Jing-Ke Weng

Professor,  Chemistry & Chemical Biology
Professor,  Bioengineering
Affiliated Faculty,  Chemical Engineering


Social Media

Related Links

Research Focus

Natural product biochemistry, plant abiotic and biotic interactions, carbon sequestration, agricultural biotechnology, food allergy, drug discovery


Jing-Ke Weng is the Inaugural Director of Institute for Plant-Human Interface (IPHI) and a Professor of Chemistry, Chemical Biology, and Bioengineering at Northeastern University. He was a member of the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research and an Assistant and Associate Professor of Biology at MIT between 2013 and 2023. He was a Pioneer Postdoctoral Fellow at the Salk Institute and HHMI between 2009 and 2013. He received his BS in Biotechnology from Zhejiang University and PhD in Biochemistry from Purdue University.


  • PhD, Biochemistry, Purdue University, 2009
  • BS, Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, 2003

Honors & Awards

  • Food Allergy Science Initiative Investigator, 2021
  • Purdue University College of Agriculture Distinguished Agriculture Alumni Award, 2021
  • The Smith Family Foundation Odyssey Award, 2018
  • Scialog Fellow of the Research Corporation & the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, 2018
  • Beckman Young Investigator Award, 2016
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow in Computational & Evolutionary Molecular Biology, 2016
  • Searle Scholar, 2015
  • Pew Scholar in the Biomedical Sciences, 2014
  • American Society of Plant Biologists Early Career Award, 2014
  • Tansley Medal for Excellence in Plant Science, 2013

Research Overview

Natural product biochemistry, plant abiotic and biotic interactions, carbon sequestration, agricultural biotechnology, food allergy, drug discovery

Plant metabolism is a treasure trove for multifaceted scientific exploration that can impact plant biology, biochemistry, evolutionary biology, and biomedical research. The extraordinary chemodiversity within the plant kingdom suggests an immense wealth of unknown biochemistry and relevant biological functions waiting to be discovered. Additionally, plant metabolic systems display significant depth and richness in their phylogenetic distribution, offering a unique arena for studying the evolutionary mechanisms and trajectories of complex metabolic traits. Given that numerous plants are renowned for their properties to influence human consciousness and to treat various diseases, leveraging such traditional knowledge through contemporary scientific methods opens up new opportunities to enhance our understanding of human biology and to devise new therapies inspired by natural products. The Weng Lab is interested in addressing four fundamental questions concerning plant metabolism: (I) How do diverse metabolic traits evolve in plants? (II) How do metabolic systems organize at the subcellular, cellular, tissue, and even interspecies levels to achieve efficient metabolic output in their native plant hosts? (III) What are the biological functions and action mechanisms of discrete plant specialized metabolites in their native plant hosts and/or in the context of treating human diseases? (IV) How can we effectively utilize synthetic biology strategies to engineer the sustainable production of valuable plant-derived natural products?

Weng Laboratory

The Weng lab focuses on understanding the origin and evolution of plant specialized metabolism, and how to harness plant biochemistry to advance human health and sustainability on planet Earth.

Weng Laboratory

Selected Publications

Google Scholar
Jing-Ke Weng


Aug 18, 2023

New Faculty Spotlight: Jing-Ke Weng

Jing-Ke Weng joins the Bioengineering department in August 2023 as a Professor with a joint appointment in Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

View All Related News