Postdoctoral Associates

Dr. Jean Rivera-Rios (2021-2023)

NSF Postdoctoral Fellow- co-advised with Prof. Nga Lee Ng (Georgia Tech Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering)

B.S. in Chemistry (2012), University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras

Ph.D. in Chemistry (2018), Harvard University, Advisor: Prof. Frank Keutsch

Dreyfus Postdoctoral Fellow (2019-2021), Georgia Institute of Technology, Advisor: Prof. Nga Lee Ng

Current Position: Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers University

Ph.D. Students

Dr. Caria Evans (Ph.D. 2024)

B.S. in Chemistry, University of Georgia

Dissertation Title: Synthesis and Application of Nitrogen-containing and Nitrogen-substituted Amromatic Compounds for Diverse Applications

Current Position: ORISE Fellow, Solar Energy Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy Fellow

Dr. Shaoren Yuan (Ph.D. 2023)

B.S. in Chemistry, University of Minnesota

Dissertation Title: Dicarbonyl Metal Carbene: A Versatile Synthetic Tool for C-H Functionalization, Formal [3+2] Cycloaddition and Enantioselective Cyclopropanation

Current Position: TBD

Dr. Meghan C. Benda (Ph.D. 2023)

B.S. in Chemistry, Carroll College

Dissertation Title: A Study into the Design, Synthesis, and Application of Asymmetric Catalyst Systems

Current Position: Postdoctoral Associate, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Dr. Doris Chen (Ph. D. 2022)

B.S. in Chemistry, University at Albany

Dissertation Title: Leveraging the Reactivity OF 1,3-Dipoles to Access Heterocycles and Carbocycles

Current Position: Senior Scientist, Pfizer, Inc.

Dr. Elizabeth V. Jones (Ph. D. 2022)

B.S. in Chemistry, Northwestern University

M.S. in Chemistry, Northwestern University

Dissertation Title: Leveraging C-X Bonds for Triggered Eliminations, Alkene Functionalizations, and Intramolecular Cyclizations

Current Position: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Gabriel Guerra Faura (Ph. D. 2022)

B.S. in Chemistry, Federal University of Sao Paulo (UNIFESP), Brazil

Dissertation Title: Exploring Acceptor-Acceptor Metal Carbenes in the Synthesis of Nitrogen Heteroaromatic Scaffolds

Current Position: Sr. Research Chemist, Solventum (MN)

Dr. Ariel Parker (Ph. D. 2021)

B.S. in Chemistry, Lander University

Dissertation Title: Synthetic Strategies Toward Heterocyclic Seven Membered Ring Systems: Building Libraries of Privileged Scaffolds for Medicinal Chemistry and Forensic Analysis

Current Position: Chemist, Cambrex

Dr. Nima Ronaghi (Ph. D. 2021, co-advised with Chris Jones)

B.S. in Chemistry, West Virginia University

Dissertation Title: Unprotected Carbohydrate Conversin to Polyhydroxyalkyl Furan and Dihydrofurans: Improvement, Expansion, and Interruption of the Garcia Gonzalez Reaction via Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Catalysis

Current Position: Associate, Breakout Ventures

Dr. Evelyn S. Ligon (Ph.D. 2019)

B.S. in Chemistry, Wofford College

B.A. in Spanish, Wofford College

Dissertation Title: Testing the Boundaries of Novel Friedel Crafts-type Methodologies Inspired by N-Heteroaromatic Medicinal Targets 

Current Position: Research Scientist, Defense Forensic Science Center, USACIL

Dr. George Ward (Ph.D. 2018)

B.S. in Chemistry, Centre College

B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Dissertation Title: Prebiotic Inspiration to Functional Application: Synthetic and Mechanistic Investigations of Glyoxylate and Its Formal Dimer Dihydroxyfumaric Acid

Current Position: Pharmaceutical Scientist, Food and Drug Administration

Dr. Corey Williams (Ph.D. 2018)

B.S. in Professional Chemistry, University of North Alabama

Dissertation Title: Novel (Homo-)Nazarov Approaches to Complex Polycycles and Application to Bioactive Targets

Current Position: Principal Scientist at Bristol Myers Squibb

Dr. Matt Sandridge (Ph.D. 2018)

B.S. in Chemistry, University of Virginia

B.A. in Psychology, University of Virginia

Dissertation Title: Dehydrative cyclizations via acid catalysis as a method for molecular diversity

Current Position: PTD Module and Integration Device Yield Engineer at Intel Corporation

Dr. Brett McLarney (Ph.D. 2018)

B.A. in Chemistry, Swarthmore College

B.A. in Mathematics, Swarthmore College

Dissertation Title: Development of Intermolecular C-H Functionalization methods for Acceptor-Acceptor Diazo Compounds

Current Position: Resident Physician at Mass General Brigham

Dr. Cynthia Martin (Ph.D. 2017)

B.A. in Chemistry, Hiram College

Dissertation Title: Diversity-oriented synthetic strategies toward N-heterocyclic and carbocyclic frameworks

Current Position: Scientific Lead, Medicinal Chemistry at Loxo Oncology at Lilly

Dr. Raynold Shenje (Ph.D. 2016)

B.S. in Chemistry, Davidson College

Dissertation Title: Strained carbocycles as gateways to polycyclic molecular scaffolds and natural products targets

Current Position: Principle Scientific Investigator, Neurosciences Discovery, Medicinal Chemistry, GlaxoSmithKline (GSK)

Dr. Joel Aponte-Guzman (Ph.D. 2015)

B.S. in Chemistry, University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras

Dissertation Title: Ring-Opening Benzannulations of Cyclopropenes, Alkylidene Cyclopropanes, and 2,3-Dihydrofuran Acetals: A Complementary Approach to Benzo-Fused (Hetero)aromatics

Current Position: Scientist II, Medicinal Chemistry, RAPT Therapeutics

Dr. Marchello A. Cavitt (Ph.D. 2015)

M.S. in Chemical Biology, University of Michigan, 2009

B.S. in Chemistry, University of Michigan, 2007

Dissertation Title: Stress Relief: Exercising Lewis Acid Catalysis for Donor-acceptor Cyclopropane Ring-opening Annulations, A Basis for New Reaction Methodologies 

Current Position: Scientist, Janssen Chemical

Dr. Rebecca E. Key (Ph. D. 2015)

B.S. in Chemistry, Augusta University

Dissertation Title: Progress Toward the Synthesis of a Family of Antimalarial Diterpenes: Potential Utilization of Co-SALEN-Catalyzed Hydrolytic Kinetic Resolution (HKR) to Form Chiral Intermediates in the Metabolites of Callophycus Serratus

Current Position: Research Director, Seachem Laboratories

Dr. Lien H. Phun (Ph.D. 2013)

B.S. in Chemistry, Emmanuel College

Dissertation Title: Innovative approaches to carbocyclic and heterocyclic compounds using strained carbocycles

Current Position: Chemistry Manager at Newell Brands

Dr. Dadasaheb Patil (Ph.D. 2012)

B. Tech. in Dyes & Intermediates, Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT, Mumbai), India

Dissertation Title: Intramolecular Cyclization Strategies for Synthesizing Medium-ring Polycycles and the Total Synthesis of Natural Products

Current Position: Senior Scientist at SABIC (Mt. Vernon, IN)