Prof. CHOI Chung Hang Jonathan
Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering, CUHK

Area of Expertise: Nanomedicine, Bionanomaterials, Bio-nano interactions
Tel: 3943 8469
Location: ERB1115

Lab webpage:


Jonathan is the Assistant Dean (Student Affairs) of the Faculty of Engineering and an Associate Professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) and the School of Life Sciences (by courtesy) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). In August 2013, he joined CUHK as an assistant professor in the BME Program, then administered by the Department of Electronic Engineering. In July 2017, he joined the newly inaugurated CUHK Department of BME as a founding faculty member. He became an associate professor with tenure in August 2019.

Jonathan is the Communications Chair of the Bioinspired and Biomimetics Delivery Focus Group within the Controlled Release Society (CRS) and a senior member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He has recently served as a guest editor for the special issue entitled “Nanomedicines beyond Cancer” for Molecular Pharmaceutics.

Professional Education and Training

2013 Croucher Foundation Postdoctoral Scholar, Northwestern University
2011 Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology
2006 M.S. in Chemical Engineering, Stanford University
2005 B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Stanford University

Research Interest

The Choi group aims at developing novel techniques for delivering non-cationic bionanomaterials (e.g., DNA-coated nanoparticles, alkyl-terminated nanoparticles, and polydopamine-coated nanoparticles) to various target cell types in vitro and diseased locations in vivo for therapeutic applications. A rational approach to facilitating targeted delivery of bionanomaterials is to develop a comprehensive understanding in their fundamental interactions with the biological system (or bio-nano interactions). For in vitro studies, we elucidate the mechanisms for the endocytosis, intracellular trafficking, and exocytosis of NPs. For in vivo animal studies, we study the distribution of NPs down to the tissue, cellular, and subcellular levels.

Course Teaching in CUHK

BMEG2001 Introduction to Biomedical Engineering
BMEG3140 Molecular and Cellular Engineering Laboratory
BMEG3210 Biofluids BMEG4450 Bionanotechnology
BMEG4510 Biomolecular Engineering
BMEG4520 Cardiovascular Engineering
BMEG5840 Biomedical Engineering Laboratories

Honors & Awards

2017 Dean’s Exemplary Teaching Award, CUHK
2016 Croucher Innovation Award
2010 AIChE Bionanotechnology Graduate Student Award - 2nd Prize

Selected Publications

Yin B†, Ho LWC†, Liu S, Hong Hu, Tian XY, Li H, Choi CHJ*. Sub-10 nm substrate roughness promotes the cellular uptake of nanoparticles by upregulating endocytosis-related genes. Nano Lett., 21, 4, 1839–1847 (2021).

Choi CHJ*, Xiong MP*. Nanomedicines Beyond Cancer. Mol. Pharm., 18, 2, 475 (2021). (Invited Editorial for the Special Issue on “Nanomedicines Beyond Cancer”; accessed for >10,000 times within 30 days of publication.)

Yin B, Chan CKW, Liu S, Hong H, Wong SHD, Lee LKC, Ho LWC, Zhang L, Leung KCF, Choi PCL, Bian L*, Tian XY*, Chan MN*, Choi CHJ*. Intrapulmonary cellular-level distribution of inhaled nanoparticles with defined functional groups and its correlations with protein corona and inflammatory response. ACS Nano, 13, 12, 14048-14069 (2019).

Ho LWC, Liu Y, Han R, Bai Q, Choi CHJ*. Nano-cell interactions of non-cationic bionanomaterials. Acc. Chem. Res., 52, 6, 1519-1530 (2019).

Choi CKK†, Chiu YTE†, Zhuo X†, Liu Y, Pak CY, Liu X, Tse Y-L S; Wang J, Choi CHJ*. Dopamine-mediated assembly of citrate-capped plasmonic nanoparticles into stable core-shell nanoworms for intracellular applications. ACS Nano, 13, 5, 5864-5884 (2019).

Ho LWC, Yung WY, Sy KHS, Li HY, Choi CKK, Leung KCF, Lee TWY, Choi CHJ*. Effect of alkylation on the cellular uptake of polyethylene glycol-coated gold nanoparticles. ACS Nano, 11, 6, 6085-6101 (2017).

Yang H, Chen Z, Zhang L, Yung WY, Leung KCF, Chan HYE, Choi CHJ*. Mechanism for the cellular uptake of targeted gold nanorods of defined aspect ratios. Small, 12, 37, 5178-5189 (2016).