Dr. Vinh Nguyen (also known as: Thanh Vinh Nguyen or Thanh V. Nguyen on academic publications) was born in Vietnam. After high school, he went to Sydney, Australia to study industrial chemistry at University of New South Wales. He then moved to undertake his PhD in organic chemistry with Professor Michael Sherburn at the Australian National University, Canberra. He had worked to develop new synthetic methodologies for application in natural product synthesis and worked on the design and synthesis of enormoussynthetic host molecules for drug-delivery modelling. After graduating in 2010, he came to work on organocatalysis in Professor Dieter Enders group at the Institute of Organic Chemistry, RWTH Aachen, Germany under the auspices of an Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship.  In June 2013, he moved to Curtin University (Perth, Australia) to start his own independent research group. In June 2015, he moved again to UNSW (Sydney) to take up a Lecturer position at the School of Chemistry and was promoted to Senior Lecturer from July 2018. His current research interests are organocatalysis, aromatic cation activation, synthesis of naturally occurring and bioactive compounds, asymmetric synthesis and medicinal chemistry.


Selected Academic Prizes and Awards:

Independent Academic Career:

  • 2016: The 2016 Athel Beckwith Lectureship & Medal from RACI Organic Chemistry Division for outstanding early career organic chemist.
  • 2015-2018: ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award (DECRA).
  • 2014: Thieme Chemistry Journal Award for outstanding early career academics.
  • 2013-2017: Early Career Researcher Curtin Research Fellowship.


  • 2011 – 2013: Alexander von Humboldt Postdoctoral Fellowship (RWTH Aachen), Germany.

Uni – Postgraduate:

  • 2005: The Era Polymer Prize for “The Best Honor Research Thesis” in Industrial Chemistry – UNSW
  • 2002: The June Griffith Memorial Prize for the Best Performance in Level 1 Chemistry from School of Chemical Science – UNSW
  • 2002 – 2005: Australia Development Scholarship (AusAID) for study at UNSW.

High School

  • 2000: Silver medal in the 32nd International Chemistry Olympiad in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Academic Membership and Other Activities:

  • MRACI member of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (RACI)
  • Life member of Alexander von Humboldt Research Network

Regular referee for: Journal of American Chemical Society, Account of Chemical Research and Journal of Organic Chemistry (ACS), Chemical Communications, RSC Advances, Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry and the New Journal of Chemistry (RSC),  Angewandte Chemie, Asian Journal of Organic Chemistry and European Journal of Organic Chemistry (Wiley), Synlett (Thieme), Tetrahedron Letters and Crop Protection (Elservier), Australian Journal of Chemistry (CSIRO), Synthetic Communications (Taylor and Francis), International Journal of Molecular Sciences (MDPI), Environmental Chemistry Letters (Springer).