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Graduate Students | Postdoctoral Fellows | Undergraduate Students


Graduate Students

Jesús G. Estrada

Fifth Year Graduate

Jesús grew up in New York City where he graduated with a B.S. and a M.S. in Chemistry from the City University of New York. He worked on the synthesis and characterization of triazolyl-4-aminoquinolines as potential dual-target antiplasmodial compounds under the supervision of Dr. Roberto Sanchez-Delgado. Outside the lab, he enjoys watching TV, playing video games, beating people in board games, and visiting family and friends back in New York.

Benjamin Shields

Fifth Year Graduate

Ben Shields was born and raised in Asheville, North Carolina. In 2014, he graduated from the University of North Carolina Asheville with degrees in chemistry and applied mathematics. As an undergraduate, Ben conducted research in the group of Dr. Herman Holt, preparing heterocyclic analogues of microtubule interfering agents.

Eric Webb

Fourth Year Graduate

Eric was born and raised in Kalamazoo, Michigan.  He graduated from Hope College with a B.S. in chemistry.  While there, he worked in the lab of Dr. Jason Gilmore synthesizing photochromic photooxidants and studying their electrochemical properties.  He is an avid hockey fan having played through college and growing up watching the Detroit Red Wings. In his off time, Eric is a road cyclist and enjoys solving logic puzzles.

Mia Borden

Fourth Year Graduate

Mia grew up in Sudbury, Massachusetts. She attended Carleton College (BA, Chemistry 2013), where she worked in Steve Drew’s group synthesizing and characterizing platinum-based materials for the detection of benzene gas. After college, Mia moved to Seattle and conducted research on cellular aging in the lab of Dan Gottschling. Outside of lab, Mia enjoys playing ultimate frisbee, cheering for Boston-based sports teams, and visiting her family.

Junyi Liu

Third Year Graduate

Junyi was born and raised in China. She moved to Georgia to attend Emory University and received her B.S. in Chemistry in 2016. She worked towards the total synthesis of natural product Mytoidine under the mentorship of Prof. Simon Blakey as an undergraduate. When not doing research, she takes interest in Celtic music, orcas, and Near Eastern archaeology.

Jesus I. Martinez Alvarado

Third Year Graduate

Jesus was born in Mexico City and raised in Durham, North Carolina. He graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he conducted research in the lab of Dr. Jeffrey Johnson. While there, Jesus explored the use of an iminophosphorane organocatalyst for reductive coupling reactions. Outside of lab, Jesus enjoys spending time with his family and dog.

Stephen Ting

Second Year Graduate 

Stephen grew up in Cupertino, CA. He graduated from Stanford University, where he worked under Prof. Justin Du Bois. During his time there, Stephen developed a second-generation synthesis of an intermediate towards the natural product pactamycin, and also examined the copper-catalyzed N-arylation of cyclic sulfamates. Outside of chemistry, Stephen enjoys playing jazz piano, being around dogs, traveling, and spending time in the outdoors.

John Park

Second Year Graduate 

John was born and raised in San Jose, California. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Chemical Biology and a minor in Molecular Toxicology. At Berkeley, he worked on palladium catalyzed perfluoroalkylation of aryl halides under the supervision of Professor John F. Hartwig. Outside of lab, John enjoys taking walks, playing board games and trying new places to eat and drink coffee.

Sam Newman-Stonebraker

Second Year Graduate 

Sam was born and raised in New York City before moving to Long Island, NY at the age of 7. He graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry from Cornell University in 2017. While at Cornell, Sam did undergraduate research in the laboratory of Professor Geoffrey Coates, investigating double metal cyanide complexes as heterogeneous catalysts for epoxide/CO2 copolymerizations. Outside of lab, Sam enjoys hiking, baseball, and astronomy.

Alyssa Ertel

Second Year Graduate 

Alyssa grew up in Kennewick, Washington. She graduated from the University of Idaho with a B.S.Ch.E. in chemical engineering and a B.S. in chemistry. Her research focused on organic methodology development, and she studied the effect of rehydration on the catalytic properties of alumina under the supervision of Professor Jakob Magolan. When away from lab, Alyssa enjoys spending time outdoors, petting dogs or watching videos of dogs, empowering women in STEM, and eating Indian food.

Stavros Kariofillis

Second Year Graduate 

Stavros was born and raised in Easton, Pennsylvania. He graduated from Lafayette College with a B.S. in Biochemistry, where he conducted research under the guidance of Professor Roxy Swails. At Lafayette, Stavros synthesized water-soluble Palladium N-heterocyclic carbene complexes and examined their catalytic reactivity towards cross-coupling reactions in aqueous solvent systems. Stavros also spent a summer of research synthesizing isolable (NHC)CuCF2H complexes and examining their catalytic reactivity towards difluoromethylation under Professor Melanie Sanford at the University of Michigan. Outside of lab, he enjoys playing soccer, volleyball, running, reading, and convincing his labmates to join him on Dunkin’ Donuts coffee runs.

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Postdoctoral Fellows

Talia Steiman

Talia was born and raised in Hyde Park, New York. She graduated from Hamilton College in 2012 with a B.A. in chemistry, where she worked with Prof. Rosenstein and exploring radical cascade reactions. She obtained her Ph.D. from Purdue University in May of 2018 where she worked under the guidance of Prof. Chris Uyeda focusing on the synthesis and catalysis of dinuclear nickel complexes. In her spare time, Talia likes to go on nomadic adventures which include finding new places to eat (especially good bagels for breakfast) or drink beer, and hiking trails along bodies of water.  

Marvin Parasram

Marvin was born and raised in The Bronx, New York. He received his B.S. degree in Chemistry from Stony Brook University in 2010. Later that year, he joined Professor Vladimir Gevorgyan’s group at the University of Illinois at Chicago as a Ph.D. student. During his Ph.D. studies, he was involved in the development of novel Pd-catalyzed synthetic methodologies. Outside the lab, he enjoys spending time with his family, snowboarding, kayaking, playing video games, watching sci-fi movies, reading fiction novels, and cheering for his New York Giants.                                                   

Laura Ackerman

Laura was born in Honolulu, Hawaii and received her BA from Claremont McKenna College in 2009, dual majoring in chemistry and religious studies. At Claremont she conducted research under the guidance of Professor Andrew W. Zanella and Professor Anna G. Wenzel, and later worked at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, learning from Professor David A. Vicic. In 2016 Laura obtained her PhD from the University of Rochester, studying multimetallic catalyzed cross coupling reactions with Professor Daniel J. Weix. Away from the lab Laura can be found laughing with friends and family, playing water polo or soccer, watching old episodes of the West Wing, finding the perfect cup of coffee, or most recently, learning how to play ultimate frisbee from her awesome labmates.

Undergraduate Students

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Visiting Students

Andrea Stegner

Visiting Masters Student

Andrea was born and raised in Munich (Germany), where she earned a B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry at LMU Munich. During her subsequent masters studies, she worked on a route towards the enantioselective synthesis of the natural product (—)-Sinoracutine under the supervision of Professor Trauner. She then started a position as a research assistant in the laboratories of Dr. Oliver Thorn-Seshold. While there, she explored the synthesis of photoswitchable tubulin and topoisomerase II inhibitors. Outside of lab, Andrea enjoys horse riding, being outdoors, playing board games and traveling.


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