using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) using phosphorus-31 due to the large molecule containing phosphorus. Tetravalent Cerium Complexes Containing Oxygen Donor Ligands Supervisor: LEUNG Wa Hung / CHEM Student: WANG Lily Ueh-hsi / CHEM Course: UROP1100, Spring A tetravalent cerium sulfamate complex supported by the Kläui tripodal ligand [CpCo{P(O)(OEt)2}3]- (LOEt - ) has been synthesized and its redox reactivity toward 2,6-di-tertbutylphenol was studied. The reaction of [CeIV(LOEt)2Cl2] and AgSO3NH2 afforded [CeIV(LOEt)2(OSO2NH2) 2], whose crystal structure was determined. Plausible synthetic routes to tetravalent cerium selenite and tellurite complexes are still under investigation. Reactions starting from Ag2CO3 seemed to be an issue since the carbonate residue in salt preparation led to the formation of [CeIV(LOEt)2(OCO2)] which is a previously reported complex. The reactions between [CeIV(LOEt)2(OAc)2] (OAc- = acetate) and [CeIV(LOEt)2X2] (X = Cl- , NO3 - , OTs- ) were investigated by NMR spectroscopy and preliminarily results showed that ligand exchange between these complexes occurred. Application of Molecular Orbital Theory to Transition-Metal Complexes Supervisor: LIN Zhenyang / CHEM Student: WONG Wing Hei Marco / CHEM Course: UROP1100, Summer With reference to the work of Yang, Sheong and Lin, this work studied coordination of different ligands to (MesCCC)CoN2 (MesCCC=bis(mesityl-benzimidazol-2-ylidene)phenyl) and (PCP)CoN2. The relative cis-trans stabilities of (MesCCC)Co(H)2 and (PCP)Co(H)2 were also systematically evaluated. Coordination of ligands having strong π accepting and weak σ donating abilities at the apical site of square pyramidal Co(I) pincer complexes was found to be favourable. Phosphine coordination to (MesCCC)CoN2 is more favourable than that to (PCP)CoN2. The empty 2p orbitals of carbenes and empty 4p(Co) orbital of (MesCCC)CoN2 together stabilize phosphine coordination. The delocalized MO formed among the aforementioned orbitals accounts for the higher stability of trans-(MesCCC)Co(H)2 than its cis-isomer, too. In contrast, cis-(PCP)Co(H)2 is more stable than its trans-isomer. It is anticipated that this work may enhance our understanding on the chemistry of carbene pincer ligands.

School of Science Department of Chemistry 6 Deep Learning in Synthesis Planning Supervisor: SU Haibin / CHEM Student: CHIU King Wai / CHEM Course: UROP1100, Spring Machine learning in Chemistry becomes hot topic currently. Computer-aided synthesis planning (CASP) with retrosynthesis can be constructed for chemists to search for plausible most effective and cheapest synthesis route with machine learning technique, such as Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and Monte Carlo Tree Search (MCTS). However, commercial database like Reaxys cannot provide accurate and detailed chemicals and reaction condition, especially when organometallic reaction is considered. In this project, automatic data-mining tools are constructed with Optical Structure Recognition Software (OSRA) and Optical Character Recognition (OCR) Software which utilized Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) model. In future, there is high potential to build a machine learning model in chemistry paper reading to further improve the data-mining. Important reaction elements, such as catalysts, ligands, additives, temperature and yield can be extracted to enrich the database to outperform the current available commercial and open source and be treated as more detailed descriptors to feature the reaction rules for better retrosynthesis planning by SPLASH. Deep Learning in Synthesis Planning Supervisor: SU Haibin / CHEM Student: CHUI Sin Yu / CHEM Course: UROP1100, Spring Conditions of reactions are important to determine and proceed synthesis planning that is comprehensively applied in many fields of chemistry. Reaction data analysis may help chemists to make decisions whether the pathway would be high-efficient without on-hands laboratory work. Utilizing which type of catalyst is also one critical condition required in catalytic reactions for organic synthesis. This report is an overview of reactions using nickel catalyst with bidentate nitrogen ligands by reaction data analyzing. Nine types of reactions are covered including Suzuki coupling, Negishi coupling, Hiyama reaction and C-H activation with the usage of 21 ligands like BBBPY, bpy, BPhen and (R,R)-ph-box. Deep Learning in Synthesis Planning Supervisor: SU Haibin / CHEM Student: FUNG Ka Shing / DSCT Course: UROP1000, Summer Retrosynthesis is one of the hottest topics in chemistry. Our aim is to build a retrosynthesis program with the help of machine learning. SMILES and SMARTS, the notation of compounds briefly explained in computer. Monte Carlo Tree Search and artificial neural network, computer software RDChiral, Reaction Decoder are applied. A neural network was trained and verified by testing. Two compounds, curcumin and vortioxetine were put into the model, successfully generated some positive results. There were a few failure cases due to reaction centre selectivity and ring closing problem. Further improvements could be made by importing more conditions into the neural network and tree searching criteria.

School of Science Department of Chemistry 7 Deep Learning in Synthesis Planning Supervisor: SU Haibin / CHEM Student: CHUI Sin Yu / CHEM LEE Subin / CHEM WANG Yizhou / CHEM Course: UROP2100, Summer UROP1100, Summer UROP1100, Summer Conditions of reactions are crucial to determine and proceed synthesis planning that is comprehensively applied in many fields of chemistry. Reaction data analysis may help chemists to decide whether the pathway would be more high-efficient without on-hand laboratory work. Utilizing which type of catalyst is also one important condition required in catalytic reactions for organic synthesis. This report is an overview of reactions using copper catalyst with bidentate nitrogen ligands by reaction data analyzing. General classes such as C-C bond formation, reaction types and the usage of bidentate nitrogen ligands are included. Employing Coevolution Analysis for Investigating and Improving Cas9 Specificity Towards More Safe CRISPR-Based Genome Editing Supervisor: SU Haibin / CHEM Student: WOO Dorothy Hoi Shan / BTGBM Course: UROP1100, Fall UROP2100, Spring CRISPR is a natural adaptive immune system found many naturally occurring organisms. While there are many proteins acting as an effector module in CRISPR, CRISPR-associated protein 9, more commonly known as Cas9, has shown great efficiency to be used for targeted genome editing. The CRISPR/ Cas9 system has been applied to many biological research areas, such as gene therapy, bioimaging and drug discovery. However, off-targeting behaviour and specificity of these proteins have not been fully understood, and a more extensive understanding towards the specificity of Cas9 mechanisms is needed to improve genetic engineering and editing techniques. This progress report devotes itself to utilizing the approach of coevolution analysis to study the relative interactions of proteins in the Cas9_BH and HNH_4 domains. Through coevolution analysis, we identified the amino acid residue couplings with high correlation in the two domains respectively, and data can be utilized in further research to study the specificity of Cas9 activity in these domains.

School of Science Department of Chemistry 8 Employing Coevolution Analysis for Investigating and Improving Cas9 Specificity Towards More Safe CRISPR-Based Genome Editing Supervisor: SU Haibin / CHEM Student: TANDIAWAN Cathleen Trixie / SSCI Course: UROP1000, Summer The worldwide spread of SARS-CoV-2 has drawn attention around the globe as it significantly influences humans, to an extent that it changes the way of living. Recombinant and vaccine-induced neutralizing antibodies have been made to tackle the spread of this virus. However, the newly emerged lineage, B.1.351, much known as beta variant from South Africa is raising concerns as it is speculated to have higher resistance. We evaluated each mutation of concern from this variant to see how the lineage surged up. Through elaborate mutation tracking, the buildup can be explained including mutations that might increase its severity. Furthermore, to the best of our knowledge, throw light on new takes to develop a cure, still in efforts to restrain the pandemic. Employing Coevolution Analysis for Investigating and Improving Cas9 Specificity Towards More Safe CRISPR-Based Genome Editing Supervisor: SU Haibin / CHEM Student: YAP Shan Qi / CHEM Course: UROP1000, Summer Mutations in the spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 have allowed successful variants to emerge and rise to prominence. However, the reason behind these mutations’ emergence and the ways in which they evolve still remain unclear. By using spike protein sequences of SARS-CoV-2 downloaded from GISAID, we intend to look at the trajectories of mutations in the spike. We obtained a better understanding of the mutations by tracing each mutation established in the P.1 (Gamma) variant. It is suggested that the mutations are linked to viral fitness, leading up to the variant’s survival and persistence. We hope that our findings could be useful in helping to predict important mutations that might arise in the future. Prediction of Inorganic Solar Cell Materials with Double Perovskite Structure Using Machine Learning Approach Supervisor: SU Haibin / CHEM Student: CHEUNG Ka Key / CHEM KWAN Yee Tung / SENG Course: UROP1000, Summer UROP1000, Summer Partial charge determination has been playing an important role in chemistry. A new method of partial charge determination, the modified Born-Haber cycle, has proposed recently. In order to verify the method, M(I)X, which is composed by group 1 and group 17, has been calculated and compared with experimental data in the published paper. However, it is insufficient enough to make it a reliable method. Hence, our project is designed to further prove the method through applying it to the group 2 & 16 (M(II)X), group 13 & 15 (M(III)X) and group 14 & 16 (M(IV)X) diatomic system. Since most of the M(III)X and M(IV)X molecules exist theoretically, Gaussian 09 B3LYP/QZVP has been used for modelling.

School of Science Department of Chemistry 9 Structure Prediction with Genetic Algorithm Supervisor: SU Haibin / CHEM Student: ZOU Zhiyan / CHEM Course: UROP1100, Fall Synthesis planning is one of the research approaches at the frontier of chemistry, as well as medicine and pharmacy. Our research focus on the machine learning models in retrosynthesis systems, making it necessary the extraction scaffold reaction information. The process follows a well design workflow. After scaffold information extraction, reactions are clustered by their forming bonds and ligand classes in order to find the relationship between reactions and reaction types. At current progress of this project, we only focus on the single-step Nickel-catalysed reactions. Valuable properties and hidden trends for Cross-Coupling and addition reactions emerged for further analysis and ready for deep learning in synthesis planning. Development of New Catalytic Organic Processes Supervisor: SUN Jianwei / CHEM Student: YAN Qiaolin / CHEM Course: UROP1100, Spring The work of two subprojects is discussed in this report. In the first project, various catalysts were screened in the hope to selectively oxidize 1,2,4-trimethylbenzene to 2,3,5-trimethyl-1,4-benquinone or 2,3,5trimethylhydroquinone using hydrogen peroxide as a mild and green oxidant. Synthesis of vitamin E from 2,3,5-trimethylhydroquinone was also attempted. In the second project, different hydride sources and various chiral phosphoric acids were screened for the enantioselective synthesis of triarylmethane via the reductive dehydroxylation of triarylmethanol. Preparation of the identified optimal catalyst and further optimization of the reaction conditions is still ongoing. Development of New Catalytic Organic Processes Supervisor: SUN Jianwei / CHEM Student: LI Yuxuan / SSCI Course: UROP1000, Summer The direct enantioselective 1,6-addition of 5-methide-5H-indoles, generated in situ from corresponding diarylmethanols, has been attempted in the presence of chiral phosphoric acids (CPAs). Preliminary experiments using various nucleophiles with racemic phosphoric acid (RPA) have been carried out to select feasible reaction partners of diarylmethanols. To achieve the remote activation of the substrate and the enantioselectivity of the substitution reaction, evaluation of catalysts, solvents, concentration of reactants, and temperature have been performed. Furthermore, the modification of the diarylmethanols’ structure has also been attempted in hopes of achieving better enantioselectivity. Although such a reaction mode is currently not synthetically applicable because the enantioselectivity (ee value up to 56%) requires further enhancement, the efforts in condition optimization and substrate modification could be valuable for investigation of similar reactions.

School of Science Department of Chemistry 10 Development of New Catalytic Organic Processes Supervisor: SUN Jianwei / CHEM Student: YAN Qiaolin / CHEM Course: UROP1000, Summer Enantioenriched triarylmethanes with heterocyclic structures are critical components in drugs. Described here is a new approach to access this important and challenging target in organic synthesis via chiral phosphoric acid-catalyzed reductive dehydroxylation of tertiary alcohols. This study presents the first reported success of a directing-group-free design in the asymmetric catalysis of triarylmethanes. The suitable chiral phosphoric acid catalyzed the mild reductive dehydroxylation to form diverse heterocycle-containing triarylmethanes with excellent efficiency and enantioselectivity. Control experiments, kinetic study, and non-linear effects revealed the kinetic resolution in the rate-determining carbocation formation step to determine the enantioselectivity. Design and Synthesis of Functional AIE luminogens and Exploration of their Biological Applications Supervisor: TANG Benzhong / CHEM Student: WANG Lily Ueh-hsi / CHEM Course: UROP1100, Fall With the discovery of aggregation-induced emission, materials leveraging some distinct features in the aggregate state have been flourishing in the past twenty years. Cocrystal, with two or more compounds aggregate by noncovalent interactions, is an arising field of great versatility in terms of tunable physicochemical properties. To develop materials with photothermal properties, self-assemble cocrystal made from simple preparation is one promising direction. In 2018, the first cocrystal with the ability of nearinfrared and heat conversion came to place. Here, inspired by the recent breakthrough in aggregate science, a cocrystal is reported, which successfully demonstrated photothermal properties in the preliminary investigation. Design and Synthesis of Functional AIE luminogens and Exploration of their Biological Applications Supervisor: TANG Benzhong / CHEM Student: LI Sijie / CHEM Course: UROP1000, Summer Aggregation-induced emission (AIE) luminogens (AIEgens) are a type of molecule showing emission under aggregate state. The powerful emission in aqueous media, a common poor solvent for organic compounds, demonstrates a wide application of this novel type of molecule. AIE-active moiety TBP has been reported for the ability to generate reactive oxygen species (ROS) for antibacterial and antitumor effect. Whereas quinone methide (QM) has been found to be effective in inhibiting antioxidant system for resisting ROSinduced apoptosis in cancer cells. Therefore, in this study, a synergistic hybrid AIEgen TBP-QM is designed and synthesized for cancer treatment. TBP-QM is expected to act as a novel theranostic agent with the ability to disturbing cancer cell antioxidant system, inducing cell death by ROS invasion in a site-specific way, and at the same time allowing on-site bioimaging.

School of Science Department of Chemistry 11 Design and Synthesis of Functional AIE luminogens and Exploration of their Biological Applications Supervisor: TANG Benzhong / CHEM Student: ZHAO Mengying / CHEM Course: UROP1000, Summer Nonconventional small luminophores lacking remarkable conjugations may exhibit excitation-dependent photoluminescence (PL) properties, which are generally considered to stem from the diverse aggregation or clustering of the non-conjugated electron-rich moieties. The phenomenon is termed clusteroluminescence, which can be rationalized through a clustering-triggered emission (CTE) mechanism. CTE has proven its great potential in designing and constructing novel, easily tunable luminophores in a variety of fields, including bioimaging, chemical sensors, and biomolecule conformation indicators. Based on the CTE mechanism, in this work, three originally nonemissive, nonconjugated molecules were reevaluated and clusteroluminescence was observed in the aggregated and solid states of the three molecules respectively. Upon the excitation of near-ultraviolet lights in different wavelengths, the emission wavelengths of the three molecules were varying from 387nm to 450nm. Extensive intermolecular H-bonding was proposed to elucidate the unusual clusteroluminescence. These findings will decode the working principle of nonconventional luminophores and facilitate a deeper understanding of color-tunable clusteroluminogens. Chemical Characterization of Atmospheric Pollutants Supervisor: YU Jianzhen / CHEM Student: LIU Sum Yee Roxanne / CHEM Course: UROP1100, Fall In this paper, high-performance anion-exchange chromatograph (HPAEC) with detection by pulsed amperometric detection (PAD) is used to detect and analyse monosaccharide anhydrides (MA) that are present in air such as levoglucosan and mannosan. The aim of the project is to do online analysis of MA with a low limit of detection so as to detect the scarce concentration of MA. However, the length of the report period is not adequate to accomplish the aim. During the report period, we mainly do offline analysis of the standard solutions of MA as well as develop the instrumentation for online analysis of MA.

School of Science Division of Life Science 12 Division of Life Science Studying Novel Cell Cycle Signalling Pathways in Yeast Cells Supervisor: BANFIELD David Karl / LIFS Student: SINCE Alec Victor / BIBU Course: UROP1100, Summer The purpose of this study is to investigate the stress-induced ectopic activation of the Spindle Assembly Checkpoint (SAC). We investigate the kinases of the cell wall integrity (CWI) pathway and determine whether they are involved in SAC activation. One of these kinases is Pkh1p and the deletion of this kinase seems to delay SAC activation. We came to this conclusion by using Mad2p-mNeon fluorescence microscopy imaging and calculated the proportion of cells that form Mad2p kinetochore foci. Further studies are required to determine whether the deletion of Pkh1p has a direct or indirect effect on delaying SAC activation or whether the Pkh2p homolog of Pkh1p can replace its function in its absence. Molecular Regulation of Skeletal Muscle Stem Cell Quiescence and Activation Supervisor: CHEUNG Tom / LIFS Student: LI Chun Wa / BCB Course: UROP1100, Fall Muscle satellite cells (MuSCs) perform a crucial role in skeletal muscle regeneration after injury. In this UROP 1100, emphasis is put on analysis on differential expression of these cells in post injury. Using the Galaxy platform, RNA-seq was performed using the Tuxedo pathway and Gene Set Enrichment Analysis (GSEA) using EGEA, which identified 7174 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in 20367 loci. Via EGSEA, it was detected activation in molecular pathways for proliferation and differentiation such as E2F-dependent cell cycle transition, G2M checkpoint, and mTORC1 signalling. These data suggested that post-injured satellite cells may exit quiescent state and carry out proliferation after injury, possibly for regeneration of damaged skeletal muscle cells. Construction of a Signal Transduction Pathway Reporter Indicator for Monitoring Signaling Strength Supervisor: CHOW King Lau / LIFS Student: YUEN Yan Yi Macy / BIOT Course: UROP1100, Spring This project will manipulate the genetic model system, Caenorhabditis elegans, to recruit one of the novel gene components regulated by the transforming growth factor-β, DBL-1, as an indirect indicator of the BMP signaling strength. Sma-6, the target gene for the project, is the type I receptor for DBL-1 ligands in the BMP pathway and is transcriptionally regulated by the dbl-1 signaling. Thus, the gene expression of sma-6 can reflect the intensity of the BMP pathway. This experiment will develop the sma-6 transcription reporter responding to the dbl-1 signaling and amplify the readout of signal strength with the use of several reporters.

School of Science Division of Life Science 13 Construction of a Signal Transduction Pathway Reporter Indicator for Monitoring Signaling Strength Supervisor: CHOW King Lau / LIFS Student: YUEN Yan Yi Macy / BIOT Course: UROP2100, Summer This project will manipulate the genetic model system, Caenorhabditis elegans, to recruit two of the gene components regulated by the transforming growth factor-β related ligand, DBL-1, as the indirect indicators of the dbl-1 signaling strength. Sma-6, one of the target genes for the project, encodes the type I receptor for DBL-1 ligands and is positively regulated by the dbl-1 signaling. The second gene, gcy-28, is a receptortype guanylate cyclase and acts as a repression target to the BMP pathway. Thus, the gene expression of sma-6 and gcy-28 can reflect the intensity of the BMP transduction signal. This experiment will develop the sma-6 and gcy-28 transcription reporters responding to the dbl-1 signaling and amplify the readout of signal strength through the manipulation of these two reporters in a variety of dbl-1 mutant strains. Evolutionary Art at the Fast Track Supervisor: CHOW King Lau / LIFS Student: SIU Kwong Tai / PHYS Course: UROP1100, Fall In this study, we continue to learn the loss of antibiotics resistance of E.coli in various concentrations of antibiotics. By using chloramphenicol as our antibiotics sample, we have already shown that the loss of antibiotics resistant gene become significant when the concentration of antibiotics is greater than 50µg/ml for a 1-day growth. Base on this observation, we first perform similar measurements with a shorter time step. However, we reach an inconsistent observation. Thus we turn to work out the possible reason for causing this inconsistent and check whether we could reproduce the previous results when we wipe out the relevant factors. Evolutionary Art at the Fast Track Supervisor: CHOW King Lau / LIFS Student: LI Wa Hei / BTGBM Course: UROP1000, Summer With the extensive use of antibiotics and improper sewage treatment, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a crucial problem worldwide even in the developed countries. Detection of mild concentration of antibiotics in rivers triggers the study of the effect of low antibiotic concentration on antibiotic-resistant plasmid retention in bacteria. In this study, we monitor the loss rate of the PBS-F21A3.3p- (4969 bp) plasmid in E. coli RR1 and it is concluded that the bacteria have highly preserved its antibiotic-resistant plasmid under 40 ng/ml of AMP. However, the effect of lower AMP concentration on plasmid retention requires further studies.

School of Science Division of Life Science 14 The Role of Parkinson’s Disease Linked Gene Product Alpha-Synuclein in Mitochondrial Dysfunction Supervisor: CHUNG Kenny K / LIFS Student: CHO King Yi / BCB Course: UROP1100, Spring Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a severe yet common neurodegenerative disorder which is characterized by the gradual death of dopaminergic neurons in substantia nigra. Recent evidence has highlighted the relationship between the accumulation of alpha synuclein (aSyn) and mitophagy. Here, different level of WT aSyn was expressed in the neuroblastoma SH-SY5Y cell line. Carbonyl cyanide m‐chlorophenylhydrazone (CCCP) was used to induce mitophagy. For treated group (CCCP), there is an increased conversion of LC3-I to LC3-II along with increased level of aSyn. Besides, the increased degradation of mitochondrial protein COX 4 (cytochrome c oxidase IV) was also observed after CCCP treatment, suggesting potential cleavage after translocation to mitochondria. Therefore, the plasmids pRK5-COX4-pEGFP N1 and pRK5-Myc-COX4 were cloned for determining cleavage terminal. Analysis of Surface Delivery of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors Supervisor: GUO Yusong / LIFS Student: NG Cheuk Hei / BCB Course: UROP3100, Fall The rapid spread of a novel and highly pathogenic coronavirus (SARS-CoV2) has caused a serious global public health emergency in 2020. The densely glycosylated spike (S) protein as a distinctive feature for corona viruses is the key player that promotes viral entry into cells. This protein is a trimeric protein composed of the S1 and S2 subunits. The receptor-binding domain (RBD), a subdomain of S1 directly binds a cell surface receptor, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) present in human mucosal cells. This critical interaction for viral attachment serves as the prime therapeutic target. To develop effective therapeutic strategies, the interaction between ACE2 and CoV2-RBD, the essential step for viral attachment was analyzed to single residue resolution. With a pull-down assay, we have shown N501T and F486L to be key binding residues on CoV2-RBD in this interaction. Analysis of Surface Delivery of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors Supervisor: GUO Yusong / LIFS Student: ZHOU Siyu / BCB Course: UROP3100, Spring Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a tyrosine kinase which is activated by the binding of its specific ligands. Once activated, EGFR transfers from an inactive monomeric form to an active dimeric conformation which auto-phosphorylates its tyrosine residues in C-terminal domain and initiates several signal transduction cascades, leading to DNA synthesis and cell proliferation. Mutations that lead to EGFR overexpression have been associated with multiple cancer progressions, including head and neck, ovarian, cervical, bladder and esophageal cancers, as well as non-small cell lung cancer. These mutations lead to EFGR constant activation, causing uncontrolled cell division (Nicholson et al., 2001). My project aims to study whether the wild type and the cancer-related mutant versions of EGFR utilize the same machinery in the secretory pathway.

School of Science Division of Life Science 15 Analysis of Surface Delivery of Frizzled6 Supervisor: GUO Yusong / LIFS Student: DANI Raissa Gavrila / BIOT Course: UROP1000, Summer This report investigated the function of SCAMP2 and Vti1b in vesicular trafficking from the Golgi Apparatus to the plasma membrane. SCAMP2 is a tetraspanning integral protein and Vti1b is a form of v-SNARE protein, both found in mammalian cells. We previously demonstrated siRNA knockdown procedures on both SCAMP2 and Vti1b separately. Post siRNA transfection, defects were observed for both SCAMP2 and Vti1b knockdown cells. Here, to further investigate whether or not the defects were the direct consequence of Vti1b knockdown and SCAMP2 knockdown, we generate rescue constructs for both genes that are resistant to siRNA knockdown. Both rescue constructs are generated using PCR mutagenesis by making primers with three base pairs mismatched on the siRNA annealing region. Since the experiment is currently in progress, we expected two possible outcomes after generating cell lines with the two rescue constructs. First, the defects will still be present indicating that the defects do not have a direct relationship to Vti1b or SCAMP2. On the other hand, if the defects disappear in the rescued Vti1b and SCAMP2 cell lines, this suggests that the defects indeed have a direct relationship to Vti1b and SCAMP2. Analysis of Surface Delivery of Epidermal Growth Factor Receptors Supervisor: GUO Yusong / LIFS Student: LI Chun Wa / BCB Course: UROP1000, Summer Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a type 1 receptor tyrosine kinase involved in cell proliferation, differentiation, migration, and survival. As a vital receptor, the surface trafficking of this transmembrane protein is of great physiological significance. Rab12 is a potential mediator of EGFR transport with little attention. To study protein-proteininteraction of Rab12 with EGFR, immunoprecipitation can be applied for Rab12 purification, in which an affinity tag is required for RAb12 protein enrichment. Therefore, molecular cloning was done to generate FLAG tag at 3’ end of Rab12 gene based on Rab12-3xHA plasmid and pCMV14 (3xFLAG) plasmid, followed by immunofluorescence staining to verify the normal functioning of Rab123xFLAG protein by comparing with functionally-verified Rab12-3xHA. In this project, we successfully cloned Rab12-3xFLAG gene and undergone immunofluorescence imaging for verification. Analysis of Secretion of Insulin-like Growth Factor 2 Supervisor: GUO Yusong / LIFS Student: LEE Kai Ho / BICH Course: UROP1100, Summer TMED10 is one of the members of the P24 family proteins. In a previous study, it was found that TMED10 is important for Insulin-like growth factor 2 (IGF2) secretion, and hence may contributes to regulating skeletal myogenesis and myoblast differentiation. Meanwhile, TMED10 is composed of different domains, and the GOLD domain is suspected to play a role in specific cargo recognition. In this research, we want to study the importance of GOLD domain on IGF2 secretion by generating a TMED10 deletion mutant lacking the GOLD domain. Immunoprecipitation and RUSH-assay will then be conducted to see the effect of GOLD domain on the IGF2-TMED10 interaction and the secretion of IGF2.

School of Science Division of Life Science 16 Molecular Mechanisms Regulating Secretion of Sonic Hedgehog Supervisor: GUO Yusong / LIFS Student: AGRAWAL Diya / BCB Course: UROP1100, Fall This report explored the trafficking of Frizzled6 protein using the RUSH system. Frizzled6 (Fzd6) being a transmembrane protein localised in the plasma membrane follow the secretory transport pathway. RUSH (Retention Using Selective Hooks) provides a mechanism to regulate the trafficking by retaining proteins of interest in desired organelles and releasing them upon treatment. In this report, RUSH-Fzd6 DNA construct is prepared by molecular cloning and transfected into HeLa cells. Fzd6 is tethered to Enhanced Green Fluorescence Protein (EGFP) as a reporter. Since the experiment is currently in progress, the paper establishes the expected outcomes of visualisation pattern of the protein under fluorescence microscope where initially, reporter and protein of interest are retained in ER and upon biotin treatment, they get exported from ER becoming visible in Golgi apparatus and subsequent organelles along the secretory pathway. Understanding Neuronal and Molecular Mechanisms Defining Behavioral Individuality Supervisor: HIRANO Yukinori / LIFS Student: CHO King Yi / BCB Course: UROP1000, Summer Behaviors are drastically shaped by experiences, while some aversive experience may induce behavioral alterations that can be retained for a long period. The central question is: how aversive experience is integrated into neural circuits affecting animal's behavioral repertoire? In current stage, we applied electric shock to 2202u wild type Drosophila and quantified their preference for wide or narrow arms using optimum 2-arms arenas after being shocked, as well as the retention duration of such preference. Our results show that flies generally shift towards anxiety-like behavioral phenotypes upon electric shock, which can be manifested as displaying a stronger disfavor towards narrower space or a stronger preference towards wide space. This claustrophobic-like preference could retain for at least 2 hours after shock. Biochemical Characterization of Histone Variants and Post-translationally Modified Nucleosomes Supervisor: ISHIBASHI Toyotaka / LIFS Student: TSUI Long Wai / BIBU Course: UROP1100, Fall Histones are evolutionarily highly conservative proteins that bind DNA in nucleus to form dense nucleosomes. A functional histone complex is an octamer, consisting two of each subunits H2A, H2B, H3 and H4. Variants of these subunits may deliver functions distinct from canonical histones. H2BFW is a variant of histone subunit H2B. Clinical data shows that mutation in H2BFW in male patients correlates with infertility. It is suspected that H2BFW functions to destabilize nucleosome in spermatogenesis, while the mutant form fails to do so. This study looks into the stability of H2BFW nucleosomes, and compare it to that of H2BFWmutant and canonical nucleosomes, using biochemical and biophysical techniques. This UROP report will be divided into three parts. In the first part, I will report on the work and results in the H2BFW study. In the second part, I will include progress on histone variant mouse H2A.P characterization. In the final part, I will give a brief reflection on my experience and discuss future research directions.

School of Science Division of Life Science 17 Biochemical Characterization of Histone Variants and Post-translationally Modified Nucleosomes Supervisor: ISHIBASHI Toyotaka / LIFS Student: TSUI Long Wai / BIBU Course: UROP2100, Spring H2A.P is a testis-specific histone variant of H2A that is not well-understood. Although H2A.P is predicted to have a secondary structure that resembles canonical H2A, we found that human H2A.P localizes in the cytosol instead of the nucleus, while mouse H2A.P is more enriched in the cytosol than the nucleus in mammalian cells. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching assay showed that human H2A.P is not bound to a stable structure in the cytosol. These interesting observations suggested that H2A.P probably does not bind DNA and form nucleosomes as typical histones do, and has distinct functions from canonical H2A. Domain-swap assay revealed that mouse H2A.P N-terminal and the histone-fold domain together are sufficient to exclude H2A from the nucleus and mouse H2A.P C-terminal may contribute to nucleus localization. Investigating the Effects of MEF2D on Transcription Dynamics at a Single-Molecule Level Supervisor: ISHIBASHI Toyotaka / LIFS Student: LEONG Kin Nam / BCB Course: UROP1100, Fall Previous research has shown that MEF2D (Myocyte-specific enhancer factor 2D) protein enhances polymerase transcription activity, however, a quantitative measurement of its effects has not been done. This project aims to investigate the quantitative effects of MEF2D on the dynamics of RNA polymerase transcription at a single molecule level, using optical tweezers. Results are unavailable at the time this report was written but has significant progress since the last progress report. This report focuses on the recap of the project, changes made to the experiment system, improvements that enabled progress and the current stage of the experiment.

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