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

  • 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 the first enantioselective synthesis of tetrahydroquinolines using borrowing hydrogen:


Teaching Contributions

  • CM3221 Organic Synthesis: The Disconnection Approach
  • CM4228 Catalysis


Representative Publications   

  • Lim, C. S. et al. Enantioselective Synthesis of Tetrahydroquinolines Using Borrowing Hydrogen. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 7176 (VIP article).
  • Liu, T.-L. et al. Rhodium-Catalyzed Enantioselective Isomerization of Secondary Allylic Alcohols. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139, 3643.
  • Yang, L.-C. et al. Construction of Nine-Membered Heterocycles through Palladium-Catalyzed Formal [5 + 4] Cycloaddition. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 2927.
  • Lee, J. T. D. et al. Access to Acyclic (Z)-Enediynes via Alkyne Trimerization: Cooperative Bimetallic Catalysis Using Air as the Oxidant. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 13872.
  • Pan, H.-J. et al. Asymmetric Transfer Hydrogenation of Imines using Alcohol: Efficiency and Selectivity Are Affected by Hydrogen Donor. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 9615.
  • Huang, Y. et al. Cobalt-Catalyzed Enantioselective Vinylation of Activated Ketones and Imines. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 6571.
  • Huang, Y. et al. Cobalt-Catalyzed Allylation of Heterobicyclic Alkenes: Ligand-Induced Divergent Reactivities. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 13696.
  • 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. 2015, 137, 4944.
  • Liao, J. Y. et al. Catalytic Divergent Synthesis of 3H or 1H Pyrroles by 3+2 Cyclization of Allenoates with Activated Isocyanides. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 628.
  • Lu, S. C. et al. Kinetic Resolution of 1,1 '-Biaryl-2,2 '-Diols and Amino Alcohols through NHC-Catalyzed Atroposelective Acylation. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2014, 53, 11041.