• The University of Western Australia (M310), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth


Personal profile


Dr. Haibo Jiang is currently a Group Leader and DECRA Research Fellow at UWA. Before his relocation to Australia, Dr. Jiang completed his PhD in Materials at University of Oxford, and continued for a postdoc in Prof. Chris Grovenor’s group working on the development of innovative bioimaging methods.


Our research group aims to develop and use advanced forms of imaging and other analytical methods (Technology) to investigate the trafficking and metabolism of molecules (Science), as well as exploit potential applications of our science to improve human health (Engineering).

Latest publications: https://scholar.google.com.au/citations?hl=en&user=2UU5wGwAAAAJ&view_op=list_works&sortby=pubdate

1. Developing new approaches to investigate molecular trafficking and metabolism. In the past few years, we have established reliable protocols to combine NanoSIMS analysis with other advanced microscopy techniques to obtain multimodal information from the exact same sample—ranging from molecules, single cells and tissue sections. These innovative technologies have been an engine of discovery, which have allowed us to visualise important biological processes, as well as to formulate attractive hypotheses for future studies. We aim to further develop our approaches to better investigate mechanisms of trafficking and metabolism of molecules, particularly lipids and drugs.

2. Defining mechanisms for lipid transport in health and disease. Taking advantage our novel technologies,we have visualised, for the first time, the trafficking of lipolysis products in normal tissues and tumours, and studied the mechanisms that enable fatty acids to cross capillary endothelial cells. We also discovered the release of cholesterol-rich particles from macrophage filopodia and lamellipodia during their movement. While our progress in visualising lipid transport has been gratifying, some of the basic mechanisms for lipid transport in cells and tissues are still unclear. We plan to further define, using advanced imaging technologies as well as genetic and biochemistry approaches, mechanisms of lipid trafficking and metabolism.

3. Defining subcellular drug distribution and trafficking. A crucial question in the treatment of diseases caused is whether drugs effectively reach their targets within specific cells.Our approaches make it possible to fill in a gap in our understandings of drug trafficking and metabolism—how the subcellular environment and context affect pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. In the past few years, we directly visualized the interaction between antimicrobial peptides and lipid membranes, and amiodarone-induced phospholipidosis in pulmonary macrophages. We also identified lipid droplets act as accessible reservoir for an anti-tuberculosis drug, bedaquiline. We plan to further investigate trafficking mechanisms of a wide range of pharmaceuticals ranging from small molecules, peptides, oligonucleotides to antibodies as well as nanomaterials.

In addition, our studies on lipid and drug trafficking have provided and will continue to provide important insights into the molecular mechanisms of the trafficking of these molecules. We plan to explore downstream engineering opportunities of our fundamental scientific discoveries, particularly in the area of biomedical imaging and molecular delivery.


Research interests

Molecular trafficking, lipid metabolism, drug-cell interactions, microscopy, mass spectrometry imaging

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Materials, DPhil, University of Oxford

Industry keywords

  • Biotechnology
  • Medicine and Pharma
  • Bioengineering

Research expertise keywords

  • Lipid metabolism
  • Molecular trafficking
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Microscopy
  • Imaging Mass Spectrometry
  • NanoSIMS


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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