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We’re interested in developing selective reactions

The Lam Lab aspires to develop new strategies for the selective functionalization of common functional groups such as alcohol and amines.​

We are motivated by current deficiencies in organic synthesis and are especially interested in developing selective variants of “bread-and-butter” reactions.


Some of the simplest transformations in organic chemistry remain inaccessible, despite decades of chemical innovation.


If you and I wanted to site-selectively esterify or oxidize a molecule like glucose, we would resort to using a complex sequence of steps, primarily to mask reactivity at undesired sites (e.g. using protecting groups). Even in the simplest cases, contemporary organic chemistry can be excessively time/resource intensive, not to mention wasteful of fossil fuel byproducts (e.g. chromatography solvents).


Our Lab is motivated by these systemic challenges, and aspires to address them through selective catalysis




Our Approach


The Lam Lab aims to harness emerging methods in i) radical chemistry and ii) proximity effects to impart reaction selectivity at common functional groups. We are especially interested in the catalytic site-selective generation of radicals and making use of their versatile reactivity for diverse transformations. We are also inspired by elegant supramolecular assemblies, and aims to mould them for diverse catalytic functions. 


Method translation will be a continual goal in the Lam Lab; we are especially keen on applying new methods to shorten total syntheses of natural (and unnatural!) products.

We are always looking for talented and motivated individuals to join our team, as well as unconventional avenues to extend our research. Get in touch if you would like to join/collaborate with the Lam Lab!

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