Ph.D. Degrees Awarded

Tulane University's Department of Chemistry has awarded over 250 doctoral degrees. Many of these awardees have gone on to be renown professors and senior research scientist throughout the world. Below is a list of the majority of these awardees, and some of their present positions.

*Note brackets indicate where our alumni went


Fengqi Zhang (R&D Chemistry III, MacDermid Alpha Electronics Solutions)
"Effect of Excited State Localization on Excited State Proton Transfer and Energy Transfer Reactions"
Research Advisor: Russell Schmehl
September 1, 2023

Yuchen Du
"Synthesis and Structures of Crowded Biaryls "
Research Advisor: Robert Pascal
August 1, 2023

Sarah Marshall
“Synthetic Anion Transporters and Their Applications”
Research Advisor: Nathalie Busschaert
July 31, 2023

Elliot Williams
“Lipid Synthesis and Small Molecule Lipid Recognition”
Research Advisor: Nathalie Busschaert
June 27, 2023

Tammy Leong (Process Integration Technology Development Engineer, Samsung Electronics, Austin TX )
“Ultrafast Laser Spectroscopy of Vibrational Energy Transport in Conjugated Chains and Metal Complexes”
Research Advisor: Igor Rubtsov
April 19, 2023


McKenna Redding (Research Chemistry, Coreshell Technologies, Inc.)
"Synthesis and Characterization of bis-MPA-based Polymers: An Investigation of Polymer Architecture "
Research Advisor: Scott Grayson
December 2, 2022

Dilanka V. D. Walpita Kankanamalage (R&D Project Manager I, ARL Bio Pharma)
“Host-Guest Based Supramolceular Approaches to Input Responsive DNA Nanomachines”
Research Advisor: Janarthanan Jayawickramarajah
December 1, 2022

Sarah Herschede (ORISE Fellow, BARDA)
“Development of membrane-active small molecules with antibacterial activity”
Research Advisor: Nathalie Busschaert
August 17, 2022

Paolo Suating (Postdoctoral Fellow, Urbach Group at Trinity University in San Antonio )
“Wading Through the Spectrum of Wetness: Tailored Solvation of Weakly-Hydrated Pockets”
Research Advisor: Bruce Gibb
April 20, 2022


Christopher Keller (Brewer, Ben's Brewing Co.)
“Design and Application of Amphiphilic Grafted Nanoparticles as Oil Dispersants”
Research Advisor: Scott Grayson
November 30, 2021

Emily Schmidt (Adjunct Lecturer, Southwestern Community College and San Diego Miramar College)
“Destabilization of Biologically Relevant Quadruplex Structures in the HOTAIR Gene Sequence”
Research Advisor: Janarthanan Jayawickramarajah
July 27, 2021

Nicholas Ernst (Visiting Assistant Professor, Purdue University Northwest)
“Solubility Tuning Using the Hydrophobic Effect and its Derivatives”
Research Advisor: Bruce Gibb
June 8, 2021

Oluwapelumi Kareem (Industrial Hygiene Research Chemist, BASF)
"Synthesis, Characterization, and Potential Application of Linear Bis-MPA"
Research Advisor: Scott Grayson
April 27, 2021

Ross Zaenglein (Raw Materials Scientist, Eurofins)
"Investigation of the transition state of Beta-glucosidase of T. Maritima"
Research Advisor: Larry Byers
April 14, 2021

Kristina Martinez (Postdoc Research Associate, Brookhaven National Laboratory)
"Tuning Excited-State Reactivity Toward Proton Transfer, Electron Transfer, or Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer for Ru(II) Complexes"
Research Advisor: Russ Schmehl
April 2, 2021


Ibrahim Alhroob (Visiting Professor, Grambling State University)
"Molecular Beam Study of Triglycerides Pyrolysis Chemistry"
Research Advisor: Mark Sulkes
August 25, 2020

Xiao Li (Procter and Gamble)
"Electron Transfer in Bis-Alkynyl and Butadiyne-Bridged Donor-Bridge-Acceptor Compounds and its Modulation with Short Mid-IR Laser Pulses"
Research Advisor: Igor Rubtsov
July 30, 2020

Karry LeBlanc (Chemistry III, Florida Department of Health-Bureau of Public Health Laboratories)
"A Mechanistic Model of Hemoglobin Glycosylation"
Research Advisor: Larry Byers
July 29, 2020

Xiaoyang Cai (Research Scientist II, Tribioscience Inc)
"Intrinsic and Extrinsic Factors Controlling Reactions Within Nano Space"
Research Advisor: Bruce Gibb
July 27, 2020

Shane McGlynn (Instructor, Loyola University New Orleans)
"Measuring Reactive Thresholds: Tunable Bimolecular Abstraction Reactions Initiated by Atomic Bromine"
Research Advisor: Brent Koplitz
July 24, 2020

Pravin Pathak (Senior Chemist, Jordi Labs)
"DNA Self-Assembly and Host-Guest Chemistry for Programmed Photonic Nanostructures and Switches"
Research Advisor: Janarthanan Jayawickramarajah
July 16, 2020

Megan Woods (Senior Payload Test Engineer, Ball Aerospace, Broomfield, CO)
"Cooper Whisker Formation in the Presence of Pulsed Laser Deposited Molybdenum Disulfide"
Research Advisor: Brent Koplitz
May 19, 2020

Robert Mackin (Research Chemist, USDA ARS New Orleans)
"Low-Temperature Energy Transport in Oligomers and Infrared Studies of Thin Films on Plasmonic Nanoantenna Arrays"
Research Advisor: Igor Rubtsov
April 15, 2020

Kelly Dougherty (Chemist, FDA Arkansas Laboratory)
"Synthesis of Compounds with very Large Specific Rotations"
Research Advisor: Robert Pascal
April 14, 2020

Matthew Sullivan 
"Properties and Applications of the Hydrophobic Effect with Host-Guest Systems"
Research Advisor: Bruce Gibb
April 3, 2020

Wei Yao (Scientist, Seattle Genetics Inc.)
"The Ion Specific Effects on Macromolecular Systems"
Research Advisor: Bruce Gibb
March 26, 2020


Joseph Giesen 
"Design, Synthesis and Characterization of 2,2-bis(hydroxymethyl)propionic acid (bis-MPA) polyester dendrimers and linear analogs"
Research Advisor: Scott Grayson
December 13, 2019

Molly Payne (Technology Specialist, Baker Donelson)
"Synthesis, Post Polymerization Modification, and Characterization of Biologically Relevant Synthetic Polymers: Poly(ethylene glycol) and Poly(ethylene imine)"
Research Advisor: Scott Grayson
December 10, 2019

Xiao Zhou (Senior Chemist, Jordi Labs)
"DNA Based Transducers for Protein Activity Control"
Research Advisor: Janarthanan Jayawickramarajah
December 6, 2019

Andrii Maksymov
"Many-Body Localization and Coherency in Systems with Long-Range Interactions"
Research Advisor: Alexander Burin
December 5, 2019

Antony Obanda (Process Engineer, Intel Corporation)
"Synthesis, Structures, Properties, and Reactivity of New Group 10 Heteroleptic Dithiolene Complexes"
Research Advisor: James Donahue
November 26, 2019

Yonglong Xiao (Postdoctoral Fellow, UCLA)
"Crowded Aromatic Compounds with Unusual Shapes and Structures"
Research Advisor: Robert Pascal
October 3, 2019

Farihah Haque (Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Minnesota)
"Synthesis, characterization, and purification of cyclic polystyrene, poly-(ε-caprolactone), and various polyethers"
Research Advisor: Scott Grayson
July 19, 2019

Clyde Varner (Postdoctoral Fellow, Korea University, Seoul)
"Azido alkanes as convenient reporters for mobility within lipid membranes"
Research Advisor: Igor Rubtsov
June 18, 2019

Malathy Pratheepkumar (Senior Lecturer Gr. II, Vavuniya Campus of the University of Jaffna, Srilanka)
"Exploration of Selective Metal Disulfide Synthesis and the Synthesis of Metallodithiolene Complexes as Qubit Systems"
Research Advisor: James Donahue
May 16, 2019

Bo Wang (Scientist, Catalent)
"Syntheses, Structures and Characterization of Nickel Complex and Multinuclear Copper Clusters with L-N2S2 Ligand"
Research Advisor: James Donahue
March 29, 2019


Rebecca Dupre (Research Scientist, Tulane University)
"Protonation and Electron Transfer Reactions of Osmium Hydride and Surfactant Ruthenium Complexes"
Research Advisor: Russ Schmehl
December 5, 2018

Layla Qasim (Chemist, HP, Inc.)
"Architecture-dependent Vibrational Energy Transport in Molecular Chains"
Research Advisor: Igor Rubtsov
December 5, 2018

Karolina Kosakowska (Casebia Therapeutics)
"Controlled Self-Assembly of Non-Linear Amphiphilic Polymers for Therapeutic Drug Delivery Application: Polymer Architecture and the Transdermal Route"
Research Advisor: Scott Grayson
November 26, 2018

Patricia Fontenot (Analytical Inorganic Chemist, Army Public Health Center)
"Synthesis, Characterization, and Photo-Catalytic Activity of Homogenous Molybdenum Sulfide Complexes Serving as Hydrogen Evolution Catalysts"
Research Advisor: James Donahue
July 24, 2018

Jacobs Jordan (Research Chemist, USDA-Cotton Chemistry & Utilization Unit)
"Noncovalent Interactions Behind the Direct and Inverse Hofmeister Effect"
Research Advisor: Bruce Gibb
May 17, 2018

Thong (Tom) Nguyen (Quality Control Chemist, Winderlabs LLC)
"Synthesis of Novel Water-Soluble Host-Guest Systems"
Research Advisor: Bruce Gibb
April 30, 2018

Matthew Hillyer (Research Chemist, USDA-Cotton Chemistry & Utilization Unit)
"Ion-responsive Supramolecular Assemblies in Aqueous Solutions"
Research Advisor: Bruce Gibb
April 26, 2018

Aditya Kulkarni (Intern-Scientist, Lonza)
"Synthesis and Investigation of Spectroscopic Properties and Excited State Electron Transfer Reactions of Pt(ii) NCN Type Complexes"
Research Advisor: Russ Schmehl
April 20, 2018