Professor Jinbo Hu was born in Zhejiang, China in 1973. After he completed his B.S. (Hangzhou University) and M.S. (Chinese Academy of Sciences) degrees, he did his Ph.D. work during 1997 to 2002 at the University of Southern California with Professors G. K. S. Prakash and G. A. Olah. After his postdotoral work at USC, he joined the Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (SIOC, CAS) as a full professor in early 2005, where he served as the Head of the CAS Key Laboratory of Organofluorine Chemistry during 2010 to 2020. He is a highly creative and imaginative organic chemist, who has made major contributions to the field of synthetic organofluorine chemistry, especially in developing new reagents and reactions that make fluoroalkylation and fluoroolefination easier. Difluoromethyl 2-pyridyl sulfone, N-tosyl-S-difluoromethyl-S-phenylsulfoximine, 2-[(difluoromethyl)sulfonyl]benzo[d]thiazole, together with their derivative sodium difluoromethanesulfinate, have received wide use in academia and have been recognized as “Hu’s Reagents”. Jinbo has pioneered the development of novel difluorocarbene reagents from fluoromethylsilanes. He has disclosed (bromodifluoromethyl)trimethylsilane as the most versatile and general difluorocarbene source for introducing difluoromethyl, difluoromethylene and difluoromethylidene motifs into various organic molecules. He has also co-developed (trifluoromethyl)trimethylsilane as a convenient difluorocarbene source. The gem-difluorocyclopropanation of alkene with (trifluoromethyl)trimethylsilane is an important reaction in pharmaceutical research. His related contributions include the on-site generation of tetrafluoroethene from (trifluoromethyl)trimethylsilane for its safe use in academia and the selective assembly of fluorinated carbons by using (bromodifluoromethyl)- and (trifluoromethyl)trimethylsilane to synthesize tetrafluoroethylene-, pentafluoroethyl-, and bis(difluoromethyl)methylene-contaning organic molecules.
Jinbo has also achieved several ground-breaking fluorination methods, including the organocatalyzed Balz-Schiemann fluorination, the selective deoxyfluorination of electron-rich alcohols with 3,3-difluoro-1,2-diarylcyclopropenes (CpFluors), the rapid deoxyfluorination of alcohols with N-tosyl-4-chlorobenzenesulfonimidoyl fluoride (SulfoxFluor) at room temperature, and the fluorinative cross-coupling of gem-difluoroolefins and non-fluorinated olefins. All these methods are state-of-the-art in synthetic organofluorine chemistry.
Jinbo is highly prolific with more than 200 publications (with H index 58) and thirty patents. His published work has been highly cited and he has received many awards and accolades including RSC Fluorine Award, Novartis Chemistry Lectureship and IOCF Lectureship.