Foote Fellows

 

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Ishika Saha - 2020 Senior Foote Fellow

Ishika Saha was born and raised in Kolkata, India. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Durham, England, where she received an integrated masters MChem degree under the supervision of Professor Ian Baxendale. While there, her research focused on the synthesis and reactivity of 3-benzalphthalide derivatives towards bioactive heterocyclic compounds. Ishika is now a third-year organic chemistry graduate student in Professor Patrick Harran’s laboratory. Her research is focused on generating in silico libraries of macrocyclic composites, towards identifying and evaluating lead candidates of virtual screening. 

 


 

 

Christopher Jones - 2020 Senior Foote Fellow

Chris Jones was born and raised in Rochester, NY. After high school, he spent four years serving in the U.S. Navy. Upon leaving active duty, Chris went on to earn his bachelor's degree in computer engineering at California State University, East Bay. He subsequently completed his master's degree in chemical engineering at San Jose State University. While earning his degrees, Chris worked at Sandia National Laboratories, where he researched novel materials for advanced energy storage and conversion technologies. Currently, Chris is a third-year organic chemistry graduate student working in Professor Hosea Nelson’s laboratory, where his research focuses on the structural characterization of small molecules using advanced crystallographic and electron diffraction techniques.

 


 

 

Cooper Jamieson - 2020 Senior Foote Fellow

Cooper Jamieson was born in New York, New York and raised in San Luis Obispo, California. In 2016, he received a B.A. in Chemistry and a B.A. in Art from Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. After graduation, Cooper moved to far-West Marfa, Texas to assist in the fabrication of Robert Irwin’s artwork Untitled (dawn to dusk) and work in art conservation at the Chinati Foundation. Now, Cooper works under the direction of Professors Kendall Houk and Yi Tang and studies enzyme catalyzed pericyclic reactions in fungal biosynthesis.

 


 

 

Jason Chari - 2020 Senior Foote Fellow

Jason Chari is a third-year organic chemistry graduate student working in Professor Neil Garg's laboratory. His graduate studies are focused on using arynes and other strained organic molecules to manipulate the structure of metal-centered photosensitizers. Jason was raised in Newton, Massachusetts and received his bachelor’s degree in biostatistics in 2017 from Cornell University. While there, he worked under Professor Song Lin on the electrochemical synthesis of amino acids. Additionally, he conducted research with Professor Katherine Maloney, using statistical learning to investigate the capricious nature of a soft corals that produce bioactive compounds.

 


 

 

Angel Mendoza - 2020 Foote Fellow

 


 

 

Ana Bulger - 2020 Foote Fellow

 


 

 

Nikolas Burton - 2020 Foote Fellow

 


 

 

Allison Hacker - 2020 Foote Fellow

 


 

 

Matthew McVeigh - 2020 Foote Fellow

 


 

 

Laura Wonilowicz - 2020 Foote Fellow

 


 

 

Stanislav "Stasik" Popov - 2019 Senior Foote Fellow

Stanislav "Stasik" Popov is a third-year organic chemistry graduate student working in Professor Hosea Nelson’s laboratory. His graduate studies are focused on catalytic C–H functionalization reactions using dicoordinated carbocations. Stasik grew up in Wayland, Massachusetts. In 2012, he left his hometown to attend Brandeis University where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in chemistry and mathematics in 2016. During his undergraduate career, he conducted research under Professor Isaac J. Krauss studying boron carboxylates as catalysts for homoallylation and homocrotylation of aldehydes.  

 


 

 

Kersti Caddell Haatveit - 2019 Senior Foote Fellow

Kersti Caddell Haatveit is a third-year organic chemistry graduate student working in Professor Kendall N. Houk’s laboratory. Her graduate studies focus on using computational methods, including both quantum mechanical (QM) calculations and molecular dynamics (MD) simulations, to elucidate the mechanisms of novel enzymes and understand the origins of regio- and stereoselectivity of cytochrome P450s to guide experimental enzyme engineering efforts for the development of novel C–H oxidation biocatalysts. Kersti received her bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2016 from the University of California, Berkeley, where she worked in the laboratory of Professor Richmond Sarpong.  Her research focused on optimizing and expanding the scope of a novel indole functionalization methodology. 

 


 

 

Daniel Estabrook - 2019 Senior Foote Fellow

Daniel Estabrook is a third-year organic chemistry graduate student working in Professor Ellen Sletten’s laboratory where he is designing polymeric surfactants for multifunctional perfluorocarbon-in-water droplets. Dan received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2016 from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he worked under Professor S. Thayumanavan examining structure-property relationships of polymeric delivery vehicles.  Additionally, he worked under Professor Marcus Weck at New York University, studying the programmed self-assembly of complex patchy colloids. 

 


 

 

Sarah Anthony - 2019 Senior Foote Fellow

Sarah Anthony is a third-year organic chemistry graduate student working in Professor Neil Garg’s laboratory where her studies are focused on both the development of methodologies utilizing strained intermediates and the total synthesis of natural products. As a UCLA undergraduate chemistry student, Sarah performed research in Garg’s laboratory, and after receiving her bachelor’s degree in chemistry from UCLA in 2016, she chose to stay at UCLA for her graduate studies.

 


 

 

Michael Yamano - 2018 Senior Foote Fellow

Michael Yamano received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of California, Irvine where he performed undergraduate research under Professors Vy Dong and Kenneth Janda. He is currently a graduate student in Professor Neil Garg’s laboratory at UCLA. His graduate studies are currently focused towards utilizing highly reactive strained intermediates for the synthesis of heterocycles. 

 


 

 

Emily (Maly) Cosco - 2018 Senior Foote Fellow

Emily (Maly) Cosco received her B.S. in chemistry from Denison University in 2015 where she worked in the laboratory of Professor Jordan Fantini, synthesizing calix[4]arene host molecules for supramolecular structures. During her undergraduate education, she also performed research with Dr. Eric Wall at the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in chemistry at UCLA with Professor Ellen Sletten and is a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. Her research focuses on the development of small molecule organic fluorophores for optical imaging and diagnostics in the shortwave infrared. 

 


 

 

Alex Bagdasarian - 2018 Senior Foote Fellow

Alex Bagdasarian was born and raised in Cupertino, California. He left his hometown to attend the University of California, Davis where he obtained his B.S. in pharmaceutical chemistry. During his studies, he conducted research under Professor Mark J. Kurth studying the effect of heterocyclic scaffolds as correctors for Cystic Fibrosis (CF) as well as developing synthetic methods for varying classes of heterocyclic compounds. Currently, Alex is a third year graduate student in Professor Hosea Nelson’s laboratory at UCLA. His current graduate studies concern catalytic C¬–H functionalization reactions of carbenium ions.

 


 

 

Annabelle Cantu - 2018 Foote Fellow

 


 

 

Francesca Ippoliti - 2018 Foote Fellow

 


 

 

Benjamin Wigman - 2018 Foote Fellow

 


 

 

Marco Messina – 2017 Senior Foote Fellow

Marco Messina was born in Corpus Christi, Texas. He attended Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi where he obtained a B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Philosophy. During his undergraduate tenure, he performed research in the laboratory of Prof. Mark A. Olson, synthesizing bypiridinium-based amphiphiles and understanding their non-covalent bonding interactions and electrostatics with electron-rich molecules. He also performed research in the laboratory of Prof. Jeremiah A. Johnson at MIT as part of the MIT Summer Research Program (MSRP) where he worked towards developing a new method for the synthesis of cyclic polymers. He is now a graduate researcher in the laboratories of both Professor Heather D. Maynard and Professor Alexander M. Spokoyny. His current research consists of synthesizing trehalose glycopolymers for use in protein stabilization and in developing novel polymerization methods utilizing boron-rich clusters as photo-oxidants.

 


 

 

Lucas Morrill – 2017 Senior Foote Fellow

Lucas received his B.A. in chemistry from Carleton College in Northfield, MN, where he performed undergraduate research under Professors David Alberg and Gretchen Hofmeister. He is currently a third-year graduate student in Professor Neil K. Garg’s laboratory at UCLA. His graduate studies are focused on the total synthesis of complex natural products.

 


 

 

Adam Simon – 2017 Senior Foote Fellow

Simon received his B.S. in Chemistry with High Distinction from the University of California, San Diego, in 2014. At UCSD, Adam's research focused on the synthesis of aminoglycoside mimetics for the development of novel antibiotics. He is currently a graduate student working with Prof. Kendall N. Houk. Simon specializes in using quantum chemical calculations for discovering the origins of stereoselectivity and mechanisms of enzymatic and organocatalyzed reactions.

 


 

 

­Emma Baker – 2016 Senior Foote Fellow

Emma Baker was raised in the small town of Cresco, Iowa. She received her B.A. in chemistry from Grinnell College, Iowa in 2013. She began her graduate study at UCLA with Professor Neil Garg in the summer of 2013, working toward the total synthesis of (–)-N-methylwelwitindolinone B isothiocyanate. Her current studies focus on the activation of amide C­–N bonds utilizing nickel catalysis.

 


 

 

Brian Levandowski – 2016 Senior Foote Fellow

Brian Levandowski was born in Seattle, Washington and received a B.S. in Chemistry with honors from Pacific Lutheran University in 2013. While an undergraduate he studied the thermal decomposition of N-carbamoyl-3,6-dihydro-1,2-oxazines adducts through the retro-Diels-Alder reaction. Currently, he is a member of the Houk lab where he explores the reactivity and selectivity of cycloadditions using computational methods.

 


 

 

Emma Pelegri-O'Day – 2016 Senior Foote Fellow

Emma Pelegri-O’Day was born in Menlo Park, California. She attended Williams College, where she performed research with Professor John Thoman, synthesizing gaseous deuterofluorocarbons. After graduating with her B.A. in 2012, she moved to Hamburg, Germany on a Fulbright fellowship, where she worked in the laboratory of Professor Patrick Theato on photocleavable triblock copolymers. In 2013 she moved to UCLA, where she works for Professor Heather Maynard on developing biodegradable trehalose glycopolymers. She is an NSF Graduate Fellow.

 


 

 

Elias Picazo – 2016 Senior Foote Fellow

Elias Picazo was born and raised in California. He received his B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics at UC Santa Barbara in 2013. His undergraduate research, under the direction of Professor Armen Zakarian, focused on the trifluoromethylation of chiral N-acyloxazolidinones. He then joined Professor Neil Garg’s laboratory at UC Los Angeles, where he works on the synthesis of complex natural products belonging to the akuammiline family of alkaloids.


 

 

Jessica Grandner – 2015 Senior Foote Fellow

Jessica was born and raised in Maryland. Influenced by her high school chemistry teacher, she decided to pursue an undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Maryland, College Park. During her undergraduate career she obtained several honors and awards including acceptance to the Life Sciences Scholars program, several annual scholarships from the A. James Clark School of Engineering, and a Department of Homeland Security Internship at the National Institute of Standards and Technology. She was also an active member of University of Maryland’s club lacrosse team. After graduating Summa Cum Laude in 2011, Jessica was admitted to the organic chemistry doctoral program at UCLA and awarded a Graduate Dean Scholar Award. She currently performs research in the laboratory of Prof. Kendall N. Houk in the field of computational organic chemistry. Her projects focus on the mechanistic elaboration of organometallic and enzymatic catalysts in collaboration with Prof. Robert Grubbs and Prof. Yi Tang, respectively. She was recently awarded the 2014 UCLA Chemistry and Biochemistry Departmental Award for Excellence in Second Year Academics and Research.

 


 

 

Jesus Moreno – 2015 Senior Foote Fellow

Jesus Moreno was born in Los Angeles, CA and raised in San Diego, CA. He received a B.S. in Molecular Synthesis from the University of California, San Diego in 2012, where he conducted undergraduate research with Professor Thomas Hermann on the synthesis of Hepatitis C internal ribosomal entry site inhibitors. In the summer of 2011, he performed research at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla alongside Professor Ryan Shenvi, carrying synthetic studies toward quinolizidine alkaloids. In the spring of 2012, he worked as a chemistry intern at Vertex Pharmaceuticals, prior to beginning his graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles in the fall of 2012. Currently, he is a third year graduate student working in Professor Neil Garg’s laboratory on the total synthesis of alkaloid natural products.

 


 

 

Nicholas Weires – 2015 Senior Foote Fellow

Nicholas A. Weires was born in Ruidoso, NM in 1989 and raised in Boise, ID. He received his BS in chemistry from the University of Idaho in 2012, where he studied new methods in heterogeneous catalysis in the laboratory of Professor Jakob Magolan. He then continued on to pursue graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he is currently a third year graduate student in Professor Neil Garg’s laboratory. While at UCLA, he has worked on the total synthesis of complex indole alkaloids as well as reaction development in nickel catalysis.

 


 

 

Byron Boon – 2014 Senior Foote Fellow

Byron Boon was born in Colorado where he completed his B.A. in chemistry from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 2010. As an undergraduate researcher under the supervision of Professor Josef Michl he studied the lithium cation catalyzed radical polymerization of unfunctionalized terminal alkenes. Upon arriving in Los Angeles in the summer of 2011, Byron started his research on palladium(II)-catalyzed oxidative couplings of bis(vinylboronate esters) using molecular oxygen as a green terminal reoxidant. As a 4th year he is currently extending a modification of this methodology to the synthesis of strained cyclic dienes.

 


 

 

Liana Hie – 2014 Senior Foote Fellow

Liana Hie graduated from UC Davis with a degree in chemistry in 2009, where she worked in the laboratory of Professor Xi Chen on chemoenzymatic synthesis of heparan sulfate oligosaccharide analogs. Then she came to UC Los Angeles and joined the lab of Professor Neil Garg, working on nickel-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions.

 


 

 

Tejas Shah – 2014 Senior Foote Fellow

Tejas Shah received his BA in Chemistry and Molecular Biology & Biochemistry from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ. While at Rutgers University, he performed undergraduate research under Professor Daniel Seidel on the kinetic resolution of allylic and propargylic amines. He is currently a fourth year graduate student in Professor Neil K. Garg’s laboratory at the University of California, Los Angeles. His graduate studies are focused on developing and utilizing heterocyclic arynes for the synthesis of complex natural products and new materials.

 


 

 

Jack Bracken – 2013 Foote Fellow

Jack Bracken’s undergraduate research included building organic linkers for gold nanoparticles, synthesizing organozinc complexes, and constructing fluorescence-based chemical sensors of nitric oxide during his time at MIT. After graduating he stayed in Cambridge, MA and worked consecutively for Neogenesis Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Schering-Plough Research Institute, and finally Merck Research Laboratories. While at these three companies he specialized in the synthesis of small molecule inhibitors and traditional medicinal chemistry, developing drug screening hits into viable lead candidates for a variety of therapeutic targets. Joining the Harran Lab at UCLA in 2010, he now studies small molecule potentiation of apoptosis using organic synthesis, molecular biology, and X-ray crystallography. He is a current Chemistry and Biology Interface NIH Grant Trainee.

 


 

 

Juno Van Valkenburgh – 2013 Foote Fellow

Juno Van Valkenburgh was born in Seattle, Washington. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Portland in 2013 and began research that summer in the lab of Dr. Ohyun Kwon. She is currently in her first year of graduate studies in organic chemistry.

 


 

 

Pesach Perlin – 2013 Foote Fellow

Pesach Perlin was born in Santa Barbara, California. He received a BS in Chemistry with honors and a BA in Classical Civilizations with honors from University of California, Davis in June 2012. During his time in Davis, he researched in the Chemical Biology lab of Dr. Xi Chen, where he worked on the chemo-enzymatic synthesis of the Sialyl-Lewis-X antigen. He joined the lab of Timothy J. Deming in the summer of 2013, where he is working on the synthesis of Methionine containing triblock copolypeptide based vesicles.

 


 

 

Xin Hong – 2012 Foote Fellow

Xin Hong was born in China and received his B.S. in chemistry from University of Science and Technology of China in 2010. He began his graduate study at UCLA with Prof Ken Houk in 2010, focusing on computational study of the mechanism and origins of selectivity involved in cycloaddition reactions. His current project is to study the mechanism and origins of reactivity and selectivity of phosphoramide catalyzed monopoloar (3++2) cycloaddition between hydrazones and alkenes.

 


 

Hung Pham – 2012 Senior Foote Fellow

 

 


 

Evan Styduhar – 2012 Foote Fellow

 

 


 

Foote Fellows :: Previous Years

Amanda Silberstein2011-2013
Stephen Ramgren2011-2013
Elizabeth Noey2011-2013
Adam Goetz2011-2013
Shane Stone2011-2013
Courtney Roberts2011-2013
Judy Szeto2010-2012
Hao Wang2010-2012
Andrew Roberts2010-2012
Alexander Huters2010-2012
Kyle Quasdorf2009-2011
Felix Perez2009-2011
Sarah Bronner2009-2011
Derek Ross2008-2012
Krastina Petrova2008-2011
Khin Chin2008-2010
Gregory Grover2007-2010
Jason Spruell2006-2008
Karina Heredia2006-2010