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Hao Xu

Hao Xu Hao Xu
Assistant Professor
Synthetic Chemistry, Chemical Biology


B.S. (2001):  Peking University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China
Ph.D. (2006) :  Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellow (2006–2010) :  Harvard University, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cambridge, MA

Dr. Hao Xu
Department of Chemistry
Georgia State University
P.O. Box 3965
Atlanta, Georgia 30302-3965

Department Office Phone: 404-413-5500


Phone: 404 413 5553
Fax: 404 413 5505
Office: 319 Petit Science Center
Email:  hxu@gsu.edu


Group Website

Education Background:

Harvard University
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Cambridge, MA (2006–2010)
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellow with Professor Eric N. Jacobsen

The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA (2001–2006)
Degree Awarded: Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry
Thesis Advisor: Professor K. C. Nicolaou

Peking University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China (1997–2001)
Degree Awarded: B.S. in Chemistry

Awards and Honors

Harvard University Postdoctoral Travel Grants Award (2008)       
Stereochemistry GRC for Exceptional Accomplishments in Organic Chemistry Chair’s Award (2008)         
Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellowship (2007–2009)
Bristol–Myers Squibb Graduate Fellowship in Synthetic Organic Chemistry (2005–2006)
Lesly Starr Shelton Award for Excellence in Chemistry Graduate Studies (2005)
Skaggs Research Predoctoral Fellowship (2003–2006)
Wu–Si Award for Outstanding Junior Students in Peking University (1999–2000)
Peking University President Award for Outstanding Freshmen (1998–1999)
Finalist and Silver Medal in the National Chemistry Olympiad, China (1997)
Finalist and Bronze Medal in the National Physics Olympiad, China (1996)

Research Interests:

Welcome!  We are a group of scientists who are interested in novel chemical reactivity and selectivity, especially in catalytic processes.  We are engaged in two dynamic areas of chemical synthesis: complex-molecule synthesis and functional synthesis at the chemistry–biology interface.

Complex-molecule synthesis has had tremendous impact on the development of chemistry, biology and medicine.  However, it is a misconception that chemical synthesis is a mature discipline.  Lengthy synthetic sequences and low overall yields in most multi-step syntheses make it extremely challenging to provide sufficient quantities of desired targets for therapeutic purposes.  The inefficiency is often due to the limited availability of chiral building blocks and our limited capability to control selectivity.  The discovery of powerful selective catalytic reactions will significantly increase the efficiency of complex-molecule synthesis.  The long-term goal of our research program is to design and discover selective catalytic reactions for efficient complex-molecule synthesis, and to supply sufficient quantities of targets for biological studies.  Further mechanistic study and synthetic application of these reactions will allow for rapid syntheses of various complex targets.

Selective labeling of bio-macromolecules (proteins in particular) in living cells offers chemists and biologists new opportunities to investigate biological phenomena at the molecular, cellular or organismal level.  Chemical labeling with small-molecule probes, a complementary approach to classic enzymatic labeling methods, has emerged as a unique tool for biologists.  The long term goal of this research program is to design and discover robust ligation reactions under physiological conditions, and to apply them to selectively label various bio-macromolecules in vivo.

Publications:

  1. 1. H. Xu, S. J. Zuend, M. G. Woll, Y. Tao, E. N. Jacobsen.  Asymmetric Cooperative Catalysis of Strong Brønsted Acid-Promoted Reactions using Chiral Ureas.  Science 2010, 327, 986–990.
  2.  A. E. Hayden, H. Xu, K. C. Nicolaou, K. N. Houk.  Origins of Selectivity in Pericyclic Reaction Cascades for the Synthesis of Gambogin and Lateriflorone.  Org. Lett. 2006, 8, 2989–2992.
  3.  K. C. Nicolaou, H. Xu.  Total Synthesis of Floresolide B and Δ6,7-Z-floresolide B.  Chem. Comm. 2006, 600–602.
  4.  K. C. Nicolaou, H. Xu, M. Wartmann.  Biomimetic Total Synthesis of Gambogin and Rate Acceleration of Pericyclic Reactions in Aqueous Media.  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2005, 44, 756–761.
  5.  K. C. Nicolaou, P. K. Sasmal, H. Xu.  Biomimetically Inspired Total Synthesis and Structure Activity Relationships of 1-O-Methyllateriflorone. 6πElectrocyclizations in Organic Synthesis.   J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 5493–5501.
  6.  K. C. Nicolaou, P. K. Sasmal, H. Xu, K. Namoto, A. Ritzén.  Total Synthesis of 1-O-Methyllateriflorone.  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 4225–4229.

Positions Open:

Postdoctoral Research Associates:

Highly motivated chemists with a strong background in synthetic organic chemistry are welcomed to apply. Please send an electronic copy of curriculum vitae, reprints of full publications, contact information for three references, and a cover letter stating your interest in joining the Hao Xu research group and your future career objectives to hxu6@fas.harvard.edu (before July 1st, 2010) for initial screening.  All candidates are highly encouraged to send a print-out by regular mail to:

Hao Xu
Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Box 354
Harvard University
12 Oxford Street, Cambridge, MA 02138 (before July 1st, 2010)

Graduate Students (both PhD and master levels)

Chemistry Graduate Student Handbook at Georgia State University

Highly motivated chemists with a strong interest in synthetic organic chemistry and chemical biology are welcomed to apply for the PhD/master graduate programs at Georgia State University. For initial screening, please send an electronic copy of curriculum vitae, transcripts, personal statement, the copy of GRE and (or) TOFEL scores, and a cover letter stating your interest in joining the Hao Xu research group as a graduate student to: hxu6@fas.harvard.edu (before July 1st, 2010).

Undergraduate Students

Highly motivated undergraduate students with a strong interest in organic chemistry (broadly defined) and the desire to carry out creative organic chemistry research, during the school year or the summer, are encouraged to contact Professor Hao Xu hxu6@fas.harvard.edu (before July 1st, 2010) for more information. Prior laboratory experience is preferred but not required for consideration.