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NTT Hi-Tech Institute, Nguyen Tat Thanh University

298-300A Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Phone: +84 912 920 164 


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NTT Hi-Tech Institute, Nguyen Tat Thanh University

298-300A Nguyen Tat Thanh Street, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Phone: +84 912 920 164 



Ph.D. in (Bio)Inorganic chemistry, 2006-2011

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN                                  

B.S. in Chemistry, 1999-2003

Honors Program, Vietnam National University, Hanoi    


CURRENT POSITION                                                                                                

Director, NTT Hi-Tech Institute (NHTI), Nguyen Tat Thanh University

- Leading a research group with interests in enzyme discovery and characterization, biofuels, biomass conversion to useful materials such as paper pulp and cellulose-based superabsorbent.
- Building NHTI through outlining the structure of NHTI, planning the directions, supervising research groups, recruiting new faculty, overseeing laboratory construction and equipment procurement, and establishing collaborations with national and international research groups and institutions.
- Building a Technology Incubator/Accelerator within NHTI.
- Teaching 1 course/semester



Postdoctoral research associate  (Jan 2012-Jan 2015)

The Scripps Research Institute; Advisor: Dr. Michael A. Marletta

Investigated oxidative degradation of cellulose and starch by polysaccharide monooxygenases (PMOs), which helps enhance the conversion of these abundant polysaccharides to biofuels:

- Studied PMOs using bioinformatic, biochemical, kinetic, and spectroscopic methods, as well as publically available genomic and transcriptomic data
- Classified cellulose-active PMOs into groups according to their phylogeny and regioselectivity, an important step toward achieving optimal synergistic mixtures of PMOs and cellulases
- Discovered putative PMOs that act on substrates other than chitin and cellulose, which significantly expand the currently known PMO family
- Characterized starch-active PMOs and filed a patent application on these enzymes
- Setup the cellulose degradation project in the Marletta lab through writing research proposal, acquiring equipment, organizing laboratory space, purchasing materials, and establishing procedures

Wrote the entire scientific section of a grant application that was awarded by the NSF

Wrote and served as the PI for an X-ray absorption spectroscopy beamtime request application that was highly ranked and given generous beamtime at NSLS-BNL

Graduate research assistant  (2006-2011)

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN; Advisor: Dr. Lawrence Que, Jr.

Investigated iron- and oxygen-dependent enzymes involved in important biological processes, including cell growth regulation and antibiotic synthesis:

- Characterized the enzymes using various biophysical and biochemical methods
- Discovered unprecedented intermediates and new structural motifs
- Characterized model complexes that provide insights into the structures of the enzymes and their intermediates, as well as the mechanism of these enzymes.

Contributed to writing a grant application that was approved by NIH

Led the X-ray absorption spectroscopy team of the Que group to write proposal for beamtime requests and perform experiments at the synchrotrons of BNL and SLAC


Research associate (2003-2006)

Department of Chemistry, Vietnam National University-Hanoi

Helped to shape up the research directions of the division of Inorganic Chemistry

- Developed a procedure to prepare water-absorbing biodegradable polymers from local materials, which was awarded a competitive grant from Vietnam National Univeristy
- Synthesized and characterized bioactive complexes and wrote a publication
- Established procedures to prepare antibacterial nanoparticles



Postdoctoral research associate

The Scripps Research Institute (Jan 2012-2015)

Supervised rotation students.

Graduate research assistant  (2006-2011)

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN

TA for Advanced Inorganic Chemistry and Organic Chemistry


Lecturer (2003-2006)

Department of Chemistry, Vietnam National University-Hanoi

Taught Inorganic Chemistry and General Chemistry.

Supervised two undergraduate students on their gradation theses that were awarded highest grades possible


“Quantitative Analysis of XANES”, Short Course, Vancouver, BC, Canada, 2010

“Simulation of Synchrotron Radiation Spectroscopy interpreted in the Framework of Multiple Scattering Approach: Theory and Application”, Workshop, INFN-Laboratori Nazionali Frascati, Rome, Italy, 2010

Structural Molecular Biology Summer School, SSRL, Menlo Park, CA, 2007



Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship (2010-2011)

University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, Excellence in Graduate Studies Fellowship, Department of Chemistry, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN (2010)

Vietnam Education Foundation Fellowship ( (2006-2008)

Student Poster Competition Award, Pacifichem, Honolulu, HI (2010)

Excellence in Undergraduate Studies Award, College of Science, VNUH (2002-2003)

Second Prize, Student Research Competition, College of Science, VNUH (2002)

Full Scholarship for Undergraduate Study, VNUH (1999-2003)

Silver and Bronze Medals, National Chemistry Olympiads (1998,1999)



Vu, V.V.; Marletta, M.A., Starch-degrading polysaccharide monooxygenases, Cell Mol Life Sci, submitted (accepted) (IF = 5.808).

Beeson, W.T.; Vu, V.V.; Span, E.A.; Phillips, C.M.; Marletta, M.A., Oxidative degradation of cellulose by polysaccharide monooxygenases,  Annu Rev Biochem 2015, 84, 923 (IF = 32.36)

Makris, T.M.; Vu, V.V.; Meier, K.K.; Komor, A.J.; Rivard, B.S.; Münck E.; Que, L, Jr.; Lipscomb, J.D., An Unusual Peroxo Intermediate of the Arylamine Oxygenase of the Chloramphenicol Biosynthetic Pathway, J Am Chem Soc 2015, 137, 1608-17 (IF = 12.11)

Vu, V.V.; Beeson, W.T.; Span, E.A.; Farquhar, E.R.; Marletta, M.A., A family of starch-active polysaccharide monooxygenases, Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 2014, 111, 13822-27 (highlighted in the Oct 17, 2014 issue of Nat. Chem. Biol.) (IF = 9.674)

Vu, V.V.; Beeson, W.T.; Phillips, C.M.; Cate, J.D.H; Marletta, M.A., Determinants of Regioselective Hydroxylation in the Fungal Polysaccharide Monooxygenases, J Am Chem Soc, 2014, 136, 562-5 (IF = 12.11)

McDonald A.R.; Guo Y, Vu V.V.; Bominaar E.L.; Münck E.; Que, L. Jr., A Mononuclear2 Carboxylate-Rich Oxoiron(IV) Complex: a Structural and Functional Mimic of TauD Intermediate 'J', Chem Sci, 2012, 3, 1680-93 (IF = 9.211)

Vu, V.V.; Makris, T. M.; Lipscomb, J. D.; Que, L, Jr.; Active site structure of a beta-hydroxylase in antibiotic biosynthesis, J Am Chem Soc, 2011, 133, 6938-41 (IF = 12.11)

Vu, V.V.; Emerson, J.P.; Martinho, M.; Kim, Y. S.; Münck, E.; Park, M.H.; Que, L., Jr., Human deoxyhypusine hydroxylase, an enzyme involved in regulating cell growth, activates O2 with a nonheme diiron center. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 2009, 106, 14814–19 (IF = 9.674)

Frisch, J.R.; Vu, V.V.; Martinho, M.; Münck, E.; Que, L., Jr., Characterization of two distinct adducts in the reaction of a nonheme diiron(II) complex with O2. Inorg Chem 2009, 48, 8325-36 (IF = 4.762)

Vu, V.V.; Nguyen, T.C.; Le, K.L.; Lam, N.T.; Vu, D.D., Determination of the geometries of some complexes of Ni(II) and Cu(II). J Chem (Vietnam), 2006, 44, 505-9 



Marletta, M.A.; Vu, V.V.; Beeson, W.T.; Span E.A.; Phillips, C.M.; Oxidative starch degradation by a new family of PMOs, USTO, Filed on July 24, 2014



Vu, V.V.; “Oxidative degradation of cellulose and starch by polysaccharide monooxygenases”. Photosciences Lunch Time Seminar, National Synchrotron Light Source, Brookhaven National Laboratory, August 29, 2014   

Vu, V.V.; “Oxygen activation by metalloenzymes”. Department of Chemistry, Vietnam National University-Hanoi, May 29, 2014 (Invited)

Vu, V.V.; Beeson, W.T., Phillips, C.M.; Jamie H. D. Cate, Michael A. Marletta; “Regioselective Hydroxylation of Cellulose by Fungal Polysaccharide Monooxygenases”. Gordon Research Conference and Seminar: Metals in Biology and Bioinorganic Chemistry, Ventura, CA, January 26-February 2, 2014 (invited oral presentation at GRS)

Vu, V.V.; Beeson, W.T., Phillips, C.M.; Jamie H. D. Cate, Michael A. Marletta; “Three types of fungal polysaccharide monooxygenases oxidize either or both glycosidic C1 and C4 in cellulose”. Gordon Research Conference and Seminar: Cellulosomes, Cellulases & Other Carbohydrate Modifying Enzymes, Andover, NH, August 3-4, 2013 (invited oral presentation at GRS)

Vu, V.V.; Makris, T.M.; Park, M.H.; Lipscomb, J. D.; Que, L., Jr.; “Oxygen activation by novel nonheme diiron hydroxylases”. International Conference on Bioinorganic Chemistry, Vancouver, BC, Canada, August 7-12, 2011 (poster)

Vu, V.V.; Makris M.M.; Lipscomb, J.D.; Que, L., Jr.; “Interplay of X-ray absorption and resonance Raman spectroscopies: Insights into novel soluble diiron hydroxylases”. Gordon Research Conference: Metals in Biology, Ventura, CA, January 30-February 4, 2010 (poster)

Vu, V.V.; Park M. H.; Que, L., Jr., “Insights into the mechanism and stereospecificity of deoxyhypusine hydroxylase, a nonheme diiron enzymes involved in regulating eukaryotic cell growth”,The International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies, Honolulu, HI, United States, December 15-20, 2010 (Best Poster Award)

Vu, V.V.; Emerson, J.P.; Martinho, M.; Kim, Y.S.; Münck, E.; Park, M.H.; Que, L., Jr.; “Reduced diiron site in human deoxyhypusine hydroxylase can bind dioxygen to form a stable diferric peroxo cluster”. 237th ACS National Meeting, Salt Lake City, UT, USA, March 22-26, 2009 (oral)

Vu. V.V.; “Diiron(III) clusters in living system: Human deoxyhypusine hydroxylase, an enzyme involved in regulating cell growth”. Division of Inorganic Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Vietnam National University, Hanoi, Vietnam, August 28, 2008 (invited)

Vu, V.V.; Emerson, J. P.; Martinho, M.; Kim, Y. S.; Münck, E.; Park, M.H.; Que, L., Jr.; “Human deoxyhypusine hydroxylase is a diiron enzyme”. 3rd Vietnam Education Foundation Conference, Irvine, CA, USA, January 2-6, 2008 (best presentation award)




President (2004-2006), Vice-president (2003-2004), and Board member (2001-2003) of the association of students and young faculty, Department of Chemistry, VNUH

- 600 members: young faculty members, graduate students, and undergraduate students

Executive board: 9 – 11 members with skills in fund rising, academic issues, performing arts, sports, and other student activities

Major activities:

VNUH Students Chemistry Olympiads

Chemistry Club: internal monthly journal, demonstrations for an educational show on the national television channel VTV2, and assisting students in preparation for Student Research competition.

Biennial Young Chemists Meetings in Hanoi

Biennial Festivals for Chemistry departments of universities in Hanoi

Summer outreach: 30 member cohorts going to poor mountain areas, teaching sciences to school children, and disseminating information about the effects of HIV and drugs as well as prevention methods

Coordinator (2009 and 2011) for the annual Vietnam Education Foundation Conference, Vietnam Education Foundation Fellows and Scholars Association



American Chemical Society (2007-present)



Michael A. Marletta, Dr. Prof.

Department of Chemistry, UC Berkeley 356 StanleyHall                Berkeley, CA 94720                                            

Phone: 510-642-8766;

Email : 


John D. Lipscomb, Dr. Prof.

Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and BiophysicsUniversity of Minnesota

312 Church Street SE, 50112 NHH

Minneapolis, MN 55455
Phone: 612-625-6454


Lawrence Que, Jr., Dr. Prof. 

Department of Chemistry University of Minnesota

207 Pleasant St SE, 343 Smith Hall

Minneapolis, MN, 55455

Phone: 612-625-0389