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Academic Members

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North Carolina State University

Milad Abolhasani is an Associate Professor and a University Faculty Scholar in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at North Carolina State University. Dr. Abolhasani leads a diverse research group that studies flow chemistry strategies tailored towards accelerated development and manufacturing of advanced functional materials and molecules using autonomous robotic experimentation. He received his Ph.D. degree in 2014 from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering in collaboration with the Departments of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Toronto. Prior to joining NC State University, he was an NSERC postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering at MIT (2014-2016).
Dr. Abolhasani has received numerous awards, recognitions, and fellowships, including NSF CAREER Award, Dreyfus Award for Machine Learning in Chemical Sciences & Engineering, AIChE 35 Under 35, I &EC Research 2021 Class of Influential Researchers, ACS-PRF Doctoral New Investigator Award, AIChE Futures Scholar, The John C. Chen Young Professional Leadership Scholarship (AIChE), University Faculty Scholar, Goodnight Early Career Innovator Award, and Emerging Investigator recognition from Lab on a Chip, Reaction Chemistry & Engineering, and Journal of Flow Chemistry.


University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

Erik received his A. B. degree from Harvard University in 2001. During his undergraduate education, he performed research with Prof. Amir Hoveyda at Boston College focusing on enantioselective alkene metathesis. Erik continued his studies at The Scripps Research Institute in the laboratory of Prof. Erik Sorensen, moving to Princeton University before receiving his Ph. D. degree in 2006. His doctoral training involved the total synthesis of the furanosteroid viridin and the development of a palladium-catalyzed alkene aminoacetoxylation. Erik’s postdoctoral work with Prof. John Hartwig at the University of Illinois centered on synthetic and mechanistic studies of transition metal enolates. Erik enthusiastically joined the Chemistry Department faculty at UNC Chapel Hill in 2008 and was promoted to Professor of Chemistry in 2019. The Alexanian group currently focuses on the development of new methods for the aliphatic C–H functionalization of small molecules and polymers, as well as transition metal–catalyzed approaches to C–C bond construction.


California Institute of Technology

Frances Arnold is the Linus Pauling Professor of Chemical Engineering, Bioengineering and Biochemistry at the California Institute of Technology and co-Chair of President Biden’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.  She received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (2018) for pioneering the directed evolution of enzymes. Her group has been using directed evolution to explore new-to-nature enzyme chemistry (mainly carbene and nitrene transfer) and enzyme-catalyzed synthesis of noncanonical amino acids. The group also develops machine-learning guided approaches to directed protein evolution.


University of Wisconsin - Madison

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The Scripps Research Institute

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Emory University

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Rochester Institute of Technology

Michael G. Coleman, Ph.D. is a native of Rochester, New York. He received his B.S. in Chemistry from the University at Buffalo in 1998. After serving four years as a laboratory technician at the Research and Development division of Praxair, Inc, he returned to the University at Buffalo and he received his Ph.D. in Synthetic Organic Chemistry in the laboratories of Huw M.L. Davies, Ph.D. In 2007, he held a brief appointment as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at South Carolina State University, and shortly thereafter, he occupied a NSF Visiting Scholar position at the University of Cincinnati’s Department of Chemistry studying synthetic inorganic chemistry in the laboratory of Hairong Guan, Ph.D. He later joined the faculty at the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2008 as a Visiting Professor and was later promoted to Assistant Professor in 2010. From 2011 – 2012, he occupied a joint position as Research Assistant at the Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory researching radiochemical organometallic transformations in the laboratory of Joanna Fowler, Ph.D. Currently, he is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the Rochester Institute of Technology.


Alcorn State University

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Purdue University

Mingji Dai received his B.S. degree from Peking University in 2002. After two years’ research with Professors Zhen Yang and Jiahua Chen in the same university, he went to New York City in 2004 and pursued graduate study under the guidance of Professor Samuel J. Danishefsky at Columbia University. After earning his Ph.D. degree in 2009, he took a postdoctoral position in the laboratory of Professor Stuart L. Schreiber at Harvard University and the Broad Institute. In August 2012, he began his independent career as an assistant professor in the Chemistry Department and Center for Cancer Research of Purdue University. He was promoted to associate professor with tenure in 2018 and full professor in 2020. He is currently a Showalter Faculty Scholar of Purdue University. His research program focuses on developing novel catalytic methodologies and strategies to streamline the synthesis of complex natural products and other medicinally important molecules. His recent awards include the 2022 Purdue University College of Science Research Award, the 2020 Arthur E. Kelly Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Amgen Young Investigators’ Award, the Eli Lilly Grantee Award, the 2017 Chinese-American Chemistry & Chemical Biology Professors Association (CAPA) Distinguished Junior Faculty Award, the NSF CAREER Award, the 2015 Organic Letters Outstanding Author of the Year Lectureship Award, and the 2015 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award.


University of Tennessee - Knoxville

Ampofo Darko was born in Accra, Ghana. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Guilford College and his Ph.D. from the University of Florida, where he studied tungsten-catalyzed oxidative carbonylation of functionalized amines under the direction of Prof. Lisa McElwee-White. He then performed postdoctoral research with Prof. Joseph Fox at the University of Delaware studying trans-cyclooctenes and their bioorthogonal reactivity with tetrazines. He joined the faculty at the University of Tennessee in 2014, with research interests at the interface of organic and inorganic chemistry. His group is interested in using nature as an inspiration for organometallic catalyst design, cycloaddition reactions, and organocatalysis. Most recently, the Darko lab has been interested in novel methods to control selectivity and reactivity in carbene transfer reactions.


Emory University

Huw Davies is now the Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Chemistry at Emory University. His research program is directed towards the development of new enantioselective synthetic methods and their applications in total synthesis and drug discovery. A major current theme of his program is catalytic asymmetric C–H functionalization by means of rhodium-carbene induced C–H insertion. He is particularly interested in catalyst controlled site selective functionalization of unactivated sp3 C-H bonds. He collaborates broadly with several academic and industrial partners to develop a mechanistic understanding of his chemistry in order to enhance further methodology development, predictive modelling, and applications in total synthesis and drug discovery.  He is currently the Director of the NSF Center for Chemical Innovation for Selective C-H Functionalization.  Recent recognition of his work includes the Paul N. Rylander Award (2018) and the ACS Herbert C. Brown Award for Creative Research in Synthetic Methods (2019).


West Virginia University

Professor Jessica Hoover earned a B.S. in Chemistry from Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, CA in 2004, and completed her Ph.D. in 2009 at the University of Washington in Seattle under the direction of Professors Jim Mayer and Forrest Michael. She completed postdoctoral work with Shannon Stahl at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, developing practical copper-catalyzed aerobic alcohol oxidation reactions.  Jessica’s independent academic career began at West Virginia University (WVU) in 2012 as Assistant Professor, and she was promoted to Associate Professor in 2018. 

The Hoover research group at WVU focuses on developing and understanding new reactions, particularly C-C and C-heteroatom bond forming redox reactions, employing first-row transition metal catalysts.  Current research interests include: (1) Decarboxylative coupling reactions of (hetero)aromatic carboxylates, (2) nickel catalyzed cross-coupling reactions, and (3) cobalt-catalyzed aerobic coupling reactions. Prof. Hoover’s honors and awards include a National Science Foundation CAREER Award and an NIH MIRA Award.

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Kerry Gilmore

University of Connecticut

Kerry Gilmore is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Connecticut. He received B.S. degrees in Biology and Chemistry from Roger Williams University. He then attended Florida State University for graduate studies under the direction of Prof. Igor Alabugin where he re-examined the Baldwin rules for cyclization reactions. During graduate school he was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship and worked for a year with Dr. Christoph Chatgilialoglu at the CNR in Bologna, Italy. He was a postdoctoral researcher with Profs. Tyler McQuade and Peter Seeberger at the Max-Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam, Germany, where he later ran the flow chemistry group for six years as a group leader and later promoted to W2 research group leader.
His group at UConn currently focuses on the use of remotely accessible automated flow chemistry platforms and machine learning to better understand organic reaction mechanisms, facilitate reaction/process development, and increase global access to advanced technologies. Recent recognition for his work includes the 2021 ACS award for Affordable Green Chemistry.


Gabe Gomes

Carnegie Mellon University

            In January 2022, Gabe started his independent career at Carnegie Mellon University, jointly appointed at the Department of Chemistry and Department of Chemical Engineering. The Gomes Group @ CMU research program is the interface between machine learning, computational and physical organic chemistry, and automated synthesis, with aims to develop new platforms for reaction discovery with emphasis on catalysis. Gabe’s goal is to establish a program focused on the development of new chemical reactions, pioneering research and training the next generation of chemists and chemical engineers.

            In 2019, Gabe joined the University of Toronto and the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Matter Lab, led by Professor Alán Aspuru-Guzik. In 2020, Gabe was awarded the NSERC Banting Postdoctoral Fellowship with the project “Designing Catalysts with Artificial Intelligence” and has been featured on the “Next Great Impossible” series by Merck/Milipore-Sigma. Gabe earned his PhD in Fall 2018 from Florida State University, under the guidance of Professor Igor V. Alabugin. At FSU, Gabe's research was centered on the relationship between molecular structure and reactivity, focusing on the development and applications of stereoelectronic effects. His work at FSU earned many accolades, including an IBM PhD Scholarship, the ACS COMP Chemical Computing Group Excellence Award and his selection as a CAS SciFinder Future Leader.


University of California Los Angeles

K. N. Houk received his PhD with R. B. Woodward on experimental tests of orbital symmetry selection rules. He is now Distinguished Research Professor at UCLA and a member of the National Academy of Sciences. Professor Houk is an authority on theoretical and computational organic chemistry.  His group is involved in developments of rules to understand reactivity, computer modeling of complex organic reactions, and experimental tests of the predictions of theory.  He collaborates prodigiously with chemists all over the world, frequently on theoretical investigations of mechanisms involving transition metals, organocatalysts and enzymes. He is also involved in the studies of biosynthetic processes, the design of enzymes, the quantitative modeling of asymmetric reactions used in synthesis, and the dynamics and properties of supramolecular nanomachines, and the mechanisms and dynamics of pericyclic reactions.  He has published over 1400 publications and a physical organic chemistry textbook with Pierre Vogel.  He has an h-index of 138.


College of the Holy Cross

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Georgia Institute of Technology

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Indiana University

Jared was born and raised in Effingham, IL. He obtained his B.S. in chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he completed thesis research with Professor Eric Oldfield. He then moved to the University of California, Berkeley where he earned his Ph.D. under the guidance of Professors Jonathan Ellman and Robert Bergman. Jared studied protein engineering as a NIH postdoctoral fellow with Professor Frances Arnold at the California Institute of Technology before starting his independent career at the University of Chicago. He moved to Indiana University as an Associate Professor in 2018. Research in the Lewis group focuses on identifying solutions to challenging synthetic problems by developing new catalysts for key chemical transformations. Small molecule transition metal catalysts, enzymes, and artificial metalloenzymes are being explored toward this end and comprise the three major areas of emphasis within the group.


Song Lin

Cornell University

Song Lin grew up in Tianjin, China. He obtained B.S. from Peking University in 2008 and Ph.D. from Harvard University working under the mentorship of Eric Jacobsen. He then carried out postdoctoral studies with Chris Chang at UC Berkeley. In 2016, Song started his independent career at Cornell University, where he is currently an Associate Professor. He is also an Associate Editor at Organic Letters and has served on the Early Career Advisory Board of ACS Catalysis and Chemistry–A European Journal. The Lin Laboratory’s research lies at the interfaces between catalysis, electrochemistry, and radical chemistry, where they explore fundamental principles of electrochemistry and radical chemistry to discover new organic transformations and uncover new reaction mechanisms.


University of Pittsburgh

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University of Pennsylvania

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University of Michigan

​John Montgomery grew up in Albemarle, N.C. and studied chemistry at the University of North Carolina working with Profs. Joe Templeton and Maurice Brookhart. He received his Ph.D. at Colorado State University with Prof. Louis Hegedus, and he was an American Cancer Society Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of California at Irvine with Prof. Larry Overman. John spent twelve years on the faculty at Wayne State University before moving to the University of Michigan, where he is the Margaret and Herman Sokol Professor of Synthetic Chemistry and Arthur Thurnau Professor in the Department of Chemistry. His lab focuses on the discovery and development of enabling technologies for organic synthesis and includes active programs in transition metal and main group catalysis, carbohydrate chemistry, complex molecule synthesis, and biocatalysis. He also enjoys teaching and mentoring the diverse population of undergraduate students at Michigan, and he has been involved in the development of new courses at Michigan designed to improve access, equity, and inclusion in introductory courses in organic chemistry.


Emory University

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The Ohio State University

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University of Michigan

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Stony Brook University

Ming was born in China and grew up in Hong Kong. He graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 2003 and earned his Ph.D. degree under the guidance of Professor Michael Krische at the University of Texas at Austin in 2008. He then continued his training as a Croucher Postdoctoral Fellow at Stanford University with Professor Barry Trost and Harvard University with Professor Tobias Ritter. Ming joined the Chemistry Department at the State University of New York - Stony Brook in 2013 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2019. The Ngai lab focuses on the establishment of catalytic platforms to edit and prepare organic molecules efficiently and selectively. They combine detailed experimental and computational studies to understand reactivity and mechanisms with which to guide the design of new catalysts and the development of novel applications in organic, bioorganic, and medicinal chemistry. His research programs have been supported and recognized with an NIH Maximizing Investigator Research Award, NSF CAREER Award, ACS Young Academic Investigator. He is also inducted as a member of the National Academy of Inventors.


Sarah Reisman

California Institute of Technology

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The Scripps Research Institute Florida

Prof. Hans Renata is an associate professor at Scripps Florida. Prior to his independent career, he trained with Prof. Phil Baran in natural product total synthesis and Prof. France Arnold in enzyme engineering and its application in biocatalysis. Research in the Renata lab is focused on the development of new biocatalysts for C–H oxidation and their applications in the chemoenzymatic synthesis of bioactive natural products. In addition, his lab is also interested in adapting these chemoenzymatic approaches in the generation of useful compound analogs and chemical probes to study disease-relevant processes.


Mississippi State University

Dr. Scott was born in Kingston Jamaica where she grew up and attended High School. Following high school, she accepted a track and field scholarship to Auburn University where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in chemistry (cum laude). She went on to obtain her Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, under the guidance of Dr. Craig Wilcox. Her thesis focused on the development of methods for the synthesis of organic and supramolecular compounds.


University of Michigan

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Erik Sorensen

Princeton University

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University of Wisconsin - Madison

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California Institute of Technology

Professor Brian M. Stoltz earned his B.S. degree from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.  After graduate studies at Yale University in the labs of John L. Wood and an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard with E. J. Corey, he took a position at the California Institute of Technology in 2000.  At Caltech, he is currently Professor of Chemistry.  His research interests lie in all areas of synthetic organic chemistry.  He is the recipient of numerous award and accolades for his research and teaching including the Feynman Teaching Prize from Caltech and the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry.  He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society.
The Stoltz laboratory is deeply interested in the discovery and development of new reaction methodology en route to the chemical synthesis of complex bioactive molecules.  The Stoltz group has been heavily involved in the synthesis of complex natural products and catalysis.  Much of the group’s methodological research has focused on new asymmetric catalytic methods for carbon–carbon bond formation and the synthesis of challenging stereochemically-rich sub units such as quaternary centers.


University of Texas Southwestern

Uttam Tambar moved from India to the United States when he was four years old.  He received his A.B. degree from Harvard University in 2000 and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 2006 with Professor Brian Stoltz.  After he completed his NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship at Columbia University with Professor James Leighton in 2009, he began his independent research career at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas.  He is currently the Bonnie Bell Harding Professor in Biochemistry, Chair of Organic Chemistry Graduate Program, and Director of Diversity for Biochemistry.

The Tambar laboratory is interested in asymmetric catalysis, natural product synthesis, and medicinal chemistry. They have developed a new approach to the stereoselective functionalization of hydrocarbons that leverages catalyst-controlled pericyclic reactions.


Sidney Wilkerson-Hill

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill

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University of California Santa Barbara

Dr. Yang obtained his B.S. in Chemistry from Peking University in 2011. He received his Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry in 2016 under the guidance of Prof. Steve Buchwald at MIT. In the Buchwald lab, he developed CuH-catalyzed methods for the asymmetric hydrofunctionalization of simple olefins. As an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow working with Prof. Frances Arnold at Caltech, Dr. Yang studied biocatalysis and protein engineering and developed biocatalytic asymmetric C–H amination. Dr. Yang started his independent career in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California Santa Barbara in 2020. By integrating synthetic chemistry, biocatalysis, protein engineering, bioinformatic and computational tools, the Yang group is reprograming nature’s biosynthetic machineries to address challenging problems in synthetic chemistry and asymmetric catalysis. Dr. Yang is a recipient of the Regent’s Junior Faculty Fellowship Award (2021), Faculty Career Development Award (2022), NSF CAREER Award (2022), NIH Maximizing Investigators' Research Award (2022), and the Thieme Chemistry Journals Award (2023).


The Scripps Research Institute

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Justin Du Bois

Stanford University


Cora MacBeth

Emory University


Seth Marder

University of Colorado Boulder

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Pomona College

Prof. Nicholas Ball grew up in Chattanooga, TN. He received his B.A. in Chemistry at Macalester College in 2005 and completed their Ph.D. in 2011 under Prof. Melanie Sanford at the University of Michigan working with C–F and C–CF3 bond formation from high-oxidation state Pd. In 2010, he headed to the California Institute of Technology to pursue his postdoctoral studies with Prof. David Tirrell as a NIH Postdoctoral Fellow. Prof. Ball started as an Assistant Professor at Amherst College in 2013. In 2015 Prof. Ball joined the faculty at Pomona College and is now an Associate Professor of Chemistry with tenure.   

The Ball Research group is interested in developing new metal-catalyzed/-mediated organic reactions. Our focus is to develop methodologies to make and activate sulfur(IV) and (VI) fluorides. In particular we are interested in using sulfur fluorides as a more air and water stable alternatives to traditional synthesis of sulfur-based organic molecules. Our strategy is to achieve this goal by metal-catalyzed activation of sulfur fluorides via sulfur-fluorine exchange (SuFEx) to make sulfonylated compounds using catalysis, electrochemistry, and machine learning. Additionally, we have interest in sulfur (VI) fluorides in cross-coupling chemistry. Prof. Ball’s honors and awards include Henry Dreyfus Teacher Scholar Award, NIH R31, and ACS PRF grants.


Colorado College

Jessica Kisunzu's research interests lie in the field of synthetic organic chemistry, specifically in the study of strained aromatic alkynes (“arynes” – for example, benzyne and related compounds). Undergraduate researchers in her lab are engaged in the investigation of new directions in aryne reactivity and the development of reactions that leverage underused and/or complementary aryne generation methods (e.g., photochemical or electrochemical processes). Her research also incorporates the use of computational tools to analyze and predict reactivity and structure. Jessica received her B.S. at Southern Adventist University and completed her Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley with Richmond Sarpong working on the total synthesis of alkaloid natural products. She then conducted postdoctoral research with Helma Wennemers at the ETH Zürich in the area of peptide catalysis before starting as an Assistant Professor at Colorado College in 2017.


University of Utah

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