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Dr. Ming-Yu Ngai

Dr. Ming-Yu Ngai

Discover the exciting world of chemistry research at the Ngai Lab, where we push the boundaries of organic chemistry, photochemistry, fluorine chemistry, organometallics, and carbohydrate chemistry. Our mission is to develop efficient and selective catalytic platforms for editing and preparing novel organic molecules. We combine experimental and computational studies to understand reactivity and mechanisms that guide the design of new catalysts and applications in organic, bioorganic, and medicinal chemistry. Our three main research areas – excited-state/photoredox catalysis in organic synthesis, molecular editing of carbohydrates, and molecular valorization via fluorine chemistry – offer diverse opportunities for students to make a significant impact in various fields.

As a member of our group, you will gain a diverse range of skills, ranging from advanced organic synthesis and catalysis to interdisciplinary research and collaboration. Our commitment to innovation and excellence ensures that our group members are well-prepared for academic and industrial careers. By joining our team, you will be part of a collaborative and supportive environment where your curiosity, creativity, and passion for research will be nurtured and rewarded with the potential to make a lasting contribution to chemistry and beyond. The Ngai research lab is actively searching for talented postdoctoral fellows and motivated graduate and undergraduate students with a strong passion for chemistry – if this sounds like the perfect fit for you, please contact us!


  • Postdoctoral Associate, Harvard University, 2011-2013
  • Croucher Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University, 2009-2011
  • Ph.D. Chemistry, University of Texas at Austin, 2004-2008
  • Exchange Student, Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, 2002-2003
  • B.S. Chemistry, University of Hong Kong, 2000-2003


  • Inducted as a Member of the National Academy of Inventors, 2021
  • Maximizing Investigator Research Award for Established Investigator (NIGMS), 2021-2026
  • Discovery Prize Finalist (SBU), 2019
  • Young Academic Investigator (ACS-Division of Organic Chemistry), 2019
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2019-2024
  • Young Academic Inventor’s Award (National Academy of Inventors – SBU Chapter), 2018
  • ChemComm Emerging Investigator, 2017
  • Maximizing Investigator Research Award for Early-Stage Investigator (NIGMS), 2016-2021
  • Individual Development Awards (SBU), 2016-2023
  • Thieme Chemistry Journal Award, 2016
  • Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry New Talent, 2015


List of publications