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About Yandong

Dr. Yandong Zhang, grew up in a beautiful town, Shawan in Xinjiang province, where the strong curiosity to nature inspired his primary interest in science.

Undergraduate Study

Followed his high school graduation, Yandong decided to pursue undergraduate studies in chemistry at Beijing Institute of Technology (BIT), where he studies different disciplines of chemistry. Among them, organic chemistry is always his favorite. In the last year of college Yandong joined professor Yingyan Jiang’s group at Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He conducted research on asymmetric reduction of ketones with chiral rhodium catalysts, which resulted in an excellent bachelor thesis award.

Graduate School

In 1999, Yandong moved from south Zhong-guan-cun street (BIT) to north Zhong-guan-cun street where Peking University lies and started graduate study as a master student in Prof. Jiahua Chen’s group. During this period he devoted his attention to bioorganic study: immune-assay of Lysophosphatidic acid, which was considered as a diagnostic biomarker of early ovarian cancer. Upon graduation, he received a couple of offers from American universities for Ph.D. program. Due to cascade effect of September 11th disaster and SARS, his visa applications were rejected. As a reward of his scientific endeavors, he received Guanghua Scholarship.

After two-year research assistant experience in Prof. Zhen Yang’s group in the same institution, Yandong began his Ph.D. studies with Prof. Yang at Peking University, where he spent four years working on the total synthesis of bioactive triterpenoids: Micrandialctone A and Schindilactone A. He developed an efficient route to make functionalized ABC tricyclic ring system within 14 steps, featuring the Lewis acid catalyzed intermolecular Diels-Alder reaction and enyne RCM process. He was also involved in the synthetic study toward the construction of FGH ring system and methodological study of thioureas mediated Co-catalyzed and Palladium catalyzed Pauson-Khand reaction. These scientific efforts resulted in several publications, a number of awards, including Du Pont fellowship and Roche Creative Chemistry Award.

Postdoctoral Experience

Then Yandong trained as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Samuel J. Danishefsky at Columbia University in the city of New York, where he completed the total synthesis of Aplykurodinone-1 and investigated the “trans-Diels-Alder” strategic approach to trans-fused ring systems. Meanwhile he also developed an intramolecular epoxidation reaction triggered by sulfoxide functionality. He was also involved in medicinal study with panaxytriol analogues.

Independent Career

Yandong started his independent career at Xiamen University in 2011 and was promoted to full professor in 2017. His group seeks to develop new key reaction oriented strategies for the total synthesis of a natural product family. By the combination of biosynthetic clues and Diverted Total Synthesis concept, we want to develop a couple of “general strategies” regarding the internal (biosynthetic) structure correlation of the natural products from a genus of plants (species).

Dr. Yandong Zhang
Professor of Chemistry
R 842,Lu Jiaxi Hall,
Xiamen University,
Xiamen, Fujian 361005
Prof. Zhang's CV (pdf) (中文)
Postdoc, Columbia University, 2008-2010 (With Prof. Samuel J. Danishefsky)
Ph.D. Peking University, 2004-2008
(With Prof. Zhen Yang)
B. E. Beijing Institute of Technology, 1994-1998 (With Prof. Yingyan Jiang)
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College of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, Xiamen University