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In the Ngai Lab, we believe that diversity and inclusion are integral to excellence, innovation, and creativity. Our mission is to create new chemical knowledge and prepare a diverse STEM workforce to advance the frontiers of science in a safe and inclusive environment. We are committed to fostering a supportive and welcoming community that provides  opportunities for students and postdoctoral fellows from any background to excel.

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The Ngai lab aims to establish catalytic platforms to edit and prepare organic molecules efficiently and selectively. Our research interest spans diverse disciplines, including excited-state/photoredox catalysis, carbohydrate editing, and fluorine chemistry. We combine detailed experimental and computational studies to understand reactivity and mechanisms with which to guide the design of novel catalysts and applications in fields such as organic, organometallic, bioorganic, and medicinal chemistry. The ultimate goal is to contribute to humanity through transformative chemistry.

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Recent Publications


Merging Excited-State Copper Catalysis and Triplet Nitro(hetero)arenes for Direct Synthesis of 2-Aminophenol Derivatives

Ming-Yu Ngai


Ming-Yu Ngai's journey in chemistry began at the University of Hong Kong, where he worked in the labs of Professors Wai-Kin Chan and Chi-Ming Che, graduating in 2003. A year of undergraduate research followed at the University of California, San Diego, under Prof. Michael S. VanNeuwenhze in 2002. He started his Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin in 2004, studying under Prof. Michael J. Krische, and completed his degree in 2008.

Post-Ph.D., Ming secured a Croucher postdoctoral fellowship at Stanford University with Prof. Barry M. Trost in 2009 and furthered his postdoctoral work with Prof. Tobias Ritter at Harvard University in 2011. His academic career progressed at Stony Brook University, where he was appointed Assistant Professor in 2013 and attained the rank of Associate Professor with tenure in 2019. In 2023, Ming advanced his career further as a Professor at Purdue University.

Beyond academia, Ming dedicates time to his family, raising three children, and is actively involved in his church community.

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