Hao Xu went to Peking University (Beijing) for college in 1997. He enrolled in the Chemistry Graduate Program at Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA) in 2001 and carried out his Ph.D. research with Professor K.C. Nicolaou for complex-molecule synthesis. In 2006, he joined Professor Eric Jacobsen’s lab at Harvard University (Cambridge, MA) as a Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellow. In Jacobsen’s lab, Hao discovered several highly enantioselective strong acid-chiral urea/thiourea co-catalyzed reactions for the greener synthesis of nitrogen-containing complex molecules.
Hao joined the faculty of Georgia State University (Atlanta, GA) in Fall 2010 and his passion of incorporation of nitrogen atoms into complex molecules has continued. At Georgia State, he has established a unique synthetic chemistry program that focuses on the Iron-Catalyzed Nitrogen Atom Transfer for Selective Olefin Difunctionalization. Along with his students, Hao has discovered a range of iron-catalyzed selective atom transfer reactions in which a nitrogen atom and a hetero-atom-based group are selectively transferred to olefins. These catalytic reactions readily transform commodity chemicals to highly functionalized building blocks valuable to medicinal chemistry and pharmaceutical research. His research is currently supported by the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and he has been tenured since Spring 2016.
Hao has been recognized by a list of accolades, including Skaggs Predoctoral Fellowship (2003), Shelton Award in Graduate Studies (2005), Bristol-Myers Squibb Graduate Fellowship in Synthetic Organic Chemistry (2006), Camille and Henry Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellowship (2007), Thieme Chemistry Journal Award (2014), National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award (2014), Dean’s Early Career Award at Georgia State (2015), CAPA Biomatick Distinguished Junior Faculty Award (2015), and most recently Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship (2015).