HE Jianzhong

Associate Professor
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Postal Address: Department of Civil and
  Environmental Engineering,
  National University of Singapore
  1 Engineering Drive 2, E1A 07-03
  Singapore 117576
Tel: (65) 6516 3385
Email: ceehj@nus.edu.sg
Office: E2-02-13


Dr. Jianzhong He is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the National University of Singapore. She received her Ph.D. degree from Georgia Institute of Technology in 2003. Before moving to U.S.A., she obtained her Master and Bachelor degrees from Tsinghua University and Harbin Institute of Technology in 1998 and 1995, respectively. She was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California Berkeley for two years before joining the National University of Singapore as an assistant professor in 2005.

Dr. He's research focuses on discovering novel microorganisms to transform and detoxify environmental contaminants, enhancing biodegradation by optimizing the growth of functional microbes, applying nucleic acid-based approach in laboratory cultures and in situ, converting biomass to biofuels and value-added biochemicals, and environmental application of genomics. She has been actively involved in research focusing on emerging environmental contaminants polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), the widespread chlorinated solvents, anammox microorganisms for nutrient removal, biomass to butanol and ethanol.

During her tenure at NUS, Dr. He has generated 67 peer-reviewed publications while securing significant amount of external funding from diverse funding agencies. So far, her publications have been cited for more than 2100 and an H-Index of 20 (based on web of Science) and cited for 3775 and an H-Index of 26 (based on Google Scholar). Among the publications, the paper in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) published in year 2014 and the paper in Nature published in year 2003 highlight the impact of her work. She holds several patents and collaborates widely with industrial, governmental and scientific partners. She is also the editorial board member of the ISME Journal, Applied and Environmental Microbiology, and Journal of Scientific Reports.


  • Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA, U.S.A., 2003.
  • M.S., Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, 1998.
  • B.S., Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, China, 1995.

Career History

  • Associate Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore (2011-present).
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, National University of Singapore (2005-2011).
  • Postdoctoral Researcher, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, U.S.A. (2003-2005).

Honours & Awards

  • Jianzhong He, Biotechnology Award, Second Prize, the IChemE Singapore Awards 2017
  • Jianzhong He, ten inspiring women in Science and Technology 2016, World Economic Forum
  • Jianzhong He, BESS Achievement Award 2016, Bioenergy Society of Singapore
  • Jianzhong He, Hyflux-SNIC Award in Environmental Chemistry 2011
  • Zhi Qian Goh and Jianzhong He, Second prize of the green wave environmental care competition, Singapore, January 2010

Professional Activities

  • International Society of Microbial Ecology (ISME), Ambassador
  • BioEnergy Society of Singapore (BESS), executive board member
  • American Society of Microbiology (ASM), member
  • International Water Association (IWA), member
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), member

Teaching Areas

  • Fate of contaminants in the subsurface.
  • Solid and hazardous substances management
  • Advanced environmental microbiology.

Research Interests

  • Biotransformation and fate of hazardous compounds
  • Biodegradation of contaminants in engineered systems
  • Bioremediation of soil, sediments, and groundwater
  • Anammox process for nutrient removal in wastewater
  • Biomass to bioenergy and value-added biochemicals
  • Environmental genetics and novel metabolism of microbes
  • Environmental application of genomics

Selected Publications

  1. Ding, C., M. J. Rogers, K-L. Yang, and J. He. 2017. Loss of the ssrA genome island led to partial debromination in the PBDE respiring Dehalococcoides mccartyi strain GY50. Environ. Microbiol., 19: 2906-2915
  2. Basu A., F. Xin, T. K. Lim, Q. Lin, K-L. Yang, and J. He. 2017. Quantitative proteome profiles help reveal efficient xylose utilization mechanisms in solventogenic Clostridium sp. strain BOH3. Biotechnol. Bioeng., 114: 1959-1969
  3. Li T., and J. He. 2016. Simultaneous saccharification and fermentation of hemicellulose to butanol by a non-sporulating Clostridium species. Bioresource Technol., 217: 430-438
  4. Low, A., C. Ng, and J. He. 2016. Identification of antibiotic resistant bacteria community and a GeoChip based study of resistome in urban watersheds. Water Res., 106: 330-338
  5. Wang S., K. R. Chng, C. Wu, D. L. Bedard, J. He. 2015. Genomic characterization of Dehalococcoides mccartyi strain JNA that reductively dechlorinates tetrachloroethene and polychlorinated biphenyls. Environ. Sci. Technol., 49: 14319-14325
  6. Li, T., Y. Yan, and J. He. 2015. Enhanced direct fermentation of cassava to butanol by Clostridium species strain BOH3 in cofactors-mediated medium. Biotechnol. Biofuels. 8: 16
  7. Wang S., K. R. Chng, A. Wilm, S. Zhao, K.-L. Yang, N. Nagarajan, and J He. 2014. Genomic characterization of three unique Dehalococcoides that respire on persistent polychlorinated biphenyls. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PANS), 111:12103-12108
  8. Ding, C., S. Zhao, and J. He. 2014. A Desulfitobacterium sp. strain PR reductively dechlorinates both 1,1,1-trichloroethane and chloroform. Environ. Microbiol., 16: 3387-3397
  9. Xin, F., Y. R. Wu, and J. He. 2014. Simultaneous fermentation of glucose and xylose to butanol by Clostridium sp. strain BOH3. Appl Environ Microbiol., 80: 4771-4778
  10. Wang, S., and J. He. 2013. Dechlorination of commercial PCBs and other multiple halogenated compounds by a sediment-free culture containing Dehalococcoides and Dehalobacter. Environ. Sci. Technol., 47: 10526-10534
  11. Lee, P. K. H., D. Cheng, K. A. West, L. Alvarez-Cohen*, and J. He*. 2013. Isolation of two new Dehalococcoides mccartyi strains with dissimilar dechlorination functions and their characterization by comparative genomics via microarray analysis. Environ. Microbiol., 15: 2293-2305. (Note: *co-corresponding authors)
  12. Wang, S., and J. He. 2012. Two-step denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (2S-DGGE), a gel-based strategy to capture full-length 16S rRNA gene sequences. Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol., 95: 1305-1312
  13. Wu, Y-R, Y. Li, K-L. Yang, and J. He. 2012. Draft Genome Sequence of a Butanol-Acetone Producing Clostridium beijerinckii strain G117. J. Bacteriol., 194: 5470-5471
  14. Bramono S., Lam, Y. S., Ong, S. L., and J. He. 2011. A mesophilic Clostridium species that produces butanol from monosaccharides and hydrogen from polysaccharides. Bioresource Technol., 102: 9558-9563
  15. Lee L. K., C. Ding, K. L. Yang, and J. He. 2011. Complete debromination of tetra- and penta- brominated diphenyl ethers by a coculture consisting of Dehalococcoides and Desulfovibrio species. Environ. Sci. Technol., 45: 8475-8482
  16. Wang, S., and J. He. 2011. Separation of fluorescence-labelled terminal restriction fragment DNA on a two-dimensional gel (T-RFs-2D) - an efficient approach for microbial consortium characterization. Environ. Microbiol., 13: 2565-2575
  17. Chow, W. L., D. Cheng, S. Wang, and J. He. 2010. Identification and transcriptional analysis of trans-DCE-producing reductive dehalogenases in Dehalococcoides species, The ISME Journal, 4: 1020-1030
  18. Lee, L. K., and J. He. 2010. Reductive debromination of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs) by anaerobic bacteria from soils and sediments. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 76: 794-802
  19. Cheng D., W. L. Chow, and J. He. 2010. A Dehalococcoides-containing coculture that dechlorinates tetrachloroethene to trans-1,2-dichloroethene. The ISME Journal, 4: 88-97
  20. Fan, C., P. K. H. Lee, W. J. Ng, L. Alvarez-Cohen, E. L. Brodie, G. L. Andersen, and J. He. 2009. Influence of trace erythromycin and erythromycin-H2O on carbon and nutrients removal and on resistance selection in sequencing batch reactors (SBRs). Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol., 85: 185-195
  21. Cheng, D., and J. He. 2009. Isolation and characterization of Dehalococcoides sp. strain MB that dechlorinates tetrachloroethene to trans-1, 2-dichloroethene. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 75: 5910-5918
  22. Mun, C. H., J. He, and W. J. Ng. 2008. Pentachlorophenol dechlorination by an acidogenic sludge. Water Res., 42: 3789-3798
  23. He J., V. F. Holmes, P. K. H. Lee, and L. Alvarez-Cohen. 2007. Influence of vitamin B12 and cocultures on the growth of Dehalococcoides isolates in defined medium. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 73: 2847-2853
  24. He J., K. R. Robrock, and L. Alvarez-Cohen. 2006. Micorobial reductive debromination of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs). Environ. Sci. Technol., 40: 4429-4434
  25. He, J., Y. Sung, K. M. Ritalahti, and F. E. Löffler. 2005. Isolation and characterization of Dehalococcoides sp. strain FL2, a trichloroethene (TCE)- and 1,2-dichloroethene-respiring anaerobe. Environ. Microbiol., 7: 1442-1450
  26. He J., K. M. Ritalahti, K-L. Yang, S. S. Koenigsberg, and F. E. Löffler. 2003. Detoxification of vinyl chloride to ethene coupled to growth of an anaerobic bacterium. Nature. 424: 62-65
  27. He J., K. M. Ritalahti, M. R. Aiello, and F. E. Löffler. 2003. Complete detoxification of vinyl chloride (VC) by an anaerobic enrichment culture and identification of the reductively dechlorinating population as a Dehalococcoides population. Appl. Environ. Microbiol., 69: 996-1003
  28. He J., Y. Sung, M. E. Dollhopf, B. Z. Fathepure, J. M. Tiedje, and F. E. Löffler. 2002. Acetate versus hydrogen as direct electron donors to stimulate the microbial reductive dechlorination process at chloroethene-contaminated sites. Environ. Sci. Technol., 36: 3945-3952

Last Updated on 2 February, 2018 by Department of Civil and Environmental Enginering