Rong Huang

Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology
Specialization: Drug Discovery, Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Epigenetics


B.S. -1996 Tongji Medical University (Pharmacy)
M.S. - 1999 Tongji Medical University (Pharmaceutical Science)
Ph.D. -2006 Purdue University (Medicinal Chemistry)
Postdoc. -2007-2011 Johns Hopkins University (Chemical Biology)


Project 1: Targeting Methyltransferases to discover new drugs

Project 2: Targeting Protein α-N-terminal Acetylation

Our lab applies a multidisciplinary approach to: 

  • Elucidate the mechanisms and functions of epigenetic modifications including methylation and  acetylation 
  • Rational design and synthesize selective and potent inhibitors for methyltransferases and acetyltransferases
  • Develop novel therapeutic agents for cancer and other diseases through targeting epigenetic pathways 

Please see: for detailed information.

Lab Members

Noha A. Ahmed (Post-Doctoral Research Associate)
Youchao Deng (Post-Doctoral Research Associate)
Krystal Diaz (Graduate Student)
Ming He (Research Associate)
Yi-Hsun Ho (Graduate Student)
Javeena Hussain (Post-Doctoral Research Associate)
Iredia David Iyamu (Post-Doctoral Research Associate)
Akshay Suhas Kulkarni (Post-Doctoral Research Associate)
Ying Meng (Graduate Student)
Emma K. Seipp (Graduate Student)

Service and Engagement

ACS Med Chem Division Long Range Planning Committee (2021-2023)


MCMP205 Medicinal Organic Chemistry

MCMP570 Basic Principles of Chemical Action on Biological Systems (Coordinator)

Honors and Credentials

2020-2025 Showalter Faculty Scholar

2020-2025 University Faculty Scholar


NIH R01CA258887 (2021-present)

NIH R01GM117275 (2016-present)

NIH U01CA214649 (2017-2021)

Purdue University College of Pharmacy Startup Funds

Administration and Committee Work

Chair of MCMP Graduate Advisory Committee

Representative Publications


Dong G, Deng Y, Yasgar A, Yadav R, Talley D, Zakharov A, Jain S, Ganesha R, Noinaj N, Simeonov A, Huang R. (2022) Venglustat inhibits protein N-terminal methyltransferase 1 in a substrate-competitive manner. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 65 (18), 12334-12345. Link

Iyamu ID, Vilseck J, Yadav R, Noinaj N, Huang R. (2022) Exploring unconventional SAM analogs to build cell-potent bisubstrate inhibitors for Nicotinamide N‐methyltransferase. Angewandte Chemie International Edition. Feb 8.​

Ho Y and Huang R. (2022) Effects of oncohistone mutations and PTM crosstalk on the N-terminal acetylation activities of NatD. ACS Chemical Biology. Jan 19. PMID: 35044762.

Griffiths A, Wang J, Song Q, Iyamu ID, Liu L, Park J, Jiang Y, Huang R, Song Z. (2021) Nicotinamide N-methyltransferase (NNMT) upregulation via the mTORC1-ATF4 pathway activation contributes to palmitate-induced lipotoxicity in hepatocytes. American Journal of Physiology-Cell Physiology. 321(3), C585-C595. PMID: 34378991.

Chen D, Meng Y, Yu D, Noinaj N, Chen X, Huang R. (2021) Chemoproteomic study uncovers HemK2/KMT9 as a new target for NTMT1 bisubstrate inhibitors. ACS Chemical Biology. 16, 1234-1242.

Deng Y, Deng S, Ho Y, Gardner SM, Huang Z, Marmorstein R, Huang R. (2021) Novel bisubstrate inhibitors for protein N-terminal acetyltransferase D. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 64, 8263-8271. PMID: 34110812.

Iyamu ID, Al-Hamashi AA and Huang R. (2021) A pan-inhibitor for protein arginine methyltransferase family enzymes. Biomolecules. 11(6), 854.

Iyamu ID, and Huang R. (2021) Mechanisms and inhibitors of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase. RSC Medicinal Chemistry. 12, 1254 - 1261.

Diaz K, Meng Y, Huang R. (2021) Past, present, and perspectives of protein N-terminal methylation. Current Opinion in Chemical Biology. 63, 115-122.

Chen D, Dong G, Deng Y, Noinaj N, Huang R. (2021) Structure-based Discovery of Cell-potent Peptidomimetic Inhibitors for Protein N-terminal Methyltransferase 1. ACS Medicinal Chemistry Letters. 12, 485-493.

Ho Y, Chen L, Huang R. (2021) Development of a continuous fluorescence-based assay for N-terminal acetyltransferase D. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 22, 594. PMID: 33435607; PMCID:PMC7827481.

Al-Hamashi AA, Chen D, Deng Y, Dong G, Huang R. (2021) Discovery of a Potent and Dual-Selective Bisubstrate Inhibitor for Protein Arginine Methyltransferase 4/5. Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B. 11(9), 2709-2718

Mackie BD, Chen D, Dong G, Dong C, Parker H, Schaner Tooley C, Noinaj N, Min J, Huang R. (2020) Selective Peptidomimetic Inhibitors of NTMT1/2: Rational design, synthesis, characterization, and crystallographic studies. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 63, 9512-9522. PMID: 32689795. PMCID: PMC74286280.

Chen D, Dong C, Dong G, Srinivasan K, Min J. Noinaj N, Huang R. (2020) Probing the plasticity in the active site of protein N-terminal methyltransferase 1 using bisubstrate analogs. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry. 63, 8419-8431. PMID: 32605369.

Iyamu, I. D., and Huang, R. (2020) Development of fluorescence polarization-based competition assay for nicotinamide N-methyltransferase. Analytical Biochemistry: Methods in the Biological Sciences. 604, 113833. PMID: 32622979.

Dong G., Yasgar A., Darrell Dl, Zakharov A., Talley D., Cheng K., Jadhav A., Simeonov A., Huang R. (2020) Optimization of high-throughput methyltransferase assays for the discovery of small molecule inhibitors. ACS Combinatorial Science. 22, 422-432.  PMID: 32525297. PMCID: PMC7429283.

Al-Hamashi A, Diaz K, Huang R (2020) Non-histone arginine methylation by protein arginine methyltransferases. Current Protein & Peptide Science 21(7), 699-712. PMID: 32379587. DOI: 10.2174/1389203721666200507091952.

Chen D, Li L, Diaz K, Iyamu I, Yadav R, Noinaj N, Huang R. (2019) Novel propargyl-linked bisubstrate analogs as tight-binding Inhibitors for nicotinamide N-methyltransferase. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 62 (23), 10783-10797. PMID: 31724854.

Chen D, Dong G, Noinaj N, Huang R. (2019) Discovery of bisubstrate inhibitors for protein N-terminal methyltransferase 1. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 62(7), 3773-3779PMID: 30883119.

Huang R. (2019) Chemical biology of protein N-terminal methyltransferases. ChemBioChem. Young Researcher Issue: ChemBioTalents.  20 (8), 976-984. PMID: 30479015. PMCID: PMC6465133.

Cheng D, Dong G., Li L, Zhu L., Tempel W, Liu Y, Huang R*, and Jin M*. (2018) An asparagine/glycine switch governs product specificity of human N-terminal methyltransferase NTMT2. Communications Biology 1, 183. PMID: 30417120. PMCID: PMC6214909 (* co-corresponding  authors)

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