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Professor Leifu Chang selected as University Faculty Scholar


Leifu Chang, associate professor of biological sciences was selected as a University Faculty Scholar by the Office of the Provost.

The University Faculty Scholars Program recognizes outstanding faculty members who are on an accelerated path for academic distinction. Recipients of this honor have the rank of tenured associate or full professor and have been in that rank for no more than five years. Faculty scholars are nominated by their academic areas, reviewed by a committee in the College of Science, and approved by the provost. Faculty Scholars are appointed for a five-year term and receive an annual $10,000 discretionary allocation to support their research. The program was created in 1998, Chang will begin his five-year term on July 1, 2024.

Professor Chang combines cryo-EM and biochemical reconstitution approach to understand the molecular mechanism of large protein complexes, focusing on those in cell cycle regulation.

Chang is recognized for his outstanding contributions to structural biology. He specializes in using a cutting-edge technique called cryo-electron microscopy to study protein complexes, particularly focusing on their structures at a molecular level. Additionally, Chang and his research team have been instrumental in unraveling the intricacies of natural RNA-guided systems, which are vital tools for precisely editing genomes and potentially treating genetic disorders. Their work has shed light on various CRISPR-Cas systems, including alternatives to the well-known CRISPR-Cas9, as well as CRISPR-associated transposons. These systems are notable for their ability to accurately insert DNA into specific locations within the genome. The insights gleaned from Chang's research hold promise for the development of innovative genome editing tools that could revolutionize the field of genetic engineering.


About the Department of Biological Sciences at Purdue University

Purdue University's Department of Biological Sciences is committed to conducting innovative research that addresses pressing challenges in the life sciences. What we do is biology at scales. With a focus on interdisciplinary collaboration and cutting-edge technologies, our faculty and students are at the forefront of discovery and innovation. We provide life changing education and game changing research. Learn more at


Writer: Alisha Referda,

Source: Leifu Chang,

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