University Awards

Young Researcher Award

Through my research, I hope to play a key role in revolutionising chemical production to achieve sustainability. Innovative and impactful technologies, when developed thoughtfully, can help to shrink the environmental footprint of synthetic chemistry. Assistant Professor Koh Ming Joo
President's Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
College of Humanities and Sciences
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  • Non-precious metal catalysis
  • Radical chemistry
  • Cross-coupling
  • Sustainable chemical synthesis
  • Leads the Koh Research Group at NUS Chemistry, driving research on sustainable catalysis, and leading global efforts in the drive towards cost- and energy-efficient chemical synthesis with lower carbon emissions and waste generation. Achievements include:
    • Inventing a “catalyst control” blueprint using non-precious nickel catalysts that shorten chemical synthesis and enable lower environmental footprint, a major breakthrough in the field
    • Designing earth-abundant iron catalyst systems that form the foundations of the global drive towards sustainability
    • Inventing groundbreaking cross-coupling technologies to generate molecular complexity
    • Developing innovative technologies for biorelevant carbohydrate synthesis, paving the way for future applications in the field
  • Discoveries have led to five patents filed
  • Secured more than $2.5 million in funding from the Ministry of Education and NUS as Lead Principal Investigator
  • First Singaporean recognised as the American Chemical Society’s Chemical & Engineering News’ Talented 12 (2022) for his work on sustainable catalysis, an accolade honouring early-career researchers in the chemical sciences fearlessly tackling global issues
  • 40 high-impact papers published in the last five years, with over 90% of these in leading journals such as Nature Chemistry and Nature Catalysis
  • Obtained more than 2,260 total citations with a Hirsch index of 26 
  • Editorial board member of Green Synthesis and Catalysis (since 2022)
  • Advisory board member of the Asian Journal of Organic Chemistry (since 2022)
  • Editorial board member of Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry (since 2022)
  • Chemical & Engineering News' Talented 12, American Chemical Society (2022)
  • Young Scientist Award, Singapore National Academy of Science (2022)
  • Faculty Young Scientist Award, NUS (2022)
  • Innovators Under 35 Asia Pacific Award, MIT Technology Review (2021)
  • Tokyo Chemical Industry-Singapore National Institute of Chemistry Industry Award in Synthetic Chemistry (2021)
  • NUS Inauguration Grant (2019) 
  • PhD (Boston College)
  • BSc (Nanyang Technological University)
 Honour Roll Recipients