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 hole) 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

The advent of femtosecond (1fs=10-15 s) time-resolved laser spectroscopy made it possible to observe molecular reactions directly (femtochemistry), for which Professor Ahmed Zewail at Caltech (Lu’s former postdoctoral advisor) won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1999. Since 2004, Lu has applied this cutting-edge technique to study important biological processes in relation to diseases and their treatments, particularly in the field of oncology. This innovative approach has led to the creation of a brand-new research field, where the femtosecond time-resolved laser spectroscopy was successfully incorporated with molecular biology and cell biology methods to advance our understanding of human diseases and their treatments. Lu coined the term “femtomedicine” (FMD) on his breakthroughs in 2010 [QB Lu, Reviews in Mutation Research 704, 190–199(2010)]. Through his research in FMD, Lu has discovered a novel molecular mechanism of DNA damage and a new family of non-platinum-based halogenated molecules, called FMD compounds. The latter have a unique molecular mechanism of action, generating a destroying effect in the intracellular environment of cancerous cells while having a protective effect on healthy/normal cells. FMD compounds therefore naturally and selectively target and kill cancer cells. They are effective in treating a variety of in vitro cancer cell lines and in vivo animal cancer models while exhibiting no systemic and radiation toxicities toward normal cells/tissues. These findings were recently published in the Cell Press and Lancet’s EBioMedicine, and in AACR’s Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. Lu is now translating findings arising from fundamental FMD studies into cancer therapies in the clinic. The success will lead to novel targeted chemotherapies and radiotherapies with minimal side effects and better targeting to treat a variety of cancers. Lu also made important discoveries for the sciences underlying ozone depletion and global climate change. His theories have fundamentally challenged the previous “conclusions” by the Novel Prize winners in the formation of the ozone hole and global warming (1995 Nobel Chemistry and 2007 Novel Peace awards) and provided the best predictions that agree with up-to-date observations. His pioneering contributions were summarized in his monographic book entitled New Theories and Predictions of the Ozone Hole and Climate Change published recently by World Scientific Inc. (New Jersey, London, Singapore, Beijing, etc., 2015) pp.1-308.


  • 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 present, 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-present 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 234 - Quantum Physics 1
    • Taught in 2018
  • PHYS 359 - Statistical Mechanics
    • Taught in 2023
  • PHYS 380 - Molecular and Cellular Biophysics
    • Taught in 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2023
  • PHYS 395 - Biophysics of Therapeutic Methods
    • Taught in 2018, 2020, 2022
  • PHYS 491 - Special Topics in Life, Medical and Biophysics
    • Taught in 2020

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

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