Associate Professor ZHAO Yu

(Assistant Dean - Graduate Studies and Safety)

B.S., 2002, Peking University; Ph.D., 2008, Boston College; Postdoctoral, 2008-2011, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Contact Information

Office: S5-03-09
Tel: (65)-6516-7964 | Fax: (65)-6779-1691
Email: | Personal webpage


ORCID: 0000-0002-2944-1315
ResearcherID: J-1712-2014


Recognition and Achievements

  • Tokyo Chemical Industry-SNIC Industry Award in Synthetic Chemistry, 2018
  • Outstanding Chemist Award, Department of Chemistry, NUS, 2017
  • Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, 2016
  • Young Scientist Award, Faculty of Science, NUS, 2015
  • Young Chemist Award, Department of Chemistry, NUS, 2015


Research Interests

To develop simple (asymmetric) catalytic systems to address key problems in chemistry.


Research Highlight

Reported a highly economical and practical stereoconvergent heterocycle synthesis:


Teaching Contributions

  • CM3221 Organic Synthesis: The Disconnection Approach
  • CM4228 Catalysis


Representative Publications   

  • Lu, S. et al. Practical Access to Axially Chiral Sulfonamides and Biaryl Amino Phenols via Organocatalytic Atroposelective N-Alkylation. Nat. Commun.2019, 10, 3061.
  • Huang, R. et al. Rhodium-Catalyzed Enantioconvergent Isomerization of Homoallylic and Bishomoallylic Secondary Alcohols. J. Am. Chem. Soc.2018, 140, 14647.
  • Lu, S. et al. Transition Metal-Free Decarboxylative Propargylic Substitution/Cascade Cyclization with Azolium Enolates or Acyl Anions. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed2018, 57, 5714.
  • Wang, Y.-N. et al. Pd-Catalyzed Enantioselective [6+4] Cycloaddition of Vinyl Oxetanes with Azadienes to Access Ten-Membered Heterocycles. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed2018, 57, 1596.
  • Rong, Z. Q. et al. Nine-Membered Benzofuran-Fused Heterocycles: Enantioselective Synthesis and Rearrangement via Transannular Bond Formation. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017139, 15304.
  • Lim, C. S. et al. Enantioselective Synthesis of Tetrahydroquinolines Using Borrowing Hydrogen. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed201756, 7176 (VIP article).
  • Liu, T.-L. et al. Rhodium-Catalyzed Enantioselective Isomerization of Secondary Allylic Alcohols. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017139, 3643.
  • Huang, Y. et al. Cobalt-Catalyzed Enantioselective Vinylation of Activated Ketones and Imines. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016138, 6571.
  • Rong, Z. Q. et al. Dynamic Kinetic Asymmetric Amination of Alcohols: From A Mixture of Four Isomers to Diastereo- and Enantiopure a-Branched Amines. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015137, 4944.
  • Zhang, Y. et al. Catalytic Enantioselective Amination of Alcohols by the Use of Borrowing Hydrogen Methodology: Cooperative Catalysis by Iridium and a Chiral Phosphoric Acid. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed2014, 53, 1399.