2013 Graduate Student Symposium
Hosted By: University of California, Irvine
The 2013 GSSPC
Jonathan Paretsky was born and raised in northern Wisconsin. He attended Ripon College as a Knop Scholar and completed his A.B. in Chemistry and German in 2009. During his time at Ripon, Jonathan studied sulfur-rich organometallic compounds under the guidance of Professor Masanori Iimura. He also performed research in the lab of Professor Scott Stoudt at Coe College as part of an REU program and at the University of Bonn, Germany for Professor Arne Lützen.
Jonathan is a fourth year graduate student pursuing his doctoral degree in the lab of Professor Andrew Borovik at UC Irvine. Currently, Jonathan is developing artificial metalloenzyme systems for the activation of dioxygen. After receiving his doctorate, Jonathan intends to pursue a career in academia.
Maureen Reilly grew up in Woodstock, Illinois and received her B.A. from Smith College in 2008. Maureen worked in the lab of Professor Kevin M. Shea. As an Arnold and Mabel Beckman scholar, Maureen designed novel substrates for cationic Diels-Alder cycloadditions for use in tandem Diels-Alder/Pauson-Khand reaction sequences. Maureen conducted research for a summer in the lab of Professor Gregory Dudley at Florida State University developing a synthesis of benzyl ethers stable oxypyridinium triflate salts.
Currently Maureen is a fifth year in the research group of Professor Scott Rychnovsky at UC Irvine. She has designed a method for allyl transfer to aldehydes and ketones by activation of dioxazaborolidines as well as established a class of reagents for heterocyclic Suzuki-Miyaura reactions. Recently, Maureen began studies for the total synthesis of an alkaloid natural product. After earning her doctorate, she plans to work in the combined field of chemistry and finance.
Nicholas Sizemore grew up in Akron, Ohio and received his B.S. in Chemistry at Case Western Reserve University in 2005. As a Howard Hughes Medical Institute SPUR Fellow, he performed research under the guidance of Professor Philip Garner towards the development of cost-effective amide coupling reagents. Nick then began his career as a medicinal chemist at Sanofi-Aventis in Exploratory and Internal Medicine working with Dr. James Pribish and Dr. Michael Fennie. At Sanofi-Aventis, his research experience included projects identifying small molecule therapies for asthma, pain and arthritis.
As a 4th year graduate student and Vertex Pharmaceutical Scholar in the Rychnovsky Research Group, Nick’s research is focused on the total synthesis of complex natural products, computational chemistry, and synthetic methodology. Upon completion of his graduate studies, Nick plans to pursue a career in academia.
Elizabeth Swift grew up in San Diego, and received her B.S. in Chemistry with honors from the UC Santa Barbara in 2008. While there, she worked in the laboratory of Professor Bruce Lipshutz studying heterogeneous catalysis. As an undergraduate, she was the recipient of the Roche Bioscience Undergraduate Excellence Award and the Merck Index Award for Achievement in Undergraduate Research.
Elizabeth is currently in her fifth year at UC Irvine as a Ph. D. student in Professor Elizabeth Jarvo’s research group. Her research interests focus on developing new cross-coupling strategies for complex molecule synthesis using nickel and palladium catalysts. Elizabeth is also Vice-President of the Calcium chapter of Iota Sigma Pi: a national honor society for women in chemistry. She plans to pursue a career in academia.
Alex Wagner was raised in Minnesota and graduated with a B.S. in chemistry and a B.S. in biochemistry from the University of Minnesota. Alex was a Bentson Fellow during the tenure of his studies at Minnesota and received ten different merit and research-based awards. During his time as an undergraduate, Alex worked on the synthesis of a natural product with Professor Thomas Hoye and was co-chair of the Minnesota American Chemical Society Younger Chemists Committee. He also proposed and founded ChemFoundations at the University of Minnesota: an adjunct chemistry course designed to improve the grades of struggling students with creative teaching from volunteer graduate students.  Alex also worked at 3M in the Corporate Research Materials Laboratory and was an intern with Eli Lilly in Discovery Chemistry.
Alex is currently a fourth year graduate student working in the Rychnovsky Group at UC Irvine. He has published on using kinetic resolution catalysts as a new method for determining absolute configuration. Alex is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow, a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow, and a UC Irvine Pedagogical Fellow. Alex plans to utilize his doctorate to develop a career in academia as well as to pursue entrepreneurial endeavors.
Avinash Khanna
Van Vranken Research Grouphttp://faculty.sites.uci.edu/dvvgroup/shapeimage_3_link_0
Jonathan Paretsky
Borovik Research Grouphttp://chem.ps.uci.edu/~aborovik/Borovik_Group/Borovik_Homepage.htmlshapeimage_4_link_0
Maureen Reilly
Rychnovsky Research Grouphttp://chem.ps.uci.edu/~srychnov/Rychnovsky/Welcome.htmlshapeimage_5_link_0
Nicholas Sizemore
Rychnovsky Research Grouphttp://chem.ps.uci.edu/~srychnov/Rychnovsky/Welcome.htmlshapeimage_6_link_0
Elizabeth Swift
Jarvo Research Grouphttp://chem.ps.uci.edu/~erjarvo/Jarvo_Group/Home.htmlshapeimage_7_link_0
Alex Wagner
Rychnovsky Research Grouphttp://chem.ps.uci.edu/~srychnov/Rychnovsky/Welcome.htmlshapeimage_8_link_0
Avinash Khanna is from Kabul, Afghanistan by way of East Meadow, NY. He received his B.S. in pharmacology from SUNY Stony Brook University in 2009. At Stony Brook University, he pursued the synthesis of triclosan derivatives as drug target leads for drug-resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis, for which he received the Arnold and Mabel Beckman Scholarship.
Avinash is now in his fourth year pursing a Ph. D. in bio-organic chemistry at UC Irvine as a member of Professor David Van Vranken’s research group. His research focuses on developing an enantioselective method for palladium catalyzed carbenylative aminations. Avinash is a NSF Graduate Research Fellow and is also an active member of the UCI chemistry outreach team. After receiving his doctorate, he would like to continue conducting research while also adopting a position in scientific journalism in an effort to educate the broader community.