Pham, Hung V.


Pham Hung


Hung V. Pham was born in Fountain Valley, California, and has remained a southern California resident ever since. After graduating from La Quinta High School in 2004, he proceeded to major in chemistry and mathematics at the University of California, Irvine (UCI). As an undergraduate at UCI, he worked in the chemistry stockroom, preparing and providing assistance to organic teaching labs. Hung was also a mathematics tutor at the Learning and Academic Resource Center (LARC), an on-campus peer-to-peer tutoring program. After graduating magna cum laude from UCI with a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.S. in Mathematics in 2008, he went on to work as a Physical Science Tutor Advisor at LARC for two years.

Hung resumed his academic career in 2010 after being accepted into a chemistry doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). Under the direction of Dr. Ken Houk, Hung conducted research in the field of computational organic chemistry, focusing mainly on cycloadditions of allenes and arenes but also dabbling in metathesis reactions, host-guest chemistry, and synthetic mechanistic studies in collaboration with Dr. Chris Vanderwal at UCI. After five years, he received his Ph.D. from UCLA in 2015.

Hung began his teaching career as an adjunct professor at Santa Monica College in 2015, focusing on organic and general chemistry classes, but returned to UCLA during the Spring 2016 quarter, where he currently teaches organic chemistry.

Honors & Awards

  • Hanson-Dow Excellence in Teaching – Faculty Award (UCLA, 2022)
  • Saul and Sylvia Winstein Graduate Dissertation Fellowship (UCLA, 2015)
  • Excellence in Chemistry Research Fellowship (UCLA, 2015)
  • Joan Palevsky Fellowship, Department of Physical Sciences (UCLA, 2014)
  • Collegium of University Teaching Fellowship (UCLA, 2014)
  • Christopher S. Foote Graduate Fellowship (UCLA, 2013)
  • NIH Chemistry-Biology Interface Training Grant (UCLA, 2011 – June 2014)
  • Hanson-Dow Award for Excellence in Teaching (UCLA, 2011)
  • Magna Cum Laude, Chemistry and Mathematics (UCI, 2008)

Representative Publications

  • Barber, J. S.; Styduhar, E. D.; Pham, H. V.; McMahon, T. C.; Houk, K. N.; Garg, N. K. “Nitrone Cycloadditions of 1,2-Cyclohexadiene,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 2512.
  • Pham, H. V.; Karns, A. S.; Vanderwal, C. D.; Houk, K. N. “Computational and Experimental Investigations of the Formal Dyotropic Rearrangements of Himbert Arene/Allene Cycloadducts,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137, 6956.
  • Park, J.; Pham, H. V.; Mogensen, K.; Solling, T. I.; Bennetzen, M. V.; Houk, K. N. “Hydrocarbon Binding by Proteins: Structures of Protein Binding Sites for ≥C10 Linear Alkanes or Long-Chain Alkyl and Alkenyl Groups,” J. Org. Chem. 2015, 80, 997.
  • Pham, H. V.; Houk, K. N. “Diels-Alder Reactions of Allene with Benzene and Butadiene: Concerted, Stepwise, and Ambimodal Transition States.” J. Org. Chem. 2014, 79, 8968.
  • Jung, M. E.; Lee, G. S.; Pham, H. V.; Houk, K. N. “Palladium Hydride Promoted Stereoselective Isomerization of Unactivated Di(exo)methylenes to Endocyclic Dienes.” Org. Lett. 2014, 16, 2382.
  • Pham, H. V.; Paton, R. S.; Ross, A. G.; Danishefsky, S. J.; Houk, K. N. “Intramolecular Diels–Alder Reactions of Cycloalkenones: Stereoselectivity, Lewis Acid Acceleration, and Halogen Substituent Effects,” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 2397.
  • Schwarzwalder, G. M.; Steinhardt, S. E.; Pham, H. V.; Houk, K. N.; Vanderwal, C. D. “Synthesis of the Tetracyclic Core of Exiguaquinol.” Org. Lett. 2013, 15, 6014.
  • Lam, J. K.*; Pham, H. V.*; Houk, K. N.; Vanderwal, C. D. “Computation and Experiment Reveal That the Ring-Rearrangement Metathesis of Himbert Cycloadducts Can Be Subject to Kinetic or Thermodynamic Control.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 17585. *Authors contributed equally
  • Schmidt, Y.*; Lam, J. K.*; Pham, H. V.*; Houk, K. N.; Vanderwal, C. D. “Studies on the Himbert Intramolecular Arene/Allene Diels-Alder Cycloaddition. Mechanistic Studies and Expansion of Scope to All-Carbon Tethers.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 7339. *Authors contributed equally
  • Pham, H. V.; Martin, D. B. C.; Vanderwal, C. D.; Houk, K. N. “The Intramolecular Diels–Alder Reaction of Tryptamine-derived Zincke Aldehydes is a Stepwise Process.” Chem. Sci., 2012, 3, 1650.
  • Petric, A.; Johnson, S. A.; Pham, H. V.; Li, Y.; Ceh, S.; Golobic, A.; Agdeppa, E. D.; Timbol, G.; Liu, J.; Keum, G.; Satyamurthy, N.; Kepe, V.; Houk, K. N.; Barrio, J. R. “Dicyanovinylnaphthalenes for neuroimaging of amyloids and relationships of electronic structures and geometries to binding affinities.” Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci. 2012, 109, 16492.
  • *Authors contributed equally