Dong Research Group

About Guangbin

Guangbin Dong

Weldon G. Brown Professor

Dr. Guangbin Dong received his B.S. degree from Peking University and completed his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Stanford University with Professor Barry M. Trost. In 2009, He joined the group of Prof. Robert H. Grubbs at California Institute of Technology, as a postdoctoral researcher. His expertise is in the field of organic synthesis, catalysis, organometallics and medicinal chemistry. His future research interests lie at the development of powerful chemical tools for addressing questions of biological importance. His research program will bring together the complimentary knowledge of organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry and organometallic chemistry in collaboration with scientists in the field of cellular biology and animal pharmacology to identify effective small-molecule agents that target new molecular mechanisms for cancer treatment.

Dr. Dong’s Ph.D. research studies involved development of new catalytic enantioselective synthetic methods and applied these methods in the total syntheses of biologically important molecules. The majority of the natural products Dr. Dong synthesized exhibit high potent anticancer activity, such as agelastatin A, terpestacin, and bryostatins. In addition, he has designed and synthesized a new bryostatin analogue; in collaboration with Genetech, this agent has shown nanomolar anticancer activity again several cancer cell lines. This work has been published in Nature.

At California Institute of Technology, Dr. Dong was a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Environmental Chemistry Fellow in the group of Professor Robert H. Grubbs. His research aimed at development of catalysts for anti-Markovnikov hydration of olefins, considered as one of the top 10 challenges in catalysis. Dr. Dong developed the first reproducible anti-Markovnikov olefin hydration process using a dual-metal system.

Dr. Dong’s primary goal as an advisor is to give graduate students and postdocs with professional training that will assist them for their future careers as independent researchers. He will create a healthy environment where both students and postdocs are able to share experiences and knowledge with each other. The key is to offer each group member sufficient freedom to explore on his/her own. They should be allowed to make their own mistakes and correct themselves by finding their own solutions. They will be encouraged to talk more to each other and learn from each other. Meanwhile, he will be around and ready to give suggestions. Dr. Dong believes that such a collaborative environment would be beneficial for students and postdocs to develop into thoughtful scientists capable of conducting research on an independent level.

A motto of Guangbin’s favorites is “Hire the best people…..then get out of their way” (from Arnold Beckman).

Professional Preparation/Positions


Weldon G. Brown Professor of Chemistry, University of Chicago, Illinois
2016-2022 Professor of Chemistry, University of Chicago, Illinois
2016 Professor of Chemistry, Pettit Centennial Chair (declined), University of Texas at Austin, 2016
2011 – 2016 Assistant Professor, University of Texas at Austin, Texas
2009 – 2011 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellow, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California
Advisor: Professor Robert H. Grubbs
2004 – 2009 Ph.D. in Chemistry, Stanford University, Stanford, California
Advisor: Professor Barry M. Trost
1999 – 2003 B.S. in Chemistry, Peking University, Beijing, China
Advisors: Professor Zhen Yang and Professor Jiahua Chen

Honors and Awards

  • Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award (2021)
  • Blavatnik National Awards for Young Scientists, Finalist (2020)
  • Novartis Chemistry Lectureship (2019)
  • Roche Chinese Investigator Award (2018)
  • Chan Memorial Award in Organic Synthesis (2018)
  • Kavli Fellow (NAS) (2018)
  • Arthur C. Cope Scholar (2017)
  • Eli Lilly Grantee Award (2016)
  • American Cancer Society Research Scholar (2014)
  • Amgen Young Investigator Award (2014)
  • Teaching Excellent Award, College of Natural Science, UT Austin (2014)
  • Biomatik Distinguished Junior Faculty Award (2014)
  • DuPont’s 2014 Class of Young Professors (2014)
  • Sloan Research Fellowship (2014)
  • Searle Scholar (2013)
  • National Science Foundation CAREER Award (2013-2018)
  • Thieme Synlett/Synthesis Journal Award (2012)
  • Chemistry and Molecularly Targeted Therapeutic Development Award, Center for Targeted Therapy (CTT) & Texas Institute for Drug & Diagnostic Development (TI-3D) (2012)
  • Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Awards (2012)
  • Herman Frasch Foundation Award in Chemical Research (2012-2017)
  • Rom Rhome International Travel Award (2011)
  • CPRIT Award for Recruitment First-Time Tenure-Track Faculty Member (2011)
  • Reaxys Travel Award (2011)
  • IUPAC Prizes for Young Chemists, IUPAC (2010)
  • Reaxys Ph.D. Prize, Runners-up, Elsevier (2010)
  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Environmental Chemistry Fellow (2009)
  • Beckman Postdoctoral Fellowship, Finalist (2009)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS) Travel Awards for Graduate Students, Division of Organic Chemistry (2009)
  • Chinese Government Award for Outstanding Self-Financed Students Abroad (2008-2009)
  • Larry Yung Stanford Graduate Fellowship in Science and Engineering, Stanford University (2006-2009)
  • Samsung Fellowship, Peking University (2001-2002)
  • Youlong Fellowship, Peking University (2000-2001)
  • Dupont Fellowship, Peking University (1999-2000)