Molecular Design and Synthesis Lab

create, catalyze, collaborate

We are an academic research group learning about catalysis, mechanism, and natural products. Professor Dong teaches organic chemistry at UC Irvine and serves as an editor for Organic Syntheses and Chemical Society Reviews. The lab's discoveries have been recognized by the ACS Corey Award, Cope Scholar Award, and Sloan Fellowship. 

Our Mission

Organic molecules make up everything around us, including our food, medicine, and fuels. The ability to design and make molecules is thus an essential pursuit. By inventing tools to construct molecular architecture, we aid the search for better therapeutics, sustainable materials, and renewable energies. Our mission is to build a better world, one chemist 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. By educating ourselves on 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.

Tour Campus

How to Apply

We welcome and appreciate applicants from different 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  research summary to Vy ( In your cover letter, include  fellowship opportunities of interest and future career goals.

Graduate Students: Prospective students apply to UC Irvine directly at this link. You are welcome to contact Vy or any group members to learn more about the lab and life in sunny Irvine, California. Incoming students may attend team meetings and complete a summer/fall rotation before joining. 

Undergraduate Students: For chemistry and pharmaceutical science majors only, please send an e-mail to Professor Dong ( with the subject: chem180. In the e-mail, include a brief statement of your future goals, an unofficial copy of your transcripts, and times you are available to schedule an interview. 

Visiting Scholars: We enjoy hosting visiting researchers from all over the world. Please apply to Professor Dong ( Include a brief statement of your career goals, a resume, and a copy of your transcript. 


We are grateful for funding from the National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation. Credit to Ian Parker's Evanescent Light Photography for campus photos. You can follow us @Vy_Dong_Group. Thank you for visiting our home-page.