Hongkun received his B.S. from Nanjing University, China in 2008 and came to Brandeis University in the same year. He worked in Prof. Isaac Krauss's lab on synthesis of natural products and carbohydrates. He also developed asymmetric organoboron reagents for his PhD research. After receiving PhD in 2014, he joined Prof. Klavs Jensen's lab at MIT to work on multistep synthesis in flow chemistry. He came to Swager lab in 2017 to work on materials with elemental sulfur.