Zhaobin WANG, Ph.D.

Laboratory of Asymmetric Synthesis and Catalysis


Email: wangzhaobin@westlake.edu.cn

Website: https://wang.lab.westlake.edu.cn/

zhaobin wang westlake university
zhaobin wang westlake university

Zhaobin WANG, Ph.D.

Laboratory of Asymmetric Synthesis and Catalysis


Email: wangzhaobin@westlake.edu.cn

Website: https://wang.lab.westlake.edu.cn/


Dr. Zhaobin Wang received his B.S. degree in 2011 from Nanjing University, and Ph.D. degree in 2015 under the supervision of Prof. Jianwei Sun from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. In 2016, he went to Caltech as a postdoctoral researcher and worked with Prof. Gregory C. Fu. Zhaobin joined the School of Science at Westlake University in October of 2019.


Research in the Wang group focuses on the development of novel methodologies for organic synthesis and applying our new methods in synthesizing valuable molecules, such as biologically active compounds. We are particularly interested in transition-metal catalysis to improve synthetic efficiency, reaction selectivity, and sustainability. Representative research projects are as follows:

1. Radical-polar crossover in asymmetric synthesis

Radicals are highly reactive intermediates and thus enable quick access to molecular complexity under mild conditions (e.g., photochemical, and electrochemical conditions). However, the stereoselectivity control of radical reactions remains a long-standing challenge. Our group is interested in developing asymmetric radical-involved reactions in the “Radical-Polar Crossover” manner. Specifically, we focus on the elementary step of single electron reduction of alkyl radials with transition metal complex to affording an alkyl M complex, followed by carbon-carbon or carbon-heteroatom bond formations. We also aim to understand the fundamental mechanisms of these processes to expedite catalytic system development as well as potential synthetic applications.

2. Ti catalysis

Titanium, the second most abundant transition metal and generally nontoxic, is an attractive catalyst for reaction development. However, Ti-based redox catalysis is difficult due to the stability of Ti(IV) state. Our lab is particularly interested in developing transformations of readily available carboxylic derivatives, olefins, and alkynes via Ti(II)/Ti(IV) redox catalysis. We also aim to understand the fundamental mechanisms behind these processes to facilitate potential catalytic applications.

Representative Publications

1.  Guo, X.#; Shi, Z.#; Zhang, F.-H.; Wang, Z.*, “Cr-Catalyzed Regio-, Diastereo-, and Enantioselective Reductive Couplings of Ketones and Propargyl Halides” ACS Catal. 2023, doi.org/10.1021/acscatal.3c00177. (# co-first author)

2.  Zeng, X.; Zhang, F.-H.*; Wang, Z.*, "Cr-Catalyzed Chiral Allenone Synthesis via Sequential Radical-Polar Crossover and Oppenauer Oxidation" Org. Chem. Front. 2022, https://doi.org/10.1039/D2QO01676A. (Invited submission, Frontiers Emerging Investigators Series)

3.  Xia, X.; Wang, Z.* “Cr-Catalyzed Diastereo- and Enantioselective Synthesis of β-Hydroxy Sulfides and Selenides” ACS Catal. 2022, 12, 11152-11158.

4.   Zhang, F.-H.; Guo, X.; Zeng, X.; Wang, Z.* “Asymmetric 1,4-Funcitonalization of 1,3-Enynes via Dual Photoredox and Chromium Catalysis” Nat. Commun. 2022, 13, 5036.

5.   Ni, J.; Xia, X.; Zheng, W.-F.; Wang, Z.* “Ti-Catalyzed Diastereoselective Cyclopropanation of Carboxylic Derivatives with Terminal Olefins” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144, 7889-7900.

6.   Zhang, F.-H.; Guo, X.; Zeng, X.; Wang, Z.* “Catalytic Enantioconvergent Allenylation of Aldehydes with Propargyl Halides” Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202117114.

7.   Wang, Z.; Yang, Z-P.; Fu, G. C.* “Quaternary Stereocentres via Catalytic Enantioconvergent Nucleophilic Substitution Reactions of Tertiary Alkyl Halides by Alkenylmetal Reagents” Nat. Chem. 2021, 13, 236−242.

8.   Wang, Z.; Yin, H.; Fu, G. C.* “Catalytic Enantioconvergent Couplings of Secondary and Tertiary Electrophiles with Olefins” Nature 2018, 563, 379−383.

9.   Wang, Z.; Bachman, S.; Dudnik, A. S.; Fu, G. C.* “Nickel-Catalyzed Enantioconvergent Borylation of Racemic Secondary Benzylic Electrophiles”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2018, 57, 14529−14532.

10.Wang, Z.; Wong, Y. F.; Sun, J.* “Catalytic Asymmetric 1,6-Conjugate Addition of para-Quinone Methides: Formation of All-Carbon Quaternary Stereocenters”, Angew. Chem., Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 13711−13714.

11.Wang, Z.; Sheong, F.; Sung, H.; Williams, I.; Lin, Z.*; Sun, J.* “Catalytic Enantioselective Intermolecular Desymmetrization of Azetidines”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 5895−5898.

12.Wang, Z.; Ai, F.; Wang, Z.; Zhao, W.; Zhu, G.*; Lin, Z*.; Sun, J.* “Organocatalytic Asymmetric Synthesis of 1,1-Diarylethanes by Transfer Hydrogenation”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 383−389.

13.Wang, Z.; Chen, Z.; Sun, J.* “Catalytic Enantioselective Intermolecular Desymmetrization of 3-Substituted Oxetanes”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2013, 52, 6685−6688. (Front cover, highlighted in SYNFACTS)

14.Wang, Z.; Sun, J.* “Enantioselective [4+2] Cycloaddition of o-Quinone Methides and Vinyl Sulfides: Indirect Access to Generally Substituted Chiral Chromanes”, Org. Lett. 2017, 19, 2334−2337.

15.Wang, Z.; Law, W. K.; Sun, J.* “Chiral Phosphoric Acid Catalyzed Enantioselective Desymmetrization of meso-Epoxides by Thiols”, Org. Lett. 2013, 15, 5964−5966.

16. Chen, Z.1; Wang, Z.1 (co-first author); Sun, J.* “Catalytic Enantioselective Synthesis of Tetrahydroisoquinolines and Their Analogues Bearing a C4 Stereocenter: Formal Synthesis of (+)-(8S, 13R)-Cyclocelabenzine”, Chem. Eur. J. 2013, 19, 8426−8430. (1: equal contribution)

Selected honors and awards

2023 Thieme Chemistry Journals Award

Contact Information and Open Positions

We have openings for Postdocs, Ph.D. students, and research assistants within the field of organic synthesis, AI/machine learning-aided organic synthesis, and DFT calculations. Please contact wangzhaobin@westlake.edu.cn, if you are interested in joining us.