Food Science Distinguished Lecture: Research on Luminescent Lanthanide Probes and Sensors

On April 25, 2024, Prof. David Parker, Global STEM Chair Professor of Department of Chemistry at Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU), and Adjunct Professor in Food Science and Technology (FS) at Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College (UIC), delivered an engaging lecture titled “Excitement in F Block: Luminescent Lanthanide Probes and Sensors”. The event was held in person and offered a platform for vibrant exchange of ideas, hosted by Dr. Xiaoyu Luo, Assistant Professor of FS.


Prof. David Parker

Prof. Parker opened the lecture by discussing his ongoing research on europium (Eu(III)) complexes used in bioassays and cellular probes, particularly highlighting their application as tracking dyes. He noted that these dyes, when exposed to UV light, emit a red fluorescence comparable in intensity to red fluorescent proteins. This tracing method is invaluable for marking the integrity of biological structures like mitochondria and the endoplasmic reticulum. Further, he investigated the techniques of using europium complexes to monitor the pH within organelles. He discussed the potential applications of lanthanide tagging, including their role in the search for drugs that can be used for diabetes treatment.

Toward the end of the session, Prof. Parker encouraged attendees to embrace challenges and refine their skills as chemists. He advocated ‘hands-on’ involvement in designing and developing new instruments as a way to enhance problem-solving capabilities and foster innovative thinking, pushing the frontiers of science and technology. He urged students and researchers to view complexity not as a barrier but as an opportunity to explore the unknown.

Students Actively Engaged in Asking Questions

During the interactive Q&A segment, Prof. Parker discussed the safety of europium fluorescent dyes in cellular experiments, confirming their established application in vitro and potential in vivo owing to their favourable fluorescence properties and stability. He responded to queries with detailed examples of experimental results, assuring attendees of the dyes’ efficacy and safety.


Prof. Xu Presented Prof. Parker with the Appointment Letter for Adjunct Professor of Food Science


Group Photo with Faculty and Students

The event concluded with Prof. Baojun Xu, the Head of the Department of Life Sciences, presenting the appointment letter and a memento to Prof. Parker and inviting him for a group photo with faculty members and students, commemorating a successful exchange of knowledge.

From DLS

Photographer | Xu Xianli

Editor | Zhang Kexin

Reviewer | Xu Baojun