Qing-Bin Lu

Qing-Bin Lu
Professor, University Research Chair, Undergraduate Advisor - Chemical Physics
Location: PHY 376
Phone: 519-888-4567 x43503


Professor Lu’s research programs cross disciplines in physics, chemistry, environment, climate, biology and medicine, particularly focusing on femtomedicine and cancer therapy, as well as the sciences of atmospheric ozone depletion (the ozone holes) and global climate change (“global warming”).

Research Interests

  • Ultrafast laser spectroscopic techniques
  • Drug Discovery, Design and Delivery
  • Nano-scale and atomic-scale surface science
  • Climate Change and Geosciences
  • Biochemistry and Biophysics
  • Photonics
  • Molecular Therapeutics and Theranostics
  • Ozone Depletion and Climate Change

Scholarly Research

I. Fundamental experimental and theoretical discoveries of a new mechanism for global ozone depletion and of the tropical ozone hole. a) Discoveries of the dissociative-electron-transfer (DET) mechanism of halogenated molecules [Lu & Madey, PRL 82, 4122(1999); Lu & Sanche, PRB63, 153403(2001)], the cosmic-ray-driven electron-induced reaction (CRE) mechanism of the ozone holes [Lu & Madey, JCP 111, 2861(1999); Lu & Sanche, PRL 87, 078501(2001), selected as the only Featured Article in the Issue and accompanied by an APS news article—Phys Rev Focus 8, 8 (2001)], and the all-season and largest tropical O3 hole for the first time that has a depth similar to that of the spring Antarctic O3 hole while its area is 7 times larger [Lu, AIP Adv 12, 075006 (2022), selected as a Featured Article, highlighted by an AIP Press Release, and promoted by the AIP for multiple times in Tweets or Facebook in 2022-2023; Lu, AIP Adv 12, 129101 (2022)]; b) Found the fingerprints of the CRE mechanism and made the prediction of 11-yr cyclic variations in polar O3 loss and stratospheric cooling [Lu, PRL 102, 118501(2009); Phys Rep 487, 141(2010);Int J Mod Phys B27, 1350073(2013); AIP Adv 11, 115307(2021)]; c) Formulation of the CRE mechanism for parameter-free quantitative calculations of global O3 depletion [PNAS 120, e2303048120(2023)]. “This work is a tour de force”, commented by the reviewers. This paper represents a milestone for quantifying global O3 depletion, which has not only removed the persistent discrepancies between photochemical models and observations but also validated Lu’s discovery of the tropical ozone hole; and d) Development of a complete theory of O3 depletion [Invited monograph (World Scientific, 1st Ed, 2015, pp.1-285; 2nd Ed., 2024)]. These discoveries have made a paradigm shift in understanding atmospheric ozone depletion and the ozone holes, pushed the established field of ozone depletion into a new direction, and greatly advanced the state of the art of the field. II. Discovery of the CFC theory of modern global warming. a) Discovered the correlation of global mean surface temperature (GMST) with CFCs and for the first time predicted the reversal of global warming since the turn of the century [Lu, Phys Rep 487, 141(2010)]. b) Made in-depth statistical analyses of substantial observed datasets and theoretical calculations showing that halogen-containing greenhouse gases (halo-GHGs, mainly CFCs) could alone cause the observed GMST rise of ~0.6 K in 1970-2002 [J Cosmology 8, 1846(2010) and Int J Modern Phys B 2013, 27, 1350073(2013)]; c) Presented comprehensive observed datasets, statistical analyses, and parameter-free calculations by a quantum physical model of climate change, identified a critical problem in the fundamental physics of CO2 climate models, and assessed the hypothesized large radiative forcing of CO2 by 6 key observations [Atmosphere 13, 1419(2022) and ibid 14, 1232(2023)]. All the results have reached a compelling conclusion that halo-GHGs not only cause the O3 holes via the CRE mechanism but are the dominant cause of global warming; and d) Development of a complete new theory of global warming, which enables zero-parameter analytical calculations of GMST [Lu, Invited monograph (World Scientific, 1st Ed, 2015, pp.1-285; 2nd Ed., 2024)]. These findings have identified the right major culprit of global warming, helping humans make rational policies to reverse past warming and maintain a healthy economy and ecosystem. III. Discoveries of a new reductive DNA-damaging mechanism, novel cancer therapies and an amplification mechanism in human immune defense. a) Discovery of a new reductive damaging mechanism in DNA and the cell [J Am Chem Soc 131, 11320(2009); PNAS 108, 11778(2011); and Sci Rep 3, 3169(2013)]; b) Discovery of novel combinational therapies of cisplatin [Luo, ...& Lu, PNAS 109, 10175(2012); Zhang & Lu, Sci Rep 11, 788(2021)]; and c) Discovery of a new class of non-Pt-based antitumor agents for targeted chemotherapy and radiotherapy of multiple types (>5) of cancer through the innovative femtomedicine (FMD) approach [Lu et al., EBioMD 2, 544(2015); Wang et al., Mol Cancer Ther 15, 640(2016); and Goetze et al., Cells 8, 563(2019)]; and d) Proposal of an amplification mechanism in human immune defense [Lu, Cells 9, 1461(2020)]. Our discovered reductive DNA-damaging mechanism was highlighted by a News & Views article in Nature [L. Sanche, NATURE 461, 358-359(2009)]; our invented novel anticancer molecules for targeted chemo- and radio-therapy of multiple cancers was highlighted by Elsevier with a Press Release on May 13, 2015; and our novel combination therapy of cisplatin was ranked as one of the top 100 downloaded cancer papers for Sci Rep in 2021 and was highlighted by the Canadian Cancer Society in March 2022.


  • 1997 PhD Physics, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
  • 1989 MSc Physics, The Chinese Academy of Science, Xicheng District, Beijing, China
  • 1986 BSc Physics, Fuzhou University, Fuzhou, Fujian Province, China


  • 2014 to 2021, University Research Chair, University of Waterloo
  • 2008-2013, New Investigator Award, Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)
  • 2007-2012, Early Researcher Award, Ontario's Ministry of Research and Innovation
  • 2001-2006, Senior Research Fellowship (Phases I & II), Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR)

Professional Associations

  • 2012-2023 Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Peer Review Committee, member
  • 2008-present Member of the College of Reviewers for Canada Research Chairs program
  • 2012-2013 Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute, Peer Review Committee, member
  • 2012-2013 Terry Fox New Frontiers Program in Cancer, Peer Review Committee, member for Team Grant

Affiliations and Volunteer Work

  • Cross appointment, Department of Biology, University of Waterloo
  • Cross appointment, Department of Chemistry, University of Waterloo


  • PHYS 359 - Statistical Mechanics
    • Taught in 2023
  • PHYS 380 - Molecular and Cellular Biophysics
    • Taught in 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023
  • PHYS 395 - Biophysics of Therapeutic Methods
    • Taught in 2020, 2022, 2024
  • PHYS 491 - Special Topics in Life, Medical and Biophysics
    • Taught in 2020

* Only courses taught in the past 5 years are displayed.

Selected/Recent Publications

  • QB Lu, Critical Review on Radiative Forcing and Climate Models for Global Climate Change since 1970, Atmosphere 14(8), 1232(2023) (33 pages); https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos14081232. An invited review.
  • QB Lu, Formulation of the cosmic ray–driven electron-induced reaction mechanism for quantitative understanding of global ozone depletion. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (PNAS) 120, e2303048120 (1-11) (2023).
  • QB Lu, Response to “Comment on ‘Observation of large and all-season ozone losses over the tropics’” [AIP Adv. 12, 075006 (2022)], AIP Advances 12, 129101(2022) (17 pages).
  • QB Lu, Major Contribution of Halogenated Greenhouse Gases to Global Surface Temperature Change. Atmosphere 13(9), 1419(1-16) (2022).
  • QB Lu, Observation of Large and All-Season Ozone Losses over the Tropics, AIP Advances 12 (7), 075006 (1-12) (2022). This paper reports the first discovery of the all-season tropical ozone hole that has depth similar to that of the well-known springtime Antarctic ozone hole while its area is seven times larger. This article was chosen by the Editors of AIP Advances to publish as a Featured Article and highlighted by an American Institute of Physics (AIP) Press Release: “Discovery Reveals Large, Year-Round Ozone Hole Over Tropics” (https://publishing.aip.org/publications/latest-content/discovery-reveals-large-year-round-ozone-hole-over-tropics/ ).
  • Zhang, Q.R. and Lu, Q.B. New combination chemotherapy of cisplatin with an electron‑donating compound for treatment of multiple cancers, (Springer Nature’s) Scientific Reports 11:788(2021).
  • Lu, Q.B. Reaction Cycles of Halogen Species in the Immune Defense: Implications for Human Health and Diseases and the Pathology and Treatment of COVID-19. Cells 9: 1461(1-18) (2020).
  • Hu, Y., Honek, J., Wilson, B. and Lu, Q.B. Design, synthesis and photocytotoxicity of upconversion nanoparticles: Potential applications for near-infrared photodynamic and photothermal therapy. J Biophotonics. 2019: e201900129 (1-11).
  • Goetze, R.G., Buchholz, S.M., Ou, N., Zhang, Q.B., Patil, S., Schirmer, M., Singh, S.K., Ellenrieder, V., Hessmann, E., Lu, Q.B. and Neesse, A. Preclinical evaluation of1,2-Diamino-4,5-dibromobenzene in genetically engineered mouse models of pancreatic cancer. Cells 8: 563(1-14) (2019).
  • Luo, T., Zhang, Q.R. and Lu, Q.B. Combination of Near Infrared Light-Activated Photodynamic Therapy Mediated by Indocyanine Green with Etoposide to Treat Non-Small-Cell Lung Cancer. Cancers 9: 63(1-17) (2017).
  • Wang, C.R., Mahmood, J., Zhang, Q.R., Vedadi, A., Warrington, J., Ou, N., Bristow, R.G., Jaffray, D.A., and Lu, Q.B., In Vitro and In Vivo Studies of a New Class of Anticancer Molecules for Targeted Radiotherapy of Cancer. Mol. Cancer Ther. 15, pp. 640-650 (2016).
  • Lu, Q.B., Zhang, Q.R., Ou, N., Wang, C.R. and Warrington, J. In vitro and in vivo Studies of Non-Platinum-Based Halogenated Compounds as a New Class of Potent Antitumor Agents for Natural Targeted Chemotherapy of Cancers. EBioMedicine 2, pp. 544-553 (2015).
  • Lu, Q.B. Cosmic-Ray-Driven Electron-Induced Reactions of Halogenated Molecules Adsorbed on Ice Surfaces: Implications for Atmospheric Ozone Depletion and Global Climate Change. Physics Reports 487, pp. 141-167 (2010).
  • Wang, C.R., Nguyen, J. and Lu, Q.B. Bond Breaks of Nucleotides by Dissociative Electron Transfer of Nonequilibrium Prehydrated Electrons: A New Molecular Mechanism for Reductive DNA Damage. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 131, pp. 11320-11322 (2009).
  • Lu, Q.B. and Sanche, L. Effects of Cosmic Rays on Atmospheric Chlorofluorocarbon Dissociation and Ozone Depletion. Phys. Rev. Lett. 87, pp. 078501(1)-078501(4) (2001)

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