Yu-Hsuan Tsai did undergraduate study at the National Taiwan University and obtained his BSc with Honours in 2006. He then worked as a research assistant on isolation, characterisation, and synthesis of bacterial glycoconjugates in the group of Shih-Hsiung Wu in the Institute of Biological Chemistry at the Academia Sinica. He later joined the group of Peter H Seeberger at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich in 2007 and moved with the group to Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in 2009. During this time, he worked on different aspects of carbohydrate research, including carbohydrate dendrimers, carbohydrate-antibody interactions, synthetic inositol phosphoglycans as insulin mimetics and total synthesis of glycosylphophatidylinositol (GPI) anchors. In 2012 he joined the group of Jason W Chin at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology working on genetic code expansion and its applications in mammalian cells. He has been an independent researcher in the School of Chemistry at Cardiff University since 2015. He has also been an Academic Editor of PLOS ONE since 2020.
His scientific achievement was first recognised by Dow’s Chemistry Award and Chinese Chemical Society Award in 2001. He also received a Taiwan National Science Council Grant for Undergraduate Projects at the National Taiwan University and supports from ETH Zurich Scholarship and Novartis Master Fellowship for his studies in Switzerland. Afterwards he was awarded Taiwan Merit Scholarship, German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) Scholarship, Max Planck Institute Scholarship and European Science Foundation (ESF) Student Grant during his doctoral study in Germany. He was first a MRC Career Development Fellow and later an EMBO Long-Term Fellow at the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology.