Carnegie Mellon University

Placement of Ph.D Recipients

Ph.D. graduates from the Department of Chemistry are prepared for success in a wide range of careers in academic, industry, and national laboratories. Some are also involved in medical research, start-up companies and policy work at government agencies such as the EPA and Health & Human Services.

Some examples of the excellent positions of the 2013–2018 alumni are:

  • Postdocs at Harvard, Korea Institute for Advanced Study, Max Planck Institute, MIT, Northwestern, Rice, Stanford, University of California Berkeley, University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana, University of Pennsylvania, University of of Warwick
  • National lab positions at Los Alamos, NIH
  • Industrial positions at BASF, DOW Chemical, Intel, L’Oreal, Nitto Denko Avecia, PPG Industries, Phillips 66

2017

Hadi Abroshan

Molecular Modeling of Nanostructures, Polymer Electrolytes, and Ionic Liquids for Energy, Environmental, and Catalysis Applications
Advisor: H. J. Kim
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral associate, Stanford University, SUNCAT Center for Interface Science and Catalysis

Adam Ahern

Atmospheric Aging of Biomass-Burning Aerosol: Oxidants, Oxidation Products, and Measurement Methods
Advisors: N. Donahue and R. Sullivan
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University (Neil Donahue)

Taylor Canady

Reversible and Selective Bimolecular Interactions Using Gamma PNA
Advisor: B. Armitage
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow in the Omics Nanotechnology for Cancer Precision Medicine theme at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Yuxiang Chen

Controlling Metal Nanoclusters with Atomic Precision and Their Catalytic Applications
Advisor: R. Jin
Last Known Position: Director's Postdoctoral Fellow, Los Alamos National Laboratory (Jennifer Martinez)

Pawel Krys

Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization: From Mechanistic Investigations to Materials and Applications
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Research Chemist, PPG Industries

Christian Legaspi

Spectroscopic and Computational Investigation of Emissive Materials for Applications in Organic Light-Emitting Devices
Advisor: L. Peteanu and D. Yaron
Last Known Position: Science Curriculum Designer, IXL Learning

Mo Li

Iridium Complexes with Novel Ligand Architectures for Efficient and Robust Water Oxidation Catalysis
Advisor: S. Bernhard
Last Known Position: M.S. student, Computational Biology, Carnegie Mellon University

Isaac Mills

Synthetic Tuning of the Properties of Transition Metal Complexes Toward Solar Energy Conversion Applications
Advisor: S. Bernhard
Last Known Position: Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Mount St. Mary’s University

Matharishwan Naganbabu

Development of Fluorogens for the Detection of Physiological Analytes
Advisor: M. Bruchez
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley (Evan Miller)

Jonathan Porras

Judicious Design of Transition Metal Complexes for Photochemical Energy Conversion
Advisor: S. Bernhard
Last Known Position: Assistant Professor, Drew University

Heather Stout

Judicious Design of Transition Metal Complexes for Photochemical Energy Conversion
Advisors: C. Achim and E. Münck

Selma Ulku

Next Generation Peptide Nucleic Acids for Charge and Spin Transport Studies
Advisor: C. Achim
Last Known Position: R&D Chemist, W.R. Grace & Co.

Genoa Warner

Synthesis, Properties, and Reactivity of Sulfonamide New TAML Oxidation Catalysts
Advisor: T. Collins
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Andrew Weitz

Spectroscopy and DFT Calculations of a Flavo-Diiron Enzyme Identify New Structures and NO Intermediates of the NO Reduction Cycle

Advisor: M. Hendrich
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Associate, Boston University

Jon Willcox

Molecular Dynamics Analysis of a Hydrogen-Bonding Ionic Liquid and of Water in Graphene Oxide Membranes
Advisor: H. Kim
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Associate, Harvard Medical School

Eric Wu

Spectroscopic and Molecular Dynamics Study of Solvation and Translational Dynamics in Ionic Liquids
Advisors: H. J. Kim and L. Peteanu
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of California, Berkeley (Graham Fleming)

2016

Danielle Chirdon

Development of New Iridium Photosensitizers and Organic Heterocycles: Building from Basic Electronic Structure Towards Energy Applications
Advisor: S. Bernhard
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, The Ohio State University

Matthew DeNardo

Gaining Insight into the Design of Oxidation Catalysis by Comparing the Rate and Equilibrium Constants that Define the Technical Performance of a Suite of TAML Activators Including Design Related Studies for Environmental Performance
Advisor: T. Collins
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Carnegie Mellon University (Terry Collins)

Sourav Kumar Dey

Biochemical and Single Molecule Studies of Backbone Branched RNAs and Lariat Debranching Enzyme
Advisors: S. Das and L. Peteanu
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Cornell Weill Medical School

Munira Fouz

Bright Fluorescent Nanotags for Bio-Imaging and Detection
Advisors: B. Armitage and S. Das
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, NIH (Dan Appella)

Jianjun He

Utilizing Malachite Green Derivatives to Diversify Fluorogen-Activating Proteins’ Applications
Advisor: M. Bruchez
Last Known Position: Senior Fellow, Abmart, Shanghai

Melissa Lamson

The Application of Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization to Improve the Preparation of Porous Polymer-Based Materials
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Ph.D. Development Program, BASF

Matthew Mills

Synthesis, Characterization and Unique Properties of a Completely Aliphatic TAML Activator and New Application of TAMLs for Oxygen Evolution and Pollution Remediation
Advisor: T. Collins
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Missouri

Stanley Oyaghire

Recognition of Guanine Quadruplexes by PNA and Gamma-PNA Oligomers
Advisor: B. Armitage
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Yale University (Peter Glazer)

Sangwoo Park

Electrochemically Controlled Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization and Synthesis with Complex Architectures
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski

Yunyan Qiu

Diversifying Catalysts, Monomers, Cross-Coupling Strategies and Functional Groups in the Controlled Synthesis of Conjugated Polymers
Advisors: T. Kowalewski and K. Noonan
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Northwestern University (Frasier Stoddart)

Liang Tang

Activating Oxygen and Degrading the Water Treatment Industry’s Most Challenging Micropollutant with TAML Activators and Oxidants
Advisor: T. Collins
Last Known Position: Process Technology Development Engineer, Intel Corporation

Joshua Worch

Well-Defined Semiconducting Materials with Stabilized Molecular Orbitals: Thiaphospholes to Polythiophenes
Advisor: K. Noonan
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Warwick (Andrew Dove)

Chenjie Zeng

Precision at the Nanoscale: On the Structure and Property Evolution of Gold Nanoclusters
Advisor: R. Jin
Last Known Position: NatureNet Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Pennsylvania

2015

Joanna Burdynska

Controlling Architecture in Molecular Bottlebrushes
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Electrolyte Chemist, Blue Current, Inc.

Hongkun He

Functional Porous Polymers and Poly(ionic liquid)s: Synthesis, Characterization, and Application for CO2 Capture
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT (Paula Hammond)

Orsolya Karácsony

Design, Synthesis, Characterization and Testing of Materials for Biomedical Applications
Advisor: N. Washburn
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Medical Biochemistry and Biophysics, Karolinska Institutet (Sweden)

Katlyn Kelli Meier

Mössbauer, EPR, and DFT Studies of Oxygen Activation in Enzymes and Biologically Relevant Synthetic Complexes
Advisor: E. Münck
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University (Edward Solomon)

Elizabeth Ellen Rastede

The Design, Synthesis and Characterization of Fluorescent Probes for Biomolecule Detection
Advisor: B. Armitage
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Researcher, NIH (Daniel Appella)

Antonina Simakova

Biomaterials by CRP
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Biohybrid Solutions

Emily Daniels Weiss

Aggregation-Induced Morphology of Low-Dispersity, Regioregular Poly(3-hexylthiophenes) and their Blends with Fullerene Derivatives
Advisor: T. Kowalewski and R. McCullough
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Eberly Center for Teaching Excellence, Carnegie Mellon University

Penglin Ye

Semi-Volatile Organic Compounds: Behavior and Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation
Advisor: N. Donahue
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Researcher, Carnegie Mellon University (Neil Donahue)

2014

Saadyah Averick

Preparation of Precise Bioconjugates Using Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Assistant Research Professor, Allegheny Health Network

Anthony Brooks

Photon Driven Reduction of Zn(II) to Zinc Metal by Transition Metal Complexes
Advisor: S. Bernhard
Last Known Position: Senior Scientist, Johnson & Johnson

José C. Flores-Canales

Computational Studies of Acidic Destabilization and Membrane Association of Diphtheria Toxin Translocation (T) Domain
Advisor: M. Kurnikova
Last Known Position: Research Fellow, Korea Institute for Advanced Study (Jooyoung Lee), South Korea

Hong Yul Cho

Synthesis of Multifunctional Star Polymers for Potential Si RNA Delivery Carriers
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Illinois, Chicago

Andrea Elsen

Applying Control of Heterogeneity Within Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Senior Scientist, L'Oreal

Chin Ming (Benjamin) Hui

Nano-Engineered Polymer Composites Synthesized by SI-ATRP — From Synthesis to Novel Applications
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Research Chemistry, PPG Industries

Racquel C. Jemison

Aspects Toward Polymer Design: Mechanism and Synthetic Considerations of Conductive Materials for Organic Electronics
Advisor: R. McCullough
Last Known Position: Senior Chemist, Dow Chemical, Core R&D, Formulation Sciences

Jing Kong

Applications of Peptide Nucleic Acid in Nanotechnology
Advisor: C. Achim
Last Known Position: Adjunct Faculty, Duquesne University and Carnegie Mellon University

Ha Pham

Advances in Fluorescence Labeling and Imaging of Biomolecules
Advisor: B. Armitage
Last Known Position: Medical student, University of Central Florida
Previous Position: Adjunct Faculty, Chemistry Department, Duquesne University

Saumya Saurabh

Ultra-Photostable Genetically Targeted Fluoromodules for Live Cell Imaging
Advisor: M. Bruchez
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford University (W. E. Moerner)

Lea Da Silva Veras

NMDA Receptor Transmembrane Domain: Structure and Divalent Ion Selectivity
Advisor: M. Kurnikova
Last Known Position: Leadership Development System Facilitator at American Chemical Society
Previous Position: Non-formal Education Researcher at the Center for Scientific and Cultural Dissemination—University of São Paulo

James Woods

The Water Oxidation Reaction Catalyzed by Homogeneous Iridium Carbene Complexes
Advisor: S. Bernhard
Last Known Position: Jordi Labs

2013

Nicolae M. Albu

Torsional Degrees of Freedom in Conjugated Molecules and Polymers: Motors, Excited State Relaxation, and Charge Mobility
Advisor: D. Yaron
Last Known Position: Instructor, Community College of Allegheny County

Junriz O. Delos Santos

Biomolecular Labeling with Fluorescent Dyes: Making the Most of Nucleic Acid Architectures
Advisor: B. Armitage
Last Known Position: Research Scientist, Sharp Edge Labs, Inc.

Allison Nicole Elder

Synthesis and Applications of Bio-Derived Conjugates
Advisor: N. Washburn
Last Known Position: Senior Chemist, L'Oreal

Anisha Gupta

PNA and the Rule of Four: Quadruplex, Duplex and Chimeric Complexes
Advisor: B. Armitage
Last Known Position: Assistant Professor, College of Staten Island, CUNY
Previous Position: Postdoctoral Associate, Therapeutic Radiology Group, Yale University School of Medicine (Peter Glazer)

Santosh Kumar

Synthesis, Characterization and Application of Water-Soluble Gold and Silver Nanoclusters
Advisor: R. Jin
Last Known Position: Research Scientist, Vertex Pharmaceuticals
Previous Position: Analytical Surface Scientist, Henkel Corporation

Shengpeng Liu

Photophysical Exploration of Fluorescent Nanotags
Advisor: L. Peteanu

Longzhu Shen

Theoretical Studies of TAML® Activators: Oxidative Degradation of Pharmaceuticals in Water, Nuclear Tunneling in C-H Bond Activation and Electronic Structure Analysis of Co(IV) Complexes
Advisor: T. Collins
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Associate,Yale University (Paul Anastas)
Previous Position: Postdoctoral Associate, Institute for Green Science, Carnegie Mellon

Yu Wang

Green ATRP Procedures for Polymers with Well Preserved Chain End Functionalities
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Researcher, Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research, Mainz, Germany

Mingjiang Zhong

Block Copolymer Templated Nitrogen-Enriched Nanocarbons: From Synthesis, Characterization, to Applications
Advisors: T. Kowalewski and K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Assistant Professor, Yale University
Previous Position: Postdoctoral Associate, MIT (Jeremiah Johnson and Bradley Olsen)

2012

Raman Bahal

Development of Conformationally Preorganized miniPEG-γPNA for Antigene and Antisense Applications
Advisor: D. Ly
Last Known Position: Assistant Professor, School of Pharmacy, University of Connecticut

Courtney Lyn Balliet

Application of Advanced X-Ray Scattering Techniques to Structural Investigations of Molecular Packing in Conducting Polymers
Advisors: T. Kowalewski and R. McCullough
Last Known Position: Senior Research Chemist, PPG Industries

Heber J. Chacon-Madrid

The Fragmentation vs. Functionalization Paths of Molecules during Atmospheric Chemical Aging
Advisor: N. Donahue
Last Known Position: Rotational Engineer, Intel

Arnie de Leon

Synthesis and Physical Properties of Non-Modified and Modified Peptide Nucleic Acids
Advisor: C. Achim
Last Known Position: PD Associate Scientist, Nitto Denko Avecia Inc.
Previous Position: Postdoctoral Associate, Vanderbilt University

Rupal Gupta

Spectroscopy of Metal Containing Biomolecules & Biomimetic Complexes Involved in O2 & H2O Activation
Advisor: M. Hendrich
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Associate, U. Delaware (T. Polenova)

Soumen Kundu

TAML Activators as Green Oxidation Catalysts: Kinetic and Mechanistic Studies, Applications in Pollutant Remediation and Organic Synthesis
Advisor: T. Collins
Last Known Position: Associate Scientist at Phillips 66 Midstream Division
Previous Position: Postdoctoral associate, McGill University (Advisor: C.J. Li)

Wenwen Li

Reactive Surfactants for Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization in Dispersed Media
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Research Scientist, DOW Chemical

John Parker McGann

Electrical and Structural Foundations of Nitrogen-Rich Nanocarbons for Energy Related Applications
Advisor: T. Kowalewski
Last Known Position: Scientist at Exponent, Natick, Massachusetts
Previous Position: Postdoctoral associate, MIT

Halimatu Sadiya Mohammed

PNA-DNA Heteroquadruplex Formation: Optimization of PNA Structure, Recognition by Cyanine Dyes and Evaluation of Molecular Crowding Effects
Advisor: B. Armitage
Last Known Position: Group Manager / Postdoctoral Fellow at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
Previous Position: Postdoctoral Scientist, Department of Chemistry & Biomolecular Science at Clarkson University (Advisor: Devon Shipp)

Eduardo Paredes

Triazole Linkages and Backbone Branches in Nucleic Acids for Biological and Extra-Biological Applications
Advisor: S. R. Das
Last Known Position: Team Leader, Oligonucleotide Process Development at Nitto-Avecia, Cincinnati, Ohio
Previous Position: Postdoctoral associate, NIH

Joseph Eric Prata

Chemical Functionalization and Technological Applications of Hyaluronic Acid
Advisor: N. Washburn
Last Known Position: Research Chemist, Lubrizol Corporation
Previous Position: Postdoctoral Associate, Boston Biomedical

Huifeng Qian

Controlling Gold Nanoparticles with Atomic Precision: Synthesis and Structure Determination
Advisor: R. Jin
Last Known Position: Senior Engineer, Dow Chemical Company
Previous Position: J. Evans Attwell-Welch Postdoctoral Fellow, Rice University, Department of Chemical Engineering (Michael S. Wong)

Nathaniel Shank

Design, Synthesis and Characterization of Fluorescent Probes for Biomolecule Detection
Advisor: B. Armitage
Last Known Position: Assistant Professor, Armstrong State University, Savannah, Georgia
Previous Position: Postdoctoral Associate, NIH (D. Appella)

2011

Hoyong Chung

Chemistry and Applications of Bio-Inspired and Bio-Derived Polymers
Advisor: N. Washburn
Last Known Position: Assistant Professor of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, Florida A&M University
Previous Position: Postdoctoral Associate, California Institute of Technology

Matthew James Crawford

Structural Characterization of γ-Modified PNAs and Invasion of MicroRNA
Advisor: D. Ly
Last Known Position: Assistant Professor, Frostburg State University

Greg Thomas Drozd

Ozonolysis Intermediate Dynamics and Hydroperoxide Photodissociation in the Atmosphere
Advisor: N. Donahue
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Associate, U. California Berkeley, Dept. of Environmental Science, Policy and Management (Goldstein)
Previous Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Columbia University (Faye McNeill and Ken Eisenthal)

Joshua Allen Hayden

Oxygen Reactivity of Manganese Proteins
Advisor: M. Hendrich
Last Known Position: Assistant Professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College; Assistant Director for the Central laboratory and Director of Toxicology and Therapeutic Drug Monitoring, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical Center
Previous Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, MIT (Liz Nolan)

Eun Kyung Kim

Nanoporous Carbon Materials from Block Copolymer Precursors for Supercapacitor Applications
Advisor: T. Kowalewski
Last Known Position: Research Scientist, LG, South Korea

Zhijie Ma

Thermodynamics of Metal Binding to Ligand-Modified PNA
Advisor: C. Achim
Last Known Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, Georgia Tech (Gary Schuster)

Jesse Allen Miller

Biologically Inspired Applications of TAML Activators
Advisor: T. Collins
Last Known Position: New Chemicals Management Branch, Chemical Control Division, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

Alper Nese

Design and Synthesis of Functional Graft Copolymers with Complex Architectures by Controlled Radical Polymerization Methods
Advisor: K. Matyjaszewski
Last Known Position: Scientist, Sila Nanotechnologies, San Francisco Bay Area
Previous Positions: Postdoctoral Scholar, University of South Carolina; Postdoctoral Associate, University of Southern California (Andrea Armani)

Jeong Ae Yoon

Cross-Linked Networks Prepared by Atom Transfer Radical Polymerization
Advisor: T. Kowalewski
Last Known Position: LG, South Korea

Michael Yonkunas

Theoretical Investigation of the Structure and Function of Ionotropic Glutamate Receptors
Ph.D. in Molecular Biophysics and Structural Biology, a joint program with the University of Pittsburgh     
Advisor: M. Kurnikova
Last Known Position: Instructor, Department of Molecular Biophysics & Physiology, Rush University Medical Center

Kimberly Zanotti

Creating Genetically Encodable Biosensors Based on Fluorogenic Dyes and Proteins
Advisor: B. Armitage
Last Known Position: Research Scientist, QPS Holdings
Previous Position: Postdoctoral Fellow, NIH, National Institute on Aging (Patricia Gearhart)