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Former Group Members

Former Group Members

This page is under construction. As we get our act together, please send us info if you are a former member. We would love to know what you're up to right now!

Graduate Students

Jim Ciszewski

Since receiving his PhD, Jim has worked with the US Environmental Protection Agency and as a postdoc with David Vicic at University of Hawaii at Manoa. Currently, he is at The Institute for Advanced Learning and Research in Danville, VA.

Thesis: "Carbene Complexes, Bis(imido) Complexes, and Titanium Alkyne Hydroamination Catalysts", Ph.D. 2004

Shannon Harris

Shannon began her graduate career working with Prof. Kim Dunbar at MSU. When Prof. Dunbar moved to Texas A&M, Shannon spent a brief time in our laboratory where she did some of the seminal titanium hydroamination studies in our group.

 Bala Ramanathan

Bala has done postdoctoral work with both Prof. Melanie Sanford and Prof. Mitch Smith. He also worked for Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals as a senior scientist. Currently he is working for J&J Pharmaceuticals.

Thesis: "Role of Titanium Imidos in C–N Bond Formation: Mechanism and Synthesis of Pyrroles and Secondary Allylic Amines", Ph.D. 2007

 Sameer Patel

Sameer received his M.S. degree working with us and did outstanding work in studying the synthesis and properties of a class of hydrazido(2–) titanium complexes. He is currently the President of Spartan Consulting Inc.

 Sanjukta Das (née Banerjee)

Thesis: "Titanium-Catalyzed Additions of Substituted Hydrazines to Alkynes: Catalyst Design, Mechanistic Studies, and Applications to Heterocycle Synthesis", Ph.D. 2008

 Kapil Lokare

Kapil is currently in Sydney Australia.

Thesis: "Synthesis, Structure, and Applications of Metallacyclic Alkylidene Complexes of Molybdenum and Tungsten", Ph.D. 2008

 Doug Swartz

Doug is currently an Assistant Professor at West Liberty University.

Thesis: "Development of Titanium Pyrrolyl Hydroamination Catalysts and Uranium Pyrrolyl Complexes", Ph.D. 2009

 Supriyo Majumder

Supriyo did a postdocs with Prof. Kay Brummon at University of Pittsburgh and with Prof. Edwin Vedejs at University of Michigan. Formerly Supriyo worked at AMRI Singapore and at Jubilant Chemsys Ltd. Currently Supriyo works as a Senior Scientist in the catalysis division at Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPLC), one of he largest public sector Oil and Gas companies in India and a forturne 500 compoany.

Thesis: "Synthesis of Heterocycles Using Group-4 Metal Catalyzed C–N Bond Formation", Ph.D. 2009

 Rami Batrice

Rami explored some chromium nitrido chemistry in our group and is currently a graduate student with Prof. Morris Eisen at Technion in Israel.

 Nick Maciulis

Nick was instrumental in the development of the Ligand Donor Parameter project and is currently a graduate student at Indiana.

 Steve DiFranco

Steve explored the chemistry of Mo(IV) complexes with hydrazines, looking at N-N bond cleavage reactions. He also made many of the Cr(VI) nitrido complexes with the LDP project.

Thesis: "Pyrrolide Supported Molybdenum(IV) Mediated Bond Cleavage Reactions and Electronic and Steric Ligand Parmeterization using a Chromium(VI) Nitrido Platform". Ph.D. 2013

Amila Dissanayake

Amila used titanium multicomponent coupling chemistry in the synthesis of heterocyclic cores like isoxazoles, pyrroles, and 2-aminopyridines. In addition, he discovered the first catalyst capable of the multicomponent coupling between monosubstituted hydrazines, alkynes, and isonitriles, which generated pyrazoles in a single step. Currently, Amila is working as a postdoc in Plant and Soil Sciences at Michigan State.

Thesis: "Titanium-Catalyzed One-Pot Multicomponent Coupling Reactions for Direct Access to Heterocycles". Ph.D. 2013

Cody Pasko

Cody used multicomponent coupling to investigate the synthesis of various pyrroles through a design of experiment type approach. Cody is now working for Johnson Matthey Pharma.

Thesis: "Design and Optimization of Pyrrole Syntheses from Titanium-Catalyzed Multicomponent Coupling Intermediates" M.S. 2016

Nick Boersma

Nick Wheeler

Tanner McDaniel

Tanner worked on using multicomponent coupling to develop the syntheiss of substituted quinolines for use as proteasome inhibitors in attempts to combat multiple myeloma. He also worked to demonstrate the application of LDP parameters towards high valent catalysts. Currently, Tanner is working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Prof. Clark Landis.

Thesis: "Applications and Optimization of Titanium Catalysis" Ph.D. 2017

Postdoctoral Associates and Visiting Professors

Dr. Yanhui Shi: Professor at Xuzhou Normal University

Dr. Changsheng Cao: Professor at Xuzhou Normal University

Dr. Yahong Li: Professor at Suzhou University

Dr. Baohan Xie: Currently working for the American Chemical Society.

Prof. Douglas Armstrong: Doug worked with us as a visiting Professor from Olivet Nazarene University

Dr. Eyal Barnea: Eyal is a researcher at TAMI in Israel

Dr. Dushanthi Hoole: Dushy is currently acting as an instructor in the department.

Dr. Ross Bemowski: Researcher at Sigma Aldrich Pharma

Dr. Amrendra Singh: Amrendra is now a professor at IIT Indore

Dr. Guangtu Wang:

Undergraduate Students

(Incomplete List! If you worked with us as an undergrad, please and let us know what your up to! I'd like to include as many as possible of the people who worked with us over the years.)contact us

Angie Turnas

Evgeny Katayev: Evgeny worked with us as an undergraduate and went on to get his Ph.D. with Jonathan Sessler at University of Texas Austin. He did postdoctoral work with Kay Severin (EPFL) and Burkhard König (U. of Rogensburg). Now he is a professor at Techische Univ. in Chemnitz.

 Adam J. Keith

Christopher Hall

Kevin Gipson

John Roberts: John graduated from Northwestern University with his Ph.D. in organic chemistry and now works for Dow Corning in Midland, MI.

Jake Claes

Michael Costa: Michael moved with his wife to the Dallas area.

Yvonne DePorre: Yvonne is headed to U. of Michigan for graduate school.

Danielle Eppen

Kaylee Laudick

Arturo Aguirre: Arturo is headed to graduate school in Iowa for medicinal chemistry.

Bailey Bajorek: Bailey has taken a job with Honeywell UOP in the catalysis division of the research department.

Evan Beaumier: Evan chose the chemistry program at Minnesota for his graduate studies. He will be working under the guidance of Dr. Ian Tonks.

Caitlin "Stinky" Bouchey: Caitlin has also moved on to the chemistry program at Minnesota for graduate studies.

Carl Conti: Carl is now working locally at XG Science, Inc.

Some Older Group Pictures


Summer of 2009. From left to right: Steve DiFranco, Amila Dissanayake, Dr. Supriyo Majumder, Aaron, Dr. Doug Swartz, Rami Batrice, and Nick Maciulis   


Group picture from Summer of 2005. From left to right: Sanjukta Banerjee, Supriyo Majumder, Bala Ramanathan, Doug Swartz, Kapil Lokare, and Sameer Patel. Aaron showing reluctance at getting his picture taken was removed from his office for the photo.


Bala, Sameer, Sanjukta, and Supriyo in the old laboratory in 2005.


Kapil, Sameer, and Doug doing...something in the old laboratory.


Some other photos: The Sup in the box


Doug somehow irritated his dry box until it wasn't going to take anymore crap from him.


How Aaron found the fridge in the lab one day in 2008. He assumes Kit did it.

Dr. Wang's best attempt at an angry face...

Dr. Wang modeling the lucky shirt