Molecular Design and Synthesis

Research Laboratory @UC Irvine

About Us

We are a team of chemists engaged in enantioselective catalysis, natural product synthesis, and organometallic mechanisms. Our team's discoveries have been recognized by the ACS EJ Corey Award, ACS Cope Scholar Award, and Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship. The team's principle investigator is Professor Vy Maria Dong. Vy is a full professor in the chemistry department and teaches organic chemistry and advanced synthesis lab. She serves as the associate editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry's flagship journal, Chemical Science.

Research Mission

Organic molecules make up almost everything around us, including medicines, clothing, and fuels. Thus, the ability to design and make molecules is an essential pursuit. By inventing tools to construct molecular architecture, we aid the search for therapeutics, materials, and renewable energies. Our mission is to build a better world, one molecule at a time.

Our Commitment

"We spend years mastering complex concepts and passionately teaching these ideas to our students, with the belief they will use this knowledge to impact the world. The same way chemical principles are ingrained, let's learn about anti-racism, implicit bias, and inclusive excellence. By educating ourselves on these critical ideas outside our field, we can be better teachers, colleagues, and leaders. There's a lot to learn and do. But first, we must agree on the mission. Creating the most inclusive and equitable climate possible for doing chemistry is an objective and honorable mission we can share." Vy Dong, see Global Statements On Diversity, Nature Chemistry

Tour the Lab

Our laboratory is equipped with a solvent purification system, Advion TLC/MS, Agilent GC/MS, Agilent chiral SFC, automated column chromatography, high pressure gas reactors, and eight-foot fumehoods. Take a one-minute tour.

Campus Views

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How to Apply

We welcome and value applicants from all backgrounds including race, gender, sexual orientation, and more.

Postdoctoral Fellows: Please send a cover letter, a resume with publication list, contact information for three references, and a research summary (less than two pages) by e-mail to Vy ( and copy Patricia Terrell ( In your cover letter, include your future career goals and discuss fellowship opportunities you plan to pursue.

Graduate Students: Prospective students are encouraged to apply directly to our graduate program through this link. During the annual graduate visit weekends in March, we look forward to showing you why we love doing research at UC Irvine. In the meanwhile, you are welcome to contact Vy or any of the group members to find out more about our research projects and graduate life in sunny southern California. New first year graduate students are welcome to rotate through our laboratory and/or attend our weekly group meetings before group joining occurs.

Undergraduate Students: For chemistry and pharmaceutical science majors only, if you would like to pursue undergraduate research, please send an application to Professor Dong ( and Patricia Terrell ( Include a brief statement of your future goals, an unofficial copy of your transcripts, and times you are available to schedule an interview with Professor Dong.

Visiting Scholars: We have enjoyed hosting visiting researchers from all over the world and welcome those of you who wish to pursue a temporary sabbatical stay with us. Please apply to Professor Dong ( and copy Patricia Terrell ( Include a brief statement of your future career goals, a resume, and a copy of your transcript.


Thank you for visiting our home-page. Credit to Ian Parker's Evanescent Light Photography for campus photos. Follow us @Vy_Dong_Group.