Assistant Professor KOH Ming Joo

(President's Assistant Professor)

2008–2012: B.Sc. in Chemistry & Biological Chemistry, First Class Honors, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
2012–2018: Ph.D. & Post-Doc in Organic Chemistry, Boston College, MA, USA

Contact Information

Office: MD1-17-03C
Tel: (65)-6601-7489 | Fax: (65)-6779-1691


ORCID: 0000-0002-2534-4921
ResearcherID: M-6641-2018
Google Scholar:


Recognition and Achievements

  • President's Assistant Professorship, NUS, 2018
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb Graduate Fellowship in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, 2016-2017
  • LaMattina Family Graduate Fellowship in Chemical Synthesis, 2016
  • Best Poster Award, ISOM XXI, 2015
  • Nanyang President Research Scholar, NTU, 2009-2010
  • Dean's List, NTU, 2008-2012


Research Interests

Stereoselective catalysis has revolutionized the art of chemical synthesis and tremendous progress has been made in this area over the last few decades. Despite these advances, many existing protocols suffer from poor applicability and often rely on catalyst systems that contain increasingly expensive noble metals. The high cost and limited availability of these metals makes it compelling to search for more economical and sustainable alternatives.

The key objective of our program is to develop sustainable and enabling catalytic solutions that address critical and unresolved problems in chemical synthesis. Our research approach will leverage creative, direct and unprecedented disconnections of complex target molecules to fuel our efforts in devising practical stereoselective methods that utilize abundant, biocompatible and inexpensive catalysts. Insights gained from mechanistic studies will aid us in designing new catalyst systems that promote transformations to facilitate economically and environmentally viable preparation of important compounds for the chemical, pharmaceutical and polymer industries.

Current topics of interest include: (a) Development of catalytic transformations involving organohalides for rapid assembly of bioactive natural products and pharmaceuticals. (b) Design and preparation of novel fluorinated building blocks for medicinal and polymeric material applications. (c) Discovery of new reactivity patterns and transformations by engaging radicals in enantioselective catalysis. We cordially welcome collaborations in all areas of research including total synthesis, computational studies, chemical biology and materials science. 


Representative Publications  

  • Nguyen, T. T.; Koh, M. J.; Mann, T. J.; Schrock, R. R.; Hoveyda, A. H. Synthesis of E- or Z-Trisubstituted Alkenes by Catalytic Cross-Metathesis. Nature 2017, 552, 347-354.
  • Koh, M. J.; Nguyen, T. T.; Lam, J. K.; Torker, S.; Hyvl, J.; Schrock, R. R.; Hoveyda, A. H. Molybdenum Chloride Catalysts for Z-Selective Olefin Metathesis Reactions. Nature 2017, 542, 80-85.
  • Shen, X.; Nguyen, T. T.; Koh, M. J.; Xu, D.; Speed, A.W. H.; Schrock, R. R.; Hoveyda, A. H. Kinetically E-Selective Macrocyclic Ring-Closing Metathesis. Nature 2017, 541, 380.
  • Nguyen, T. T.; Koh, M. J.; Shen, X.; Romiti, F.; Schrock, R. R.; Hoveyda, A. H. Kinetically Controlled E-Selective Catalytic Olefin Metathesis. Science 2016, 352, 569-575.
  • Koh, M. J.; Nguyen, T. T.; Zhang, H.; Schrock, R. R.; Hoveyda, A. H. Direct Synthesis of Z-Alkenyl Halides by Catalytic Cross-Metathesis. Nature 2016, 531, 459-465.
  • Koh, M. J.; Khan, R. K. M.; Torker, S.; Yu, M.; Mikus, M. S.; Hoveyda, A. H. High-Value Alcohols and Higher-Oxidation-State Compounds by Catalytic Z-Selective Cross-Metathesis. Nature 2015, 517, 181-186.