Vietnam (Fulbright S&T awardee 2011)
Hai Thanh Dao is pursuing a doctorate in Organic Chemistry at The Scripps Research Institute with a specialization in Total Synthesis.
Natural products have long been the source of the great majority of drug candidates. Synthesis of such complex materials from simple chemical building blocks provides templates for novel therapeutic agents and platforms for methodological developments as well as offers insights into the mechanism of life processes. Hai Dao’s research focuses on developing “green catalytic methodologies”, and applying these methods in order to streamline the process of constructing complex molecules.
During his time in high school, Hai Dao won a silver medal at the 34th International Chemistry Olympiad in Groningen, Netherlands, for the Vietnamese team. After completing his first semester at Hanoi National University, he received a MEXT Scholarship from the Japanese Government for Undergraduate and Master Studies at the University of Tokyo. Prior to his studies in the United States as a recipient of the 2011 International Fulbright Science & Technology Award, Dao spent three years in the laboratory. He developed the first catalytic activation of nontoxic boron reagents for CC bond formation with acetals and ethers using indium(I) catalyst. He considers his doctorate in the U.S. as a bridge between his past research in methodology and his future career aspirations as an Organic Chemist.