Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Asst Prof Zhou Jianrong

Assistant Professor
Division of Chemistry & Biological Chemistry
School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences
College of Science

Phone: (+65)65132726
Office: SPMS-CBC-06-03

  • PhD (Organic Chemistry) Massachusetts Institute of Technology 2005
  • MSc (Organic Chemistry) National University of Singapore 2000
  • BSc (Chemistry) (Hons) 1st Class National University of Singapore 1998
  • BSc (Chemistry & Biochemistry) National University of Singapore 1997
Born in Zhejiang, China. Birth day: 12 Sept, 1975. B.Sc. in chemistry and biochemistry, NUS, 1997; B.Sc. with 1st-class honors in chemistry, NUS, 1998; M.Sc. in organic chemistry, NUS, 2000 (with Prof. Teckpeng Loh); Ph.D. in organic chemistry, MIT, 2005 (with Prof. Gregory C. Fu); post-doc training in organic and organometallic chemistry, Yale, 2005-2006 and UIUC, 2006-2008 (with Prof. John F. Hartwig)
Research Interests
My research programs will be focused to devise efficient and practical ways to access important chiral building blocks from cheap, readily available feedstock chemicals. The importance of this quest is underscored by over $ 200 billion sales of chiral drugs, projected for 2008. Despite tremendous advances in asymmetric catalysis, preparation of several key building blocks still needs much improvement. My research programs will specifically target these classes of compounds, e.g., epoxides, alkyl amines, alkyl alcohols, carbocycles, and heterocycles. I am also interested in the synthesis of fluorinated arenes and heteroarenes, due to their frequent occurrence in both pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals. To achieve these goals, my group will be engaged in the design and synthesis of both transition metal and organic catalysts, method development and mechanistic investigations.

My other interests include: general-purpose, organic platforms for both structural and functional modeling of metalloenzyme active sites; new designs of organic polymers and oligomers for solar energy harvesting and conversion.
Research Grant
  • A*STAR Individual Research Grant (AME Domain) (2017-) [by A*STAR Science & Engineering Research Council (SERC)]
  • Academic Research Fund Tier 1 (2015-) [by Ministry of Education (MOE)]
  • Academic Research Fund Tier 1 (2016-) [by Ministry of Education (MOE)]
  • Academic Research Fund Tier 1 (2017-) [by MOE]
  • Academic Research Fund Tier 2 (2014-)
  • GlaxoSmithKline - EDB Trust Fund (2013-)
  • GlaxoSmithKline - EDB Trust Fund (2017-) [by GlaxoSmithKline Pte Ltd]
Current Projects
  • (a) Asymmetric Catalytic [4+1] Cycloadditions between Dienes and Carbene Precursors; (b) Annulation Reactions of Epoxides and Olefins
  • A New Generation of Hydrogenation Catalysts for Manufacturing of Chiral Drugs: Nickel Catalysts with 10,000 Turnovers
  • Asymmetric Catalytic [4+1] Cycloadditions between Dienes and Carbene Precursors
  • Asymmetric Synthesis of Carbocycles and Heterocycles Via Palladium Catalysis
  • Bifunctionalization of Arenes and Heteroarenes via Double CH Activation
  • Develop facial bioconjugate methods for specific detection of 5-hydroxymethyl-cytosine in brain tumors
  • Development of First-Row Metal Catalysts for Asymmetric Hydrogenation of Olefins
  • Earth-Abundant Copper Catalysts for Asymmetric Addition Processes
  • Palladium-Catalyzed Asymmetric Couplings of Enolates
  • Palladium-Catalyzed Reactions of Alkyl Halides: New Reactions and Application
  • Recent Advances in Organic Synthesis
  • To Win the War Against H1N1 Influenza A: Breaking Through the Limitations of Significant Side Effects and Resistance of Current Anti-Flu Drugs
Selected Publications
  • Wu, Chunlin; Zhou, Jianrong (Steve). (2014). Asymmetric Intermolecular Heck Reaction of Aryl Halides. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136, 650.
  • Zou, Yinjun; Zhou, Jianrong (Steve). (2014). Palladium-catalyzed intermolecular Heck reaction of alkyl halides. Chemical Communications, 50, 3725.
  • Sevov, Christo S.; Zhou, Jianrong (Steve); Hartwig, John F.*. (2014). Iridium-Catalyzed, Intermolecular Hydroamination of Unactivated Alkenes with Indoles. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 136, 3200.
  • Wu, Xiaojin; Zhou, Jianrong (Steve). (2013). An efficient method for the Heck-Catellani reaction of aryl halides. Chemical Communications, 49, 11035.
  • Liu, Sijia; Zhou, Jianrong (Steve). (2013). Desymmetrization of cyclic olefins via asymmetric Heck reaction and hydroarylation. Chemical Communications, 49, 11758.

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