Chemical Engineering

Chemical Engineering Experts

Hon Wai Lam

University of Nottingham
United Kingdom


Hon Wai Lam was born in Harrow, England in 1976, and grew up in northwest London. In 1994, Hon moved to the University of Oxford where he received his M.Chem. degree in chemistry in 1998, conducting undergraduate research with Jeremy Robertson. He then moved to the University of Nottingham to carry out his Ph.D studies, working under the direction of Gerald Pattenden. There he completed the total synthesis of the proposed structure of amphidinolide A. In January 2002, Hon moved to Harvard University as a GlaxoSmithKline Postdoctoral Fellow to work with David A. Evans on asymmetric catalysis. In October 2003, Hon joined the School of Chemistry at the University of Edinburgh as a Lecturer, where he started his independent research around the development of new synthetic methodology, enantioselective catalysis, and natural product synthesis. Hon was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2009, and to Reader in 2012. Recognition of Hon's work has come in the form of an RSC Harrison-Meldola Memorial Prize (2008), the RSC Hickinbottom Award (2011), and an AstraZeneca Excellence in Chemistry Award 2011. Hon took up the GSK Chair of Sustainable Chemistry at the School of Chemistry, University of Nottingham on 1st October 2013.

Research Interest

The principal objective of our research program is the development of new reaction methodology of broad utility to organic synthesis. We are particularly interested in the design of new metal-catalyzed reactions that result in rapid increases in molecular and/or stereochemical complexity. Projects involve the development of catalytic systems that operate through novel modes of action and which lead to product formation with high levels of diastereo- and enantiocontrol. Current areas of interest include: (i) enantioselective rhodium-catalyzed addition reactions; (ii) the use of C=N-containing azaarenes as activating groups for enantioselective catalysis; (iii) catalytic C-H functionalization reactions, and (iv) application of newly developed methodology to the synthesis of biologically active molecules.

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