Garg, Neil K.


Garg Neil


Professor Garg received a B.S. in Chemistry from New York University where he did undergraduate research with Professor Marc Walters. During his undergraduate years, he spent several months in Strasbourg, France while conducting research with Professor Mir Wais Hosseini at Université Louis Pasteur as a NSF REU Fellow. Garg obtained his Ph.D. in 2005 from the California Institute of Technology under the direction of Professor Brian Stoltz. He then joined Professor Larry Overman’s research laboratory at the University of California, Irvine as an NIH Postdoctoral Scholar. Garg joined the faculty at UCLA in 2007. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2012, and then to Full Professor in 2013. In 2020, he was promoted to the rank of Distinguished Professor.

Garg is the inaugural holder of the Kenneth N. Trueblood Endowed Chair in Chemistry and Biochemistry. He has served as Vice Chair for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (2012-2016) and currently serves as the Department Chair (2019-present). He also served as Faculty-in-Residence in the UCLA undergraduate community. In the broader community, Garg is a popular speaker and consultant for teaching, scientific, and legal matters.

Research Interests

The Garg Lab develops synthetic strategies and methods that enable the synthesis of complex bioactive molecules.   Our specific interests lie primarily in three main areas: (a) transition metal-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions of unconventional electrophiles, (b) the use of historically-avoided strained intermediates, such as cyclic allenes and alkynes, in organic synthesis, and (c) the total synthesis of complex small molecules, such as drugs and natural products We also enjoy the opportunity to collaborate in areas such as natural product biosynthesis, green chemistry, solar cell technologies, THC detection, and studies of fundamental reactivity.

Garg Lab Website

Honors & Awards

  • UCLA Faculty Mentoring Honor Society, 2022
  • Fellow of the American Institute of Chemists, 2022
  • Mukaiyama Award, 2022
  • Royal Society of Chemistry’s Horizon Prize (Garg Molecular Educators Team), 2021
  • Royal Society of Chemistry’s Horizon Prize (Tang/Houk/Garg Team), 2021
  • Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists, Finalist, 2020
  • UCLA Athletics Uncommon Bruin Honoree, 2020
  • Edward Leete Award, 2019
  • James Flack Norris Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Teaching of Chemistry, 2019
  • US Defense Science Study Group (DSSG 2020-2021), 2019
  • New York University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award, 2019
  • ASBMB Award for Exemplary Contributions to Education, 2019
  • Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2018
  • Fellow of the American Chemical Society, 2018
  • Blavatnik Award for Young Scientists, Finalist, 2018
  • Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, 2018 (Watch Neil’s Public Lecture) (NY Times)
  • Robert Foster Cherry Award for Great Teaching, Finalist, 2017
  • Elias J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis, 2017
  • Mitsui Chemicals Catalysis Science Award of Encouragement, 2016
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, 2016
  • Royal Society of Chemistry’s Merck Award, 2016
  • Guggenheim Fellowship, 2016
  • Thieme-IUPAC Prize, 2016
  • Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award, 2016
  • California’s US Professor of the Year, Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, 2015
  • UCLA Herbert Newby McCoy Award, 2015
  • Gold Shield Faculty Prize, 2015
  • Novartis Chemistry Lectureship, 2015–2016
  • Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award, 2015

Representative Publications

[ Selected Publications ]