Guofu Zhong


RSC Fellow

School of Chemistry

Background Information 

Guofu Zhong has been a professor in organic chemistry at Eastern Institute of Technology, Ningbo since April 2022. He received his PhD in asymmetric antibody catalysis in 1998 from The Scripps Research Institute under the guidance of Prof. R. Lerner. He studied organometallics as a PhD student with Prof. M. Schlosser at University of Lausanne in Switzerland (1990-1995). He pursued a short period postdoc research and was promoted to an assistant professor at Scripps (1999-2004). He was a professor at Fudan University in Shanghai (2005–2006) and an associate professor at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore (2006–2011). He was a professor in chemistry at Hangzhou Normal University from 2011 to 2022. He is a professor at Qufu Normal University from Nov. 2020. His research focuses on development of highly efficient and selective organic reactions, asymmetric catalysis, green synthesis of chiral molecules with biological significance and medicinal chemistry. In frontier areas of chemical science Guofu Zhong has applied some 30 Chinese, U.S. and international patents, published more than 150 papers in journals like Science, Nature Communications, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie and so on, with overall more than 7000 citations, and many among those publications were highlighted by C&E News, Synfacts, Synform or Chemistry World. In 2003, a novel organocatalytic asymmetric aminooxyl group installation reaction was discovered and the new reaction term “aminoxylation” named by him. Based on his achievements in science he has won several prestigious awards, for instance: 1) Distinguished Scholar by the Ministry of Education of China in 2004; 2) Rongpiao Talents Program by Chengdu, Sichuan in 2018; 3) Innovative and Entrepreneurial Talents Program by Jiangsu Province in China in 2017; 4) Chemical Science Lectureship Award by Southern University of Science & Technology, Shenzhen, China in 2017; 5) Wiley Excellent Paper Award, Wiley Publishing, Inc. in 2015; 6) ACP Chemistry Lectureship Award, Japan in 2014; 7) Qianjiang Distinguished Professor by Zhejiang Province in China in 2013; 8) Pujiang Scholar, by Shanghai Government in China in 2005; 9) Hoffmann-La Roche Fellowship, Basel, Switzerland (1991-1992). As a supervisor, he has trained more than 80 graduate students/postdocs who won more than 30 national/international prizes totally, such as the Overseas Outstanding PhD Student Award by the Chinese Government, the Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Prize, the Alexander von Humboldt-Scholarship, the World Future Foundation Doctoral Thesis Award, the Reaxys Chemistry PhD finalists, etc. 

Research Field

Synthetic Organic Chemistry, Asymmetric Catalysis, Biocatalysis and Medicinal Chemistry

Organocatalysis: The interactions between the substrate and the catalyst in asymmetric organocatalysis are different from mechanisms that act in classical metal-catalyzed reactions. A broad variety of monofuctional and bifunctional chiral organic molecules were developed as organocatalysts to accelerate various synthetically useful organic transformations. In this area, several useful asymmetric organocatalytic reactions were successfully developed.

Transition-metal catalysis: Great efforts have been made in the transition-metal mediated activation of a C(alkenyl)-H bond to the directing group to proceed via five- or six-membered endo-metallocycles. The selective transformation of an olefinic C-H bond that is geminal or vicinal to the directing group bearing valuable hydroxyl, carbamate or amide into a C-C bond, which proceeds through four- to eight-membered exo-palladacycles were found. The synthetic applicability has been demonstrated by the preparative scale and late-stage C-H functionalization of steroid and ricinoleate derivatives.

Biocatalysis: In chemistry, we are seeing an increased focus on the synthesis of molecules with defined biological, chemical or material properties. Unfortunately, our ability to rationally design and synthesize molecules with specific functions is not as sophisticated as our ability to synthesize specific molecular structures. One of the fascinations of catalytic antibodies is the possibility of harnessing the mechanisms available to enzymes for chemical transformation and applying them to the broad realm of chemistry encountered in organic synthesis. In this area aldolase antibodies were induced and studied broadly.

Educational Background

1995-1998  Ph.D. in Chemistry (Advisor Professor R. A. Lerner), The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, USA

1995-1998  Ph.D. student in Organic Chemistry (Advisor Professor M. Schlosser), University of Lausanne, Switzerland 

1983-1986  M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry (Advisor Professor Guozhen Li), East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China

1979-1983  B.Eng. in Chemistry & Chemical Engineering, Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Nanjing, China

Work Experience

2022-now  Professor, Eastern Institute of Technology, Ningbo, Zhejiang, China

2011-2022  Professor, College of Materials, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Hangzhou Normal University, Hangzhou, Zhejiang, China

2020-now  Professor, Qufu Normal University, Qufu, Shandong, China

2006-2011  Associate Professor, Division of Chemistry & Biological Chemistry, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

2005-2006  Professor, Department of Chemistry, Fudan University, Shanghai, China

1999-2004  Assistant Professor, The Scripps Research Institute, California, USA

1998-1999  Research Associate, The Scripps Research Institute, USA

1991-1995  Teaching Assistant, University of Lausanne, Switzerland

1988-1990  Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China

1986-1988  Teaching Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China

Awards and Honors

2004  Distinguished Scholar by the MOE of China

2021  RSC Fellow

2018  Rongpiao Talents Program by Chengdu City in China

2017  Innovative and Entrepreneurial Talents Program by Jiangsu Province in China

2017  Chemistry Lectureship Award by Southern University of Science and Technology, Shenzhen, China

2015  Wiley Excellent Paper Award, Wiley Publishing, Inc.

2014  ACP Chemistry Lectureship Award Japan

2013  Qianjiang Distinguished Professor by Zhejiang Province in China

2005  Pujiang Scholar, by Shanghai Government in China

1991-1992  Hoffmann-La Roche Fellowship, Basel, Switzerland

Representative Works

General Information

Google Scholar:

Web of Knowledge:

10 Representative Works (* refers to the corresponding author)

  • Yao, Y., C. Zheng*, C. Andrews, Y. Zheng, A. Zhang, and J. Liu, 2017, What controls the partitioning between baseflow and mountain block recharge in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau? Geophysical Research Letters, 44(16): 8352-8358.

  • 10 Representative Works (* refers to the corresponding author)

  • An, Q.; Xia, W.; Ding, W.; Liu, H.; Xiang, S.; Wang, Y.; Zhong*, G.; Tan*, B. Nitrosobenzene-Enabled Chiral Phosphoric Acid Catalyzed Enantioselective Construction of Atropisomeric N-Arylbenzimidazoles. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 24888.

  • Zhang*, L.; Shen, J.; Wu, S.; Zhong*, G.; Wang, Y.; Tan*, B. Design and Atroposelective Construction of IAN analogues by Organocatalytic Asymmetric Heteroannulation of Alkynes. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 23077. 

  • Meng, K.; Li, T.; Yu, C.; Shen, C.; Zhang*, J.; Zhong*, G. Geminal Group-directed Olefinic C-H Functionalization via Four- to Eight-membered Exo-metallocycles. Nat. Commun. 2019, 10: 5109.

  • Shen, D.; Chen, Q.; Yan, P.; Zeng*, X.; Zhong*, G. Enantioselective Dearomatization of Naphthol Derivatives with Allylic Alcohols by Cooperative Iridium and Brønsted Acid Catalysis. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2017, 56, 3242.

  • Shi, Z.; Yu, P.; Loh*, T.-P.; Zhong*, G. Catalytic Asymmetric [4+2] Annulation Initiated by an Aza-Rauhut-Currier Reaction: Facile Entry to Highly Functionalized Tetrahydropyridines. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2012, 51, 7861.

  • Lu, M.; Lu, Y.; Zhu, D.; Zeng, X.; Li, X.; Zhong*, G. Chiral Brønsted Acid Catalyzed Enantioselective α-Aminoxylation of Enecarbamates. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2010, 49, 8588.

  • Lu, M.; Zhu, D.; Lu, Y.; Zeng, X.; Tan, B.; Xu, Z.; Zhong*, G. Chiral Brønsted Acid-Catalyzed Enantioselective α-Hydroxylation of β-Dicarbonyl Compounds. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2009, 131, 4562.

  • Tan, B.; Shi, Z.; Chua, P. J.; Li, Y.; Zhong*, G. Unusual Domino Michael/Aldol Condensation Reactions Employing Oximes as N-Selective Nucleophiles: Synthesis of N-Hydroxypyrroles. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2009, 48, 758.

  • Lu, M.; Zhu, D.; Lu, Y.; Hou, Y.; Tan, B.; Zhong*, G. Organocatalytic Asymmetric α-Aminoxylation/aza-Michael Reactions for the Synthesis of Functionalized Tetrahydro-1,2-Oxazines. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2008, 47, 10187.

  • Zhong*, G. A Facile and Rapid Route to Highly Enantiopure 1,2-Diols by Novel Catalytic Asymmetric α-Aminoxylation of Aldehydes. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 4247.