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Department of Chemistry Ming Xian Research Group

Welcome to the Xian Group

Attention Perspective Students:

If you are interested in joining the Xian laboratory for your PhD training, please contact Dr. Xian directly and email him your CV, transcripts (unofficial), personal statement. Dr. Xian will evaluate your profile, facilitate your application, and even reimburse your application fee!


Our group is working on the interface between chemistry and biology. We are especially interested in the research related to signaling molecules. Redox signaling molecules such as nitric oxide (NO) and hydrogen sulfide (H2S) play important roles in a number of physiological and pathophysiological processes. The detailed understanding of their biological functions is challenging because these molecules are very reactive and can undergo many possible biochemical reactions to form complicated products. Our long-term goal is to understand the fundamental mechanisms of NO and H2S related to their functions. In this field researchers have limited access of tools to mimic biological generation of these signaling molecules and monitor their fates in biological systems. Our lab has been actively exploring such chemical tools and has identified some promising candidates. We hope our efforts will ultimately lead to a better understanding of the significance of NO and H2S and initiate new strategies of related therapy.
Note: our lab will move to Brown University in Rhode Island in summer of 2020. We will be in GeoChem (rooms 401, 402, 403, 404B, 406, and 455). You are welcome to visit us!

Thank you for visiting the website of Dr. Ming Xian’s group!

H2S fluorescent sensor database:

News and Events

  1. June 2019 – Our selenylsulfide work was accepted by Organic Letters. Congrats to Akil and co-authors.
  2. June 2019 – Our H2S scavenger work has been highlighted by C&EN, check this link
  3. June 2019 – Our H2S scavenger work has been published in Angew Chem Int Ed.
  4. May 2019 – Mr. Jacob Day has completed his PhD at WSU and is going to Northwestern University for his postdoc training with Prof. Richard Silverman. Ms. Deshka Neill has completed her undergraduate training and is going to UC Berkeley for her PhD degree. Thank you for your hard work in our lab. You will be missed. Wish you all the best!
  5. June 2018 – H2S fluorescent sensor database is on-line. Thanks NSF for funding this project! You can find info about all reported sensors:
  6. May 2018 – Jianming successfully defended his Ph.D. Congratulations Dr. Kang!
  7. April 2018 – Our work on O to S relay deprotection for the design of donors for reactive sulfur species has been published in Angew Chem Int Ed.
  8. April 2018 – Deshka Neill won the top award-Crimson Award (1st place) in WSU Showcase for Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities (SURCA). Good job Deshka!
  9. March 2018 – Jake Day is awarded the Anne and Russ Fuller Fellowship. Our review article about hydrogen polysulfides have been accepted by Br. J. Pharmacol. Congratulations!
  10. January 2018 – Our work on cyclic acyl disulfides/selenylsulfides has been published in Org. Lett. Congratulations to Jianming, Aaron, Wei.
  11. January 2018 – Jianming just got married! Congratulations!!
  12. January 2018 – Our work on trisulfide synthesis has been accepted by Organic Letters. Congratulations to Steve, Yingying, Miles, and Aaron!
  13. December 2017 – Congratulations to Wei Chen for his Angew paper on the new fluorescent dyes, the Washington Red series. See the news:
  14. December 2017  – Welcome the new visiting professor-Dr. Heng Liu from Hubei University, China
  15. August 2017- We have completed our move to a completely remodeled Troy Hall!!
  16. June 2017 – Congratulations to Armando and Tyler for completing their PhD!!!!
  17. May 2017   –  Congratulations to Jacob Day for receiving the Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award, aka NIH F31predoctoral fellowship. See the news:
  18. July 2015 – Congratulations to Steve on his marriage to Yingying Wang!
  19. Congratulations to Armando and Jianming on their publication in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry on the cardioprotective effects of N-mercapto based hydrogen sulfide donors!
  20. June 2015 – Congratulations to Tyler, on his engagement to Karin!
  21. May 2015 –  Congratulations to Bo, for being awarded the RA of the Year in the Chemistry Department.
  22. May 2015 – Congratulations to Wei, Ethan, and Di for publishing their work on a new hydrogen polysulfide probe in Org. Lett. Congratulations to Chung-Min, Laksiri, and Jake for publishing a review on persulfides in Mol. BioSyst.
  23. April 2015 – Our work on Phosphine Mediated Conjugation of S-Nitrosothiols and Aldehydes has been published in Tet. Lett. Congratulations to Tyler, Laksiri and Chung-Min!
  24. Feb 2015 – Our work on diselenide based H2S fluorescent probes was published in Org. Lett. Congratulations to Bo, Armando, and Wei!
  25. November 2014 – Our three protocol papers on H2S donors and sensors have been published in Methods in Enzymology, congratulations to Bo and Chung-Min!
  26. September 2014 – We welcome two new graduate students to join our lab: Jake Day and Steve Xu.
  27. August 2014 – We welcome a new postdoctoral researcher-Dr. Laksiri Weerasinghe.
  28. August 2014 – Our work on thio-activated gem-dithiol based H2S donors has been published in Org. Lett, congratulations to Yu, Jianming, Chung-Min, and Powell! In addition, another work on isotope dilution mass method for sulfane sulfur detection has been published in Free Radical Biol. Med. Congratulations to Chunrong!
  29. July 2014 – Congratulations to Yu on the completion of his doctorate!
  30. May 2014 – Our paper entitled “Rational Design and Bioimaging Applications of Highly Selective Fluorescence Probes for Hydrogen Polysulfides” has been published in the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Congratulations to Chungrong, Wei, Bo and Yu!
  31. May 2014 – Congratulations to our undergraduate, Brett Johnson, for being awarded a summer mini-grant!
  32. April 2014 – Three group members received awards in 2014 Chemistry Department Awards and Recognition Banquet. Armando Pacheco is the 2014 TA of the Year; Bo Peng received the Donald S. Matteson Graduate Fellowship; Yu Zhao received the Gardner Stacy Research Scholarship. Congratulations!
  33. March 2014 – Our work on hydrogen sulfide has been made the news! Original Article
  34. March 2014 – Our group welcomes a new visiting scholar, Dr. Caihong Zhang, from Shanxi University, China.
  35. March 2014 – Our collaborative work (with Prof. Akaike and Prof. Fukuto), entitled “Reactive cysteine persulfides and S-polythiolation regulate oxidative stress and redox signaling” has been accepted for publication in Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. Congratulations!
  36. March 2014 – Our paper entitled “A reductive ligation based fluorescent probe for S-nitrosothiols” has been accepted for publication in Chemical Communications. Congratulations Di and Wei!
  37. February 2014 – Congratulations to Ethan for receiving NASA Space Grant Undergraduate Scholarship. Also, Ethan has been awarded the Undergraduate Award in Organic Chemistry by American Chemical Society’s Division of Organic Chemistry. Excellent work!
  38. February 2014 – Our paper entitled “Detection of Protein S-Sulfhydration by a Tag-Switch Technique.” has been selected as a hot paper for the months January/February of European Network on Gasotransmitters. Good job!
  39. November 2013 – Our work entitled “Detection of Protein S-Sulfhydration by a Tag-Switch Technique.” has been accepted for publication in Angewandte Chemie International Edition. Congrats! Dehui, Nelmi, Chung-Min, and  Jia.
  40. October 2013 – Congrats! to Ethan for receiving Sciences Undergraduate Scholar Grant (WSU).
  41. October 2013 – Our work entitled “Fluorescent probes on nucleophilic substitution-cyclization for hydrogen sulfide detection and bioimaging.” has been accepted for publication in Chemistry – A European Journal. Congrats! Bo, Wei, Chunrong, Ethan, Armando, Yu.
  42. September 2013 – Our lab welcomes graduate students, Jianming Kang and Di Zhang.
  43. September 2013 – Our lab welcomes a visiting scholar from China, Dr. Yang Chuntao, Guangzhou Medical University in China.
  44. September 2013 – Chung-Min presented “Development of Novel Controllable H2S Donors and their Biological Effects” at the 246th ACS National Meeting at Indianapolis, In.
  45. July 2013 – Yu was selected to give a talk at the graduate research symposium being held by ACS Division of Organic Chemsitry, Delaware.
  46. July 2013 – Dr. Xian was invited to visit Japan. He received the Tohuku Medical Society Lectureship in Tohoku University, Japan. He gave a seminar as part of the World Science Leaders’ Seminar Series in Tsukuba University, Japan. He also gave a talk in the 24th Annual Meeting of the Japanese Society for Host Defense Research at Kumamoto, Japan.
  47. July 2013 – Our work entitled “Synthesis and evaluation of phosphorodithioate-based hydrogen sulfide donors” has been accepted for publication in Molecular BioSystems. Congrats! Chung-Min, Yu, Armando, Bo, Nelmi, and Powell.
  48. June 2013 – Powell presented entitled “Development of New Controllable Hydrogen Sulfide Donors” at the 43rd ACS National Organic Chemistry Symposium, Seattle. He received the ACS DOC travel award.
  49. June 2013 – Nelmi moved to Wake Forest School of Medicine for a postdoctoral training. A fond farewell!
  50. May 2013 – Our work on “Selective Sulfane Sulfur Detection” was recently highlighted in CHEMISTRY WORLD. Good job!
  51. May 2013 – Our work entitled “Light-induced hydrogen sulfide release from “Caged” gem-dithiols” has been accepted for publication in Organic Letter. Congrats! Nelmi, Powell, Bo, Yu, Chung-Min.
  52. April 2013 – Our work entitled “New fluorescent probes for sulfane sulfurs and the application in bioimaging” has been accepted for publication in Chemical Science. Congrats! Wei, Chunrong, Bo, Yu, and Pacheco.
  53. April 2013 – Our work entitled “Direct methods for the detection of protein S-nitrosation” has been accepted for publication in Methods. Congrats! Nelmi and Dehui.
  54. April 2013 – Congratulations! to Powell for receiving a Travel Grant from the Division of Organic Chemistry, American Chemical Society, for attending the 43rd National Organic Chemistry Symposium, Seattle. Also, Powell received Undergraduate Summer Minigrant from WSU. Congratulations Powell!
  55. April 2013 – Our work on “Hydrogen Sulfide Donors Protect Heart Cells” was recently highlighted in C&EN. Good job!
  56. April 2013 – Our paper entitled “Controllable hydrogen sulfide donors and the activity against myocardial ischemia-reperfusion injury” was accepted for publication in ACS Chemical Biology. Congrats to Yu, Jason, Armando, Bo and Nelmi.
  57. April 2013 – Our lab welcomes a new visiting professor, Dr. Shaomin Shuang, Shanxi University in China.
  58. March 2013 – Dr. Xian has been selected to receive the first combined College of Arts and Sciences faculty Recognition Award for Mid-Career Achievement in Scholarship/Research/Creative Activities. Congrats! Dr. Xian.
  59. January 2013 – Our lab welcomes a new graduate student Armando Pacheco.
  60. January 2013 – Congrats! to Powell for receiving a College of Arts and Sciences Grant (WSU).
  61. December 2012 – Dr. Xian was invited to visit Japan and to give talks about our hydrogen sulfide research in the 2012 International Symposium on Signaling Functions of Reactive Oxygen Species in Fukuoka. He also visited Prof. Takaaki Akaike’s lab at Kumamoto University, as well as the Dojindo Laboratories Inc. He enjoyed many traditional Japanese foods such as sushi and sashimi. He especially enjoyed the hot-spring at Kurokawa Spa. It’s hot!
  62. September 2012 – Yu, Nelmi, and Dr. Xian attended the 2nd International Conference on H2S Biology and Medicine at Atlanta, Georgia.
  63. August 2012 – Our lab welcomes a new postdoc, Dr. Wei Chen.
  64. August 2012 – Our lab welcomes a new graduate student Tyler Biggs.
  65. August 2012 – Chung-Min, Chunrong, and Dr. Xian attended the 244th ACS National Meeting at Philadelphia, PA.
  66. August 2012 – Our paper published in Organic Letter. Congrats to Chung-Min, Chunrong, and Tyler.
  67. July 2012 – Yu and Nelmi attended Gordon Research Conference on Thiol-Based Redox Regulation & Signaling at Lewiston, Maine.
  68. June 2012 – Our paper published in Organic Letter. Congrats to Chunrong, Bo, and Chung-Min.
  69. April 2102 – Dr. Xian is selected as one of three 2012 Teva USA Scholar Awardees, sponsored by the American Chemical Society and Teva Pharmaceuticals. Congratulations! Dr. Xian.
  70. April 2012 – Congratulations! to Nelmi for successful completion of his Ph.D.
  71. April 2012 – Our paper published in Organic Letter. Congrats to Dehui and Nelmi
  72. April 2012 – Postdoc Dehui moved to University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
  73. January 2012 – Our lab welcomes a new undergraduate student Powell Bagdon
  74. December 2011 – Congratulations! to Jia for successful completion of his Ph.D.