Academic Profile : Faculty

Prof Chi Yonggui Robin_1_2_3_4.jpg picture
Prof Chi Yonggui Robin
Professor, School of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology
President's Chair in Chemistry
External Links
 
Education:
2007-2009 Postdoc., Jean M. J. Fréchet Group, Department of Chemistry, UC-Berkeley, USA
2002-2007 Ph.D., Samuel H. Gellman Group, Department of Chemistry, UW-Madison, USA
1998-2002 Undergraduate, Hong Kong Baptist University (HKBU) and Tsinghua University

Selected Recognitions:

2017 Chemical Society of Japan (CSJ) Lectureship
2016 Aldrich-Yale Lectureship
2016 Nanyang Research Award (Young Investigator)
2015 NRF Investigatorship Award
2013 Singapore Young Scientist Award
2012 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award
2012 NTU SPMS Teaching Excellence Award
2011, 2012, 2013 ACP Lectureship Awards
2010 GSK-EDB Award on Manufacturing
2009 Singapore NRF Fellowship

2008 Stereochemistry GRC Post Doctoral Award-Deed of Gift Award
2006, 2007 Abbott Laboratories Fellowship in Synthetic Organic Chemistry
2006 Vilas Fellowship (UW-Madison)
2006 McElvain Travel Award
1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 UGC Hong Kong Jockey Club Fellowship for Outstanding Mainland Students
2002 Highest cumulative GPA award in Chemistry Department (HKBU GPAs during1999-2002)
2000-2002 University President’s Honor Roll Award
2001 Mr. Wong Kwok Shuen Memorial Scholarship
2000 Mr. Lui Ming Fong Memorial Scholarship


The Chi laboratory is committed to the state-of-art original chemistry research that addresses problems of both fundamental and practical significance. A key objective is to develop green and efficient synthetic methods to make functional molecules, and to understand the principles guiding the bong breaking and formation events. We focus on the development of fundamentally novel basic catalytic activation modes with useful synthetic applications for the preparation of pharmaceuticals, agriculture chemicals, fine chemicals, and for efficient assembly and/or modification of polymers, biomolecules, and other functional molecules. Over the past years, we have developed new activation modes and synthetic transformations enabled by N-Heterocyclic Carbene (NHC) as the key organic catalyst. Immediate applications of my lab’s new catalytic approaches include concise and green processes for bioactive molecules such as valuable non-natural amino acids and their derivatives. On the fundamental side, our research has created new understanding of chemical reactivities and new concept on catalytic activations. The lab has also taken serous efforts on collaborative development on bioactive molecules and functional materials, and applied research for innovation and entrepreneurship. Examples of the lab’s research include:

--NHC organic catalyst-enabled activation of carboxylic esters, including activation of the inert beta-sp3-carbon of saturated esters.
--Biomimetic single-electron-transfer (SET) radical reactions enabled by NHC catalysts.
--Oxidative NHC catalysis and reaction controls of aldehydes, including remote-carbon functionalization.
--Cooperative catalysis merging NHCs with other catalysts (such as transition metal catalysts, Lewis acid catalysts, and other organic catalysts).
--Rapid synthesis functional molecules via new NHC catalysis, including ongoing studies for concise asymmetric total synthesis of complex natural products.
--Multi-disciplinary collaborative research, and application-driven research for innovation and entrepreneurship

The Chi group welcomes self-motivated, creative, and hard-working individuals in the following areas:
--Priorities will be given to Singaporeans and Singapore Permanent Residents
--Synthetic Chemistry (particularly with experience in Natural Product synthesis), Electrochemistry; Polymer Materials; Physical Organic Chemistry
--Individuals with Industrial Experience, Scale up and Process Development
--Self-Financed Researchers and Students (Highly Motivated and Hard-Working)
--Exceptional Individuals in other areas
OrganoCatalysis, Chemical Synthesis, Functional Molecules
 
  • Exploring Ester-Based Multifunctional Single-Electron-Oxidants
  • Rapid Construction of Functional Molecules via NHC and Gold Dual Catalysis
  • Start Up Grants
US 2014/0309459 A1: Method Of Preparing Chiral Ketones From Aldehydes (2015)
Abstract: Present invention relates to a method of preparing a chiral α- or β-substituted ketone from the corresponding β- or γ-substituted aldehyde, wherein the ketone has formula (I), (III) or (V), and the corresponding aldehyde has formula (II), (IV) or (VI), respectively, the method comprising reacting the aldehyde of formula (II), (IV) or (VI) in the presence of an amine, oxygen and an organic solvent, wherein the reaction is carried out in the absence of a metal-based catalyst or a metal-based oxidant, wherein: R is H, a substituted or unsubstituted C1-C10 alkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C15 alkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C15 alkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C3-C15 cycloalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C3-C15 cycloalkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C3-C15 heterocycloalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C3-C15 heterocycloalkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C6-C15 aryl, or substituted or unsubstituted C6-C15 heteroaryl; and R′ is H, a substituted or unsubstituted C1-C10 alkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C15 alkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C2-C15 alkynyl, substituted or unsubstituted C3-C15 cycloalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C3-C15 cycloalkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C3-C15 heterocycloalkyl, substituted or unsubstituted C3-C15 heterocycloalkenyl, substituted or unsubstituted C6-C15 aryl, or substituted or unsubstituted C6-C15 heteroaryl.

US20190337955A1: Activation Of Carbonyl Beta-Carbons For Chemical Transformations (2022)
Abstract: The present invention relates to a method for synthesizing a compound of Formula (I) as defined herein, comprising: (i) activating a compound of Formula (II) as defined herein, by reacting said compound of Formula (II) with a compound of Formula (III) as defined herein, in the presence of a base, to obtain a compound of Formula (IV) as defined herein; and (ii) reacting the compound of Formula (IV) with an electrophile to obtain the compound of Formula (I). The present invention further relates to the organocatalysts used in the described methods and their respective uses.
Courses Taught
CM4012 Structural Determination

CS6811 Advanced Techniques for Structural Determination