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.
In 2015, Dr Tsai established his independent research group in the School of Chemistry at Cardiff University. He has secured over £2.4 million research funding. To date, he has published 25 peer-reviewed papers (13 as an independent researcher), including articles in Nat. Chem., J. Am. Chem. Soc., Angew. Chem. and Chem. Sci. Published works from his lab have been reported as feature news by various agents, such as Science, The Conversation, etc. He is also a co-inventor of two patents and a recipient of different distinctions, such as Cardiff Futures (2019), British Science Association Media Fellow (2018), GW4 Crucible (2017), EMBO Fellow (2014), MCR Career Development Fellow (2012). He has also been an Academic Editor of PLOS ONE since 2020.