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Dr. Yoshikai Receives the NRF Research Fellowship

  • E. Nakamura (Professor, Department of Chemistry)
Figure 1

Dr. Naohiko Yoshikai

Dr. Naohiko Yoshikai, research associate in the Department of Chemistry, has been selected as the NRF research fellow in Singapore.

The NRF (National Research Foundation) Research Fellowship is a research award established by the Singaporean Government in 2007 in order to make Singapore a global research center by inviting promising young researchers under the age of forty from all over the world, who are doing research in all areas of science and technology. In the second round of recruitment for 2009, NRF received a total of 186 applications from researchers of various universities and research institutions around the globe. After evaluation of application documents, nineteen candidates were short-listed to visit Singapore for a week for technical presentations, an interview, and formal and informal receptions and dinners. In the end of the hectic visit, ten were finally selected as the NRF Research Fellows. Dr. Yoshikai was one of them and he was the first Japanese researcher who received the Fellowship. Each research fellow will be provided with US$1.5 million as research funding for three years (renewable) to perform research in any universities or research institutions of one's choice in Singapore.

In the University of Tokyo, Dr. Yoshikai has been working on groundbreaking development of transition-metal-complex-catalyzed molecular conversion reactions and the clarification of their mechanisms. Resource-rich and innocuous iron has attracted attention as a key metal for catalytic chemistry of next generation. Ahead of anybody else in the world, Dr. Yoshikai developed a direct iron-catalyzed conversion of a carbon-hydrogen bond to a carbon-carbon bond. In addition to that, he has achieved remarkable results in the field of catalyst design using computational chemistry; he developed nickel catalysts that show high activity in breaking carbon-fluorine bond. Dr. Yoshikai's winning the NRF Research Fellowship proves that the research and the teaching he conducted in the School of Science has met the global standard.