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Chemical Design and Sustainable Catalysis

The field of chemical synthesis continues to flourish, with the increasing repertoires of reaction methodologies allowing for the construction of more complex and diverse molecular architectures that are essential to our daily life, such as medicines, agrochemicals, fuels, and materials. While substantial achievements have been made over the past centuries, there is still a great demand for the innovation of novel synthetic strategies that could respond to the increasing environmental issues. To this end, our group focuses on the development of sustainable organic reactions that are cost-effective, atom-economical, and highly selective, which we aim to achieve by designs of new 1) chemical reagents, 2) base metal catalysis, iron in particular, and 3) biocatalysis.

The prospective students and researchers involved in our research program will acquire a broad range of techniques mainly centered on organic chemistry, with additional opportunities to experience the interdisciplinary works involving organometallicsbiocatalysis, and computational chemistry.

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Design of New Reagents

The inventions of new chemical reagents have played a huge part in revolutionizing organic synthesis, by providing unique opportunities to devise synthetic strategies that are distinct from nature’s abilities. The potentials for establishing new synthetic methods with new reagents are unlimited, which will subsequently allow for a broad range of streamlined chemical operations. Our group focuses on the design of new reagents to create our own chemical systems, with which we aim to perform original research to access unexplored chemical space.

Base Metal Catalysis

Transition metal catalysis has been at the forefront of synthetic chemistry, which is evidenced by the fact that the productions of up to 90% of industrial chemicals involve the use of catalytic transformations. In particular, earth-abundant metals (e.g. Mn, Fe, Co, Ni, Cu) have recently gained burgeoning interests owing to the low costs and relatively lower biological toxicity. Our group innovates new chemical transformations based on these systems, with special consideration primarily given to the ideal regime of iron catalysis.


The recent advances in protein engineering has provided significant influences on the catalytic promiscuity of enzymes and, consequently, chemists have started importing chemical principles into the biological platforms by applying human-invented reagents and abiotic reaction conditions. We aim to expand our research to such biocatalytic systems for the inventions of new organic transformations that would otherwise be inaccessible by any other means.

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