A.E. Arbuzov Institute of Organic and Physical Chemistry

Subdivision of the Federal State Budgetary Institution of Science "Kazan Scientific Center of Russian Academy of Sciences"


Professor Yufen Zhao

(P.R. China) (1948)


Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences,

Professor of Chemistry
at the Xiamen University






Yu-Fen Zhao is well known authority and specialist in the organophosphorus chemistry field as well in the adjoining fields. A set of scientific achievements were made by Professor Yu-Fen Zhao in the following important directions: Phosphorus Chemistry and Origin
of Life; Penta-Coordinate Phosphorus Chemistry; P-C Bond Formation; Medicinal Chemistry; Mass Spectrometry Analysis; 31P NMR and Theoretical Computation.
She is author and co-author of more than 800 publications in top-level international chemical and biochemical journals. Especially important contribution was made by Professor Zhao into the field of the origin of the Earth life and the medicinal chemistry.
For the first time it was demonstrated the high-energy P-N bond might have participated in the evolution of prebiotic chemistry. N-phosphoryl amino acids (PAAs) can serve as interesting small molecular models for the P-N bond in prebiotic chemical evolution.
PAAs are capable of simultaneously producing several important biomolecules such as polypeptides and oligonucleotides under mild reaction conditions. The remarkable reaction of N-phosphoryl amino acids with nucleoside mixtures, forming peptides and oligonucleotides
simultaneously, suggests a pathway of ‘co-evolution of proteins and nucleic acids’.
Professor Zhao presented an evolution model of modern protease and nuclease. The dipeptide Ser-His is the shortest peptide ever reported to show cleavage activity with multiple categories of natural substrates, such as DNA, protein, the ester p-NPA and RNA.