Professor Zhihai KE(柯志海教授)

Adjunct Assistant Professor





2008-2012 Ph.D. in Chemistry,The Chinese University of Hong Kong
2004-2008 B.Sc. (1st Hons) in Chemistry, Sun Yat-sen University



Since Aug 2020 Assistant Professor, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shenzhen
Aug 2015–Aug 2020 Research Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Oct 2012–Jul 2015 Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore


Previous Research Work

My broad research interests are in the areas of organocatalysis and electrophilic reactions. The contributions of my work have been in two main aspects: 1) development of novel and environmentally-benign catalysts/reactions which can add to the arsenal of organic synthesis. Recently reported reactions included (a) intermolecular multicomponent reactions, (b) catalytic asymmetric Lewis base mediated etherification, and (c) intramolecular halocyclizations/ring-opening 1,3-difunctionalization of cyclopropanes; 2) using the newly-developed catalysts/reactions and synthetic methods for the construction of complex molecular architectures and pharmaceutically important intermediates. For instance, a facile, efficient, and highly enantio- and diastereoselective bromoetherification and desymmetrization of olefinic 1,3-diols has been applied to the synthesis of the key intermediate of an orally active antifungal drug posaconazole (Noxafil).


Publication Records (Recent five years)

1. Applications of Selenonium Cations as Lewis Acids in Organocatalytic Reactions, X. He, X. Wang, Y.-L. Tse, Z. Ke*, Y.-Y. Yeung* Angew. Chem. Int. Ed201857, 12869–12873.
2. Lewis Base-Promoted Ring-Opening 1,3-Dioxygenation of Unactivated Cyclopropanes using Hypervalent Iodine Reagent, M. H. Gieuw, Z. Ke*, Y.-Y. Yeung* Angew. Chem. Int. Ed201857, 3782–3786.
3. Desymmetrizing Enantio- and Diastereoselective Selenoetherification through Supramolecular Catalysis, J. Y. See, H. Yang, Y. Zhao, M. W. Wong, Z. Ke*, Y.-Y. Yeung* ACS Catal. 20188, 850–858. (Highlighted in Synfact March 2018)
4. Environmentally Benign Indole-Catalyzed Position-Selective Halogenation of Thioarenes and Other Aromatics, Y. Shi, Z. Ke*, Y.-Y. Yeung* Green Chem201820, 4448–4452.
5. Electrophilic Bromolactonization of Cyclopropyl Diesters Using Lewis Basic Chalcogenide Catalysts, M. H. Gieuw, V. M. Y. Leung, Z. Ke*, Y.-Y. Yeung* Adv. Synth. Catal2018360, DOI: 10.1002/adsc.201800886.
6. Indole-Catalyzed Bromolactonization: Preparation of Bromolactone in Lipophilic Media, Z. Ke*, T. Chen, Y.-Y. Yeung* Org. Synth201895, 256–266. (Invited Article)
7. Enantioseletive Fluorination of 3-Functionalized Oxindoles Using Electron-rich Amino Urea Catalyst, X. Jiang, H. Wang, H. He, W. Wang, Y. Wang, Z. Ke, Y.-Y. Yeung Adv. Synth. Catal2018360, DOI: 10.1002/adsc.201801133.
8. Lewis Base Catalyzed Stereo- and Regioselective Bromocyclization, M. H. Gieuw, Z. Ke*, Y.-Y. Yeung* Chem. Rec201717, 287–311.
9. Five-Membered Ring Systems: Furans and Benzofurans, Z. Ke†, G. C. Tsui†, X.-S. Peng†, Y.-Y. Yeung† Progress in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Edited by G. W. Gribble & J. A. Joule; Elsevier: Boston, 201729, 239–275.
10. Electrophilic Bromolactonization of Cyclopropyl Carboxylic Acids Using Lewis Basic Sulfide Catalyst, Z. Ke, Y.-C. Wong, J. Y. See, Y.-Y. Yeung* Adv. Synth. Catal. 2016358, 1719–1724.
11. Catalytic and Enantioselective Bromoetherification of Olefinic 1,3-Diols: Mechanistic Insight, Z. Ke, C. K. Tan, Y. Liu, K. G. Z. Lee, Y.-Y. Yeung* Tetrahydron 201672, 2683–2689. (Invited Article)
12. Five-Membered Ring Systems: Furans and Benzofurans, Z. Ke†, G. C. Tsui†, X.-S. Peng†, Y.-Y. Yeung† Progress in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Edited by G. W. Gribble & J. A. Joule; Elsevier: Boston, 201628, 219–274./ 201527, 203–246.
13. Lewis Basic Sulfide Catalyzed Electrophilic Bromocyclization of Cyclopropyl Amide, Y.-C. Wong†, Z. Ke†, Y.-Y. Yeung* OrgLett. 201517, 4944–4947. (†, equal contribution)
14. Catalytic Asymmetric Bromoetherification and Desymmetrization of Olenfinic 1,3-Diols with C2-Symmetric Sulfides, Z. Ke, C. K. Tan, F. Chen, Y.-Y. Yeung* J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014136, 5627–5630. (Highlighted in Synfact June 2014)
15. Profiling of substrate-specificity and rational design of broad-spectrum peptidomimetic inhibitors for main proteases of coronaviruses, C.-P. Chuck, Z. Ke, C. Chen, D. C.-C. Wan, H.-F. Chow, K.-B. Wong* Hong Kong Med. J. 201420, 22–25.
16. NBS-Initiated Electrophilic Phenoxyetherification of Olefins, Z. Ke, Y.-Y. Yeung* OrgLett. 201315, 1906–1909.