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Njoo Research Group

Department of Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Physical Science

Synthesis | Physical Organic Chemistry | Catalysis | Chemical Biology | Spectroscopy | Medicinal Chemistry

"If medicine were like software...
...then organic chemistry is the boot code."

What we do

We live in a molecular world, where we aim to develop molecular solutions to real-world problems.

We are organic chemists, and we seek to inform the future of scientific development with atomistic resolution.

This is accomplished through chemical synthesis, computational modeling, high resolution spectroscopy, and chemical biology. Our research interests include green methodology towards complex natural product synthesis, quantitative reaction monitoring by benchtop NMR, and small molecule therapeutics to target antibiotic-resistant bacteria, HIV, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Questions? Email us at

Small molecules with BIG impact.

Chemical Biology

We harness the ability to design and tailor chemical entities to study biological systems, including the chemical physics of biocatalytic reactions, the discovery of cell cycle regulating compounds, and development of tool compounds for high resolution optical readouts of biological systems.

Natural Product Synthesis

Nature has produced an arsenal of structurally complex and biologically relevant small molecules. Our current efforts involve semisynthesis of novel derivatives of labdane diterpenoids towards anticancer treatment and total synthesis of cyclic peptide natural products. 


Spectroscopic kinetic monitoring of enzyme-catalyzed chemical conversions can be harnessed to yield mechanistic insight into reactivity, reaction rate, and mechanism.

Physical Organic Chemistry

This branch of chemistry provides insight into the fundamental theories governing chemical reactivity, specifically allowing the harnessing of these trends for more efficient and convenient syntheses of organic molecules.

Catalysis & Reaction Development

We aim to engineer new and increasingly efficient reactions that harness excited state electronic systems for photocatalytic transformations and in the development of organometallic catalysts for green oxidation and asymmetric C-C and C-F bond formation.

Computational & Theoretical Chemistry

High-throughput virtual screening approaches such as protein-ligand docking & molecular dynamic simulations, machine learning platform for drug discovery, and density functional theory (DFT) aid in informed reactivity analyses

Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery

Our drug discovery efforts involve synthesizing small molecule novel cancer, HIV, and neurodegenerative therapeutics through the usage of synthetic organic chemistry methods.


Our Efforts

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Our Idealities


  • Treat science with great care

  • Appreciate a pristine workspace

  • Maintain a rigorous lab notebook/documentation

  • Participate in all required meetings

  • Maintain clear communication

  • Manage all deadlines


  • Utilize search engines and all resources

  • Ask questions about things you do not know

  • Participate in research at the laboratory frequently

  • Set goals of one technique to master every week

  • Stay up to date with literature


  • Interact with people you do not know to keep accountability and support others

  • Use other people as a sounding board; self-correct others in conversation

  • Science is done best in a rigorous community

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