The research programs of the Institute have been grouped into three main thrust areas: materials chemistry, chemical biology, and catalysis. Recognizing the importance of organic synthesis in support of the research within the Institute of Chemistry and Academia Sinica, we have added chemical synthesis into our main thrusts and actively recruited new blood with strong synthetic expertise. Since 2013, we have expanded the catalysis program to include chemical synthesis. Scheme 1 below presents the research structure of IoC and main research areas in three main research directions.|ReDir_1.png|Scheme 1: Structure of the Institute of Chemistry and the main directions

Materials Chemistry: Organic Electronic and Optoelectronic Materials

The materials program represents a major strength of the Institute. Functional materials with optical or electronic responses are of high interest to the PIs working in this area within the Institute. In particular, materials used in organic electronic and optoelectronic devices have been a long-term research theme. The current research topics cover organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs), organic field-effect transistors (OFETs), organic solar cells (OSC), including organic photovoltaics (OPVs) and dye sensitized solar cells (DSSCs), and organic memories. Other efforts in materials chemistry include supramolecular materials, metal-organic frameworks (MOFs), extended metal-atom chains (EMACs), chemical sensing, and organo-gelating systems. There are currently four key research themes of materials chemistry:
  • Organic Light-emitting Diodes (OLEDs) Materials and Devices
  • Organic Solar Cells and Materials
  • Organic Field-effect Transistors and Materials
  • Supramolecular Chemistry and the Chemosensing Materials
Representative ongoing projects in the area of materials chemistry and researchers involved in each project are listed below.
  • Development of organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic field-effect transistors (OFET) materials and devices
  • Development of organic materials for dye-Sensitized solar cells and photovoltaics
  • Supramolecular chemistry: molecular recognition, chemical sensing, and soft materials
  • ab initio calculation for electronic coupling in electron transfer and energy transfer
  • Synthesis and application of low band gap organic conjugated systems and organic semiconductors
  • Self-assembly and surface modulation of nano particles and electrodes for catalysis or device fabrications

Chemical Catalysis and Synthesis: Green Catalysis and Synthetic Methodology

Molecular synthesis and catalysis affect our lives in many manners. Virtually all of the products used by modern societies for fuels, chemicals, polymers and drugs have to rely on sustainable synthetic strategies with the assistance of efficient catalysts. Therefore, this branch of accelerating and directing basic chemical transformations always remains as the key engine to generate innovations for the Institute of Chemistry. The chemical catalysis and synthesis group is a young and vibrant group with many newly recruited PIs. The PIs in this division have broadly collaborated with other two divisions to conduct multidisciplinary research. Three key research themes are:
  • Total synthesis of organic products and development of methodologies
  • Developing novel catalytic paradigms and investigations of mechanisms with synthetic implications based on the organometallic chemistry approach.
  • Developing novel strategies to garner alternative energies and renewal fuels based on small molecular activation with biomimetic means
Representative ongoing projects in this area and researchers involved in each project are listed below.
  • Development of catalysts and porous materials for hydrogen generation, CO2 activation, and gas storage
  • Development of green chemical technology: ionic liquid, recyclable catalysts, mechanochemical reactions, supertorrefaction of biomass
  • Learning from microbial systems to develop artificial catalysts for the conversion of methane to methanol, small alkanes to alcohols and activation of aromatics
  • Biomass refinery and biorenewable chemical production
  • Advances in coordination and organometallic chemistry
  • Development of new synthetic methodologies
  • Development of carbohydrate chemistry

Chemical Biology: Disease Mechanism and Chemical Probes

At the molecular and structural level, the elucidation of the cellular function/action mechanism and the early detection of diseases and therapeutics are among the emerging directions toward sustainable health in human. Based on the long-standing expertise in molecular design, synthetic and analytical chemistry, researchers in the chemical biology group are devoted to the exploration of new materials and methodologies for the characterization of disease-associated protein structure and assembly as well as drug discovery and delivery. The chemical biology program was the first ever launched in Taiwan and has made significant advances in delineating bio-macromolecular structures and new analytical platforms for disease detection. With the strengths of developed chemical probes and various state-of-the-art biophysical tools, including NMR spectroscopy, cryo-EM, fluorescent spectroscopy and mass spectrometry, the chemical biology thrust is actively networking with the life science institutes, including Institute of Biological Chemistry (IBC), Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS), Genomics Research Center (GRC), Institute of Molecular Biology (IMB), to explore the structurefunction correlation of macromolecules in neurodegenerative disease and cancer. In particular, the PIs in this program play key roles in the new Academia Sinica initiatives (such as Neuroscience Program at Academia Sinica, NPAS) and national programs (such as Taiwan Biosignatures, National Biotechnology Research Park). Five key research themes of chemical biology program are:
  • Development of structural biology techniques for infectious diseases
  • Advanced bio-imaging and structural biology
  • Advanced proteomics strategies for revealing disease mechanism and biomarker discovery
  • Drug discovery in cancer, infectious and neurodegenerative diseases
  • Development of smart biomaterials based on novel molecular principles
Representative ongoing projects in this area and researchers involving in each project are listed below.
  • Chemically-engineered luminescent probe for biological study
  • Metallo-protein engineering in bio-catalysis and bio-sensing
  • Synthesis of bioactive oligosaccharides for drug development and probe fabrication
  • Vaccinia viral protein-protein interactions & viral entry and diagnosis and therapeutic investigation of influenza virus
  • Amyloid formation in neurodegenerative diseases and development of therapeutics against neurodegenerative diseases
  • Drug delivery using peptides, liposomes, and nanoparticles
  • New proteomics strategies for mining membrane proteome and post-translational modificome in critical cancers in Taiwan
  • Single-molecule imaging of conformational dynamics in macromolecules
  • Dynamical description in systems biology; kinetic modeling for the chemical reactions in a cell
  • Biomaterials and probes for disease detection
  • Medicinal chemistry - antidiabetic and anticancer agents; drugs for cardiovascular and neurodegenerative disease