Prof. Sangho Koo



Department of Chemistry

Department of Energy Science and Technology

Myongji University

Myongji-Ro 116, Cheoin-Gu, Yongin, Gyeonggi-Do, 17058, Korea

ph) +82-31-330-6185; Fax) +82-31-335-7248

E-mail)  Home)

   1985: B.S.   Seoul National University, Chemistry Major
   1987: M.S.  The University of Michigan, Organic Chemistry
   1992: Ph. D. (Professor Masato Koreeda), The University of Michigan, Organic Chemistry
   1992 - 1994: Post-doctoral Fellow Emory University

Professional Career
  1994.03~present: : Professor in chemistry, Myonji UniversityProfessor in Chemistry, Myongji University
  2006.02~present: Special Visiting Professor, Chemical Biotechnology, School of Pharmacy,                                 East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China

   2006.03~2013.02:  Professor in Nano Science and Engineering, Myongji University

   2013.03~present:    Professor in Energy Science and Technology, Myongji University
  2017.02~2021.01:  Dean of Natural Science, Myongji University
   2019.01~present:    Associate Editor, Journal of the Korean Chemical Society
  2019.09~present:    Guest Professor, Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine,

                                  Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tianjin,China                      

  2020.01~present:      Reginal Chairman of Korean Chemical Society in Gyeonggi Province


Research Areas

1. Development of Efficient Cyclization Methods: Efficient synthetic methods for five-, six-, and seven-membered rings have been developed, and the syntheses of polycyclic structures using those compounds are under investigation. We are currently working on the Mn(III)-catalyzed oxidative hetero-aromatic cyclization for the syntheses of furan, pyrrole, indole, piperazinones.

2. Chemistry of Isoprenoid: Isoprenoid can be classified into terpenoid, carotenoid, and steroid. We have developed various bi-functionalized C5 prenyl building blocks that can be efficiently used in the chain-extension processes for making various isoprenoid natural products. We adopted the Julia Sulfone protocol in C–C bond formation, which would give polyprenyl or polyene structures depending on the sulfone elimination process. Carotenoid natural products have been nicely assembled using our C10 bis(chloroallylic) sulfide, or C10 dialdehyde, or even C20 diphosphonate. We extended this strategy to make other important carotenoid compounds. We further pursue the synthesis of terpenoid and steroid compounds by the combined use of our cyclization and chain-extension strategies. Followings are the carotenoid compounds that we have made so far: Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Tretinoin, Isotretinoin, Tocoretinoate, b-carotene, Lycopene, Lycophyll, Nor-Bixin, Crocetin, Zeaxanthin, Astaxanthin, Canthaxanthin, Coenzyme Q-10, and Abscisic acid.

3. Conducting Molecular Wires: Based on our methods of the carotenoid synthesis, we were able to construct the conjugated polyene chains with variable lengths. This conjugated polyene chains, which conduct electrons, can be stabilized by attaching phenyl substituents to the chain. We are preparing various organic conducting wires with different resistances. We are going to build up various molecular electronic circuits with diverse conductance

 4. Biomass conversion: Efficient conversion methods of sugars into useful platform chemicals such as 5-hydroxymethylfurfural (5-HMF) and 5-hydroxymethylpyrrole-2-carbaldehydes (pyrralines) are being investigated. A bis(sulfonic acid)-ionic liquid was utilized for fructose conversion to 5-HMF. The optimal condition using DMSO and oxalic acid transformed glucose and primary amines into pyrralines. This one-pot conversion of sugars into pyrralines is being applied to the total synthesis of biologically active natural products, (–)-Hanishin, Lobechine, and Magnolamide. Biomass conversion of ribose into sustainable platform chemicals as intermediates for new drug synthesis is underway