Dr. Mei Hong

Professor of Chemistry

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
170 Albany Street
Cambridge, MA, 02139

My research centers on the development and application of solid-state NMR techniques to elucidate the structure and dynamics of biological macromolecules. I have a long-standing interest in membrane proteins involved in infectious diseases. These include influenza and SARS-CoV-2 ion channels, HIV fusion proteins, bacterial multidrug-resistance transporters, and antimicrobial peptides. I am also interested in the structure and dynamics of amyloid proteins. Currently we are focusing on the microtubule-associated protein tau, which aggregates in the brains of Alzheimer’s disease and a number of other neurodegenerative diseases In addition to proteins, my group has pioneered the studies of plant cell wall polysaccharides using multidimensional solid-state NMR spectroscopy.


To elucidate the structures and dynamics of these complex biomolecular systems, I develop innovative solid-state NMR tools such as 19F NMR experiments to measure nanometer-range inter-atomic distances, spin polarization transfer experiments to measure protein-water and protein-ligand interactions, and site-resolved dipolar and quadrupolar NMR experiments to investigate the geometry of molecular motion.


1992 – 1996      Ph.D. Chemistry, University of California Berkeley
1990 – 1992      B. A. Chemistry, summa cum laude, Mount Holyoke College


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


2023    Protein Society Christian Anfinsen Award
2021    American Chemical Society Nakanishi prize
2018    Nirit and Michael Shaoul Fellow, Sackler Institute of Advanced Studies, Tel Aviv University
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


By summer 2022, ~225 publications, with a Web of Science cumulative h-index of 61.