Chan is professor emeritus, McGill Univ., Canada, and visiting disting. chair prof., Hong Kong Polytechnic Univ., China. His previous positions include: Professor, chair, dean and vice principal, McGill Univ., and visiting prof., Université Louis Pasteur, Strasbourg. He has gained international respect for his contributions to the use of organosilicon reagents, organoindium reagents in aqueous media and ionic liquids, in the synthesis of a variety of organic compounds, including allene oxides, bridgehead alkenes, sclerin, tetra-hydrocannabinol, functionalised decalins, sex pheromones, muscarine, N-acetylneuraminic acid and epigallocatechin gallate. His honours include: Hon. res. prof., Inst. of Chemistry, Academia Sinica, China; Merck, Sharpe and Dohme Award, Chemical Inst. of Canada; Senior Killam Fellow, Canada Council; and R. Lemieux Award, Canadian Society of Chemistry. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.