ZHONG Fangrui

Professor of Chemistry

Email: chemzfr@hust.edu.cn

Academic Areas: Organic Chemistry, Asymmetric catalysis, Artificial enzyme, Sustainable chemistry

Prof. Fangrui Zhong received B.Sc from Zhejiang University in 2008 and PhD from National University of Singapore in 2012 under the supervision of Prof. Yixin Lu. In the year 2013-2015, he carried out his postdoc research (Humboldt fellowship) with Prof. Thorsten Bach at Technical University of Munich and research associate with Prof. Tanja Weil at Ulm University. He joined the Huazhong University of Science and Technology (HUST) and started his independent career in December 2015 as professor of chemistry.

The research interests of Prof. Zhong are centered on biomimetic sustainable organic synthesis, mainly focusing on the development of efficient catalytic system for oxidative phenol transformations, artificial enzymes for asymmetric catalysis. He has published over 40 papers in the leading chemistry journals such as J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., ACS Catal., and 7 patents. He was the recipient of a number of awards, including Reaxys Phd Prize finalist award (2012), Singapore National Institute of Chemistry Gold Medal (2013), Wang Gungwu Medal & Prize (2013), Humboldt research fellowship (2013-2015), Thieme Chemistry Journal Award (2017).

Academic Degrees


PhD, National University of Singapore


BS in Chemistry, Zhejiang University

Professional Experience


Professor, School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, HUST


Research associate, Ulm University


Humboldt postdoc fellow, Technical University of Munich


Research assistant, National University of Singapore

Courses Taught

1.Organic chemistry (for undergraduate student)

2.Organic Structure Analysis (for undergraduate student)

3.Organic Structure Analysis (for graduated student)

Awards and Honors


Thieme Chemistry Journal Award


Humboldt research fellowship


Wang Gungwu Medal & Prize


Singapore National Institute of Chemistry Gold Medal


Reaxys Phd Prize finalist

Selected Projects Funded

1.National Key R&D Program of China

2.National Science Foundation of China

3.Technical Innovation Program of Hubei Province

4.Science, Technology and Innovation Commission of Shenzhen Municipality

Selected Publications

[1]Yu Fu,# Jian Huang,# Yuzhou Wu,* Xiaohong Liu,* Fangrui Zhong,* and Jiangyun Wang*, “Biocatalytic Cross-Coupling of Aryl Halides with a Genetically Engineered Photosensitizer Artificial Dehalogenase” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2021143, 617.

[2]Yang Ni, Xiang Wan, Honghua Zuo, Muhammad Adnan Bashir, Yu Liu, Huaibin Yu, Rong-Zhen Liao, Guojiao Wu,* and Fangrui Zhong,* “Iron-catalyzed Cross-Dehydrogenative C-H Amidation of Benzofurans and Benzothiophenes with Anilines” Org. Chem. Front.20218, 1490. 

[3]Tai-Ping Zhou, Fangrui Zhong,* Yuzhou Wu and Rong-Zhen Liao,* “Regioselectivity and stereoselectivity of intramolecular [2 + 2] photocycloaddition catalyzed by chiral thioxanthone: a quantum chemical study”, Org. Biomol. Chem. 202119, 1532.

[4]Xunbo Lu, Yulong Bai, Jingyang Qin, Nan Wang, Yuzhou Wu,* and Fangrui Zhong*, “Alleviating Catalyst Decay Enables Efficient Intermolecular C(sp3)−H Amination under Mechanochemical Conditions” ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng20219, 1684-1691.

[5]Jingyang Qin, Honghua Zuo, Yang Ni, Qile Yu, and Fangrui Zhong*, “Catalytic Electrophilic C−H Sulfenylation of Indoles with Disulfides under Ball Milling”, ACS Sustainable Chem. Eng20208, 12342−12347.

[6]Honghua Zuo, Jingyang Qin, Wentao Zhang, Muhammad Adnan Bashir, Qile Yu, Weining Zhao, Guojiao Wu,* and Fangrui Zhong*, “Hemin-Catalyzed Oxidative Phenol-Hydrazone [3+3] Cycloaddition Enables Rapid Construction of 1,3,4-Oxadiazines” Org. Lett. 202022, 6911−6916.

[7]Adnan Bashir, Honghua Zuo, Xunbo Lu, Yuzhou Wu, Fangrui Zhong, Chem. Commun., 202056, 5965.

[8]Dangrui Wang, Huaibin Yu, Shaohan Sun, Fangrui Zhong*, "Intermolecular Vicinal Diaminative Assembly of Tetrahydroquinoxalines via Metal-free Oxidative [4 + 2] Cycloaddition Strategy" Org. Lett. 20206. 2425.

[9]Juan Guo, Huan Guo, Jin Liu,* Fangrui Zhong, Yuzhou Wu*,"Manganese(II) Oxidizing Bacteria as Whole-Cell Catalyst for β-Keto Ester Oxidation" Int. J. Mol. Sci. 202021, 1709.

[10]Yan Li,Juan Guo, Xunbo Lu and Fangrui Zhong*, "One-step assembly of alkoxypyrroloindolines via iodine-catalyzed alkoxycyclization of indole derivatives" Org. Biomol. Chem., 202018, 32-35.

[11]Yu Fu,Qile Yu,Yulong Zhang,Zhonghong Gao,* Yuzhou Wu * and Fangrui Zhong*,"Hemin-catalyzed biomimetic oxidative phenol–indole [3 + 2] reactions in aqueous media",Org. Biomol. Chem.201917, 9994-9998. Part of the themed collection: Chemical biology in OBC.

[12]Dangui Wang, Xunbo Lu, Shaohan Sun, Huaibin Yu, Huimin Su, Yuzhou Wu,* Fangrui Zhong* "Unified and Benign Synthesis of Spirooxindoles via Bifunctional and Recyclable Iodide SaltCatalyzed Oxidative Coupling in Water" Eur. J. Org. Chem. 201935, 6028.

[13]Qile Yu, Yu Fu, Jianjian Huang, Jingyang Qin, Honghua Zuo, Yuzhou Wu*, Fangrui Zhong*, "Enantioselective Oxidative Phenol-Indole [3+ 2] Coupling Enabled by Biomimetic Mn (III)/Brønsted Acid Relay Catalysis" ACS Catal20199, 7285.

[14]Chun Ding, Xuan Zhang, Liang Shen, Jiaqi Huang, Ang Lu, Fangrui Zhong*, Yan Wang*, "Application of polysaccharide derivatives as novel draw solutes in forward osmosis for desalination and protein concentration", Chem Eng Res Des2019146, 211.

[15]Yufeng Shi, Yufan Wang, Xunbo Lu, Yulong Zhang, Yuzhou Wu, Fangrui Zhong*, "Rhodium-catalyzed aminohydroxylation of unactivated alkenes in aqueous media for the benign synthesis of 1, 2-amino alcohols" Green Chem201921, 780.

[16]Yan Li, Longjie Li, Xunbo Lu, Yulong Bai, Yufan Wang, Yuzhou Wu* and Fangrui Zhong* "Bioinspired radical cyclization of tryptamines: synthesis of peroxypyrroloindolenines as potential anti-cancer agents" Chem. Commun.201955, 63.

[17]Xunbo Lu, Yulong Bai, Yan Li, Yufeng Shi, Longjie Li, Yuzhou Wu and Fangrui Zhong* "Assembly of C3a-Peroxylated Pyrroloindolines via Interrupted Witkop Oxidation" Org. Lett., 201820, 7937.

[18]Yang Ni, Honghua Zuo, Huaibin Yu, Yuzhou Wu, and Fangrui Zhong* "Synergistic Catalysis-Enabled Thia-Aza-Prins Cyclization with DMSO and Disulfides: Entry to Sulfenylated 1,3-Oxazinanes and Oxazolidines" Org. Lett201820, 5899.

[19]Yang Ni, Honghua Zuo, Yan Li, Yuzhou Wu, and Fangrui Zhong*  "Copper-Catalyzed Regioselective Intramolecular Electrophilic Sulfenoamination via Lewis Acid Activation of Disulfides under Aerobic Conditions"  Org. Lett. 201820, 4350.

[20]Yushuang Yu, Yu Fu, Fangrui Zhong*, "Benign catalysis with iron: facile assembly of cyclobutanes and cyclohexenes via intermolecular radical cation cycloadditions" Green Chem201821, 1743.

[21]Yang Ni, Qile Yu, Qihao Liu, Honghua Zuo, Huai-Bin Yu, Wen-Jie Wei, Rong-Zhen Liao, and Fangrui Zhong*, "Iron-Catalyzed Regiospecific Intermolecular Radical Cyclization of Anilines: Strategy for Assembly of 2,2-Disubstituted Indolines" Org. Lett., 201820, 1404.

[22]Xunbo Lu,Yufeng Shi and Fangrui Zhong* "Rhodium-catalyzed intermolecular C(sp3)–Hamination in a purely aqueous system" Green Chem. 201820, 113.(This article is part of the themed collection: 2018 Green Chemistry Hot Articles)

[23]Tianli Wang, Xiaoyu Han, Fangrui Zhong, Weijun Yao, Yixin Lu. “Amino acid-derived Bifunctional Phosphines for Enantioselective Transformations” Acc. Chem. Res.,201649, 1369.

[24]Fangrui Zhong, Alexander Pöthig, Thorsten Bach. “Synergistic Stereocontrol in the Enantioselective Ruthenium- catalyzed Sulfoxidation of Spirodithiolane-Indolones” Chem. Eur. J201521, 10310.

[25]Tianli Wang, Weijun Yao, Fangrui Zhong, Guohao Pang, Yixin Lu. “Phosphine-Catalyzed Enantioselective g-Addition of 3-Substituted Oxindoles to 2,3-Butadienoates and 2-Butynoates: Use of Prochiral Nucleophiles”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed201453, 2964.

[26]Fangrui Zhong, Thorsten Bach. “Enantioselective Construction of 2,3-Dihydrofuro[2,3-b]quinolines through Supramolecular Hydrogen Bonding Interactions” Chem. Eur. J201420, 13522.

[27]Fangrui Zhong,Xiaowei Dou, Weijun Yao, Qiang Zhu, Yixin Lu.“Chiral Phosphine-Catalyzed Asymmetric Michael Addition of Oxindoles” Angew. Chem. Int.Ed201352, 943.(highlighted in SYNFACTS2013, 216)

[28]Jie Luo, Haifei Wang, Fangrui Zhong, Jacek, Kwiatkowski, Li-Wen Xu, Yixin Lu. “Highly diastereoselective and enantioselective direct Michael addition of phthalide derivatives to nitroolefins” Chem. Commun. 201349, 5775.

[29]Xiaowei Dou, Bo Zhou, Weijun Yao, Fangrui Zhong, Chunhui Jiang, Yixin Lu. “A Facile and Versatile Approach for the Asymmetric Synthesis of Oxindoles with a 3-Sulfenyl -substituted Quaternary Stereocenter”.Org. Lett. 201315, 4920.

[30]Fangrui Zhong,Jie Luo, Guo-Ying Chen, Xiaowei Dou, Yixin Lu. “Highly Enantioselective Regiodivergent Allylic Alkylations of MBH Adducts with Phthalides” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2012134, 10222.(highlighted in SYNFACTS 2012, 906)

[31]Fangrui Zhong, Xiaoyu Han, Youqing Wang, Yixin Lu. “Highly Enantioselective [4 + 2] Annulations Catalyzed by Amino Acid-Based Phosphines: Synthesis of Functionalized Cyclohexenes and 3-Spirocyclohexene-2-oxindoles”, Chem. Sci. 20123, 1231.

[32]Xiaoyu Han, Fangrui Zhong, Youqing Wang, Yixin Lu. “Versatile Enantioselective [3 + 2] Cyclization between Imines and Allenoates Catalyzed by Dipeptide-Based Phosphines”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 201251, 767.

[33]Jie Luo, Haifei Wang, Fangrui Zhong, Jacek Kwiatkowski, Li-Wen Xu, Yixin Lu. “Direct Asymmetric Mannich Reaction of Phthalides: Facile Access to Chiral Substituted Isoquinolines and Isoquinolinones”,Chem. Commun201248, 4707.

[34]Xiaowei Dou,Fangrui Zhong,Yixin Lu. “A Highly Enantioslective Synthesis of Functionalized 2,3-Dihydrofurans via a Modified Feist−Bénary Reaction” Chem. Eur.J201218, 13945.

[35]Guo-Ying Chen, Fangrui Zhong, Yixin Lu. “Asymmetric Allylic Alkylation of Isatin-derived Morita-Baylis-Hillman Carbonates with Nitroalkanes”, Org. Lett. 201214, 3955.

[36]Fangrui Zhong,Weijun Yao, Xiaowei Dou, Yixin Lu. “Enantioselective Construction of 3-Hydroxy Oxindoles via Decarboxylative Addition of b-Ketoacids to Isatins” Org. Lett. 201214, 4018.

[37]Fangrui Zhong,Guoying Chen, Xiaoyu Han, Weijun Yao, Yixin Lu. “Asymmetric Construction of Functionalized Bicyclic imides via [3+2] Annulation of MBH Carbonates Catalyzed by Dipeptide-based Phosphines” Org. Lett. 201214, 3764.

[38]Fangrui Zhong, Xiaoyu Han, Youqing Wang, Yixin Lu. “Highly Enantioselective [3+2] Annulation of Morita-Baylis-Hillman Adducts Mediated by L-Threonine Derived Bifunctional Phosphines: Creation of 3-Spirocyclopentene-2-oxindoles with Two Consecutive Quaternary Centers”, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 201150, 7837. (highlighted in SYNFACTS 2011, 1020)

[39]Fangrui Zhong, Youqing Wang, Xiaoyu Han, Kuo-Wei Huang, Yixin Lu. “L-Threonine-Derived Bifunctional Phosphine-Sulfonamide Catalyst-Promoted Enantioselective Aza-Morita-Baylis-Hillman Reaction”,Org. Lett. 201113, 1310. (highlighted in SYNFACTS 2011, 551)

[40]Fangrui Zhong, Guo-Ying Chen, Yixin Lu. “Enantioselective Morita-Baylis-Hillman Reaction of Isatins with Acrylates: Facile Creation of 3-Hydroxy-2-Oxindoles”, Org. Lett. 201113, 82.

[41]Xiaoyu Han, Youqing Wang, Fangrui Zhong, Yixin Lu. “Enantioselective [3 + 2] Cycloaddition of Allenes to Acrylates Catalyzed by Dipeptide-derived Novel Phosphines: Facile Creation of Functionalized Cyclopentenes Containing Quaternary Stereogenic Centers”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2011133, 1726.

[42]Guo-Ying Chen, Fangrui Zhong, Yixin Lu. “Highly Enantioselective and Regiospecific Substitution of Morita-Baylis-Hillman Carbonates with Nitroalkanes” Org. Lett. 201113, 6070.

[43]Xiao Han, Fangrui Zhong, Yixin Lu. “Highly Enantioselective Amination Reactions of Fluorinated Ketoesters Catalyzed by Novel Chiral Guanidines Derived from Cinchona Alkaloids”, Adv. Synth. Catal. 2010352, 2778.

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