Feng Zhai

Feng was born and raised in Tianjin, China. He earned his B.S. degree from Peking University in 2011, where he worked on the self-assembly behavior of organic π-conjugated compounds under the guidance of Prof. Yuguo Ma. After completing his undergraduate studies, he moved to the United States to pursue graduate studies at the University of Chicago under the mentorship of Prof. Richard Jordan. His graduate work focused on developing new α-diimine ligands for organometallic catalysis, specifically exploring palladium-/nickel-catalyzed olefin polymerization. After obtaining his Ph.D. degree in 2017, he joined MIT as a postdoctoral associate to work with Prof. Richard Schrock on the synthesis of molybdenum(VI) oxo alkylidene complexes, an understudied family of catalysts for olefin metathesis at that time. He shifted his research focus in 2020 and worked on sustainable methods to reduce phosphorus(V) species under the guidance of Prof. Kit Cummins at MIT. In 2022, he moved to Atlanta and embarked on another postdoctoral appointment in Prof. Huw Davies’s lab at Emory to study the mechanism of rhodium-catalyzed asymmetric C–H functionalization. He joined the Department of Chemistry at Emory as an Assistant Professor in August 2023.