Young Investigators' Panel Profiles

Document created by Fred Cheung on Jun 5, 2012Last modified by Laurie Smith on Apr 22, 2014
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Julie Albert, Ph.D.

Julie Nicole Lawson Albert grew up in Tallahassee, Florida, capital city of the Sunshine state. In 2005, she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Florida with her B.S. in Chemical Engineering. With a strong interest in a teaching/research career in academia, she pursued graduate study at the University of Delaware, completing her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2011. Under the guidance of Prof. Thomas H. Epps, III, Dr. Albert’s graduate research focused on developing gradient methods for exploring the effects of surface interactions on block copolymer thin film self-assembly. She is currently a post-doctoral researcher in Jan Genzer’s group at North Carolina State University (Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering) where she is developing silicone elastomer networks as platforms for cell mobility studies and peptide assembly. Her primary research interests center around the use of combinatorial methods to engineer nanostructured polymeric materials for cancer research and solar energy applications.


Sara Barron, Ph.D.

A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Dr. Barron applies a combinatorial approach to the study of inorganic oxide thin films. Material preparation techniques exploit the spatial non-uniformity of many thin film deposition methods, such as simultaneous sputter deposition or sequential pulsed laser deposition from multiple chemically distinct sources. The resulting thin films have a continuous gradient in chemical composition and are characterized by rapidly making many local measurements of microstructural, optical, or electronic properties. Her current work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) focuses on thermochromic oxides, a class of materials whose infrared transmission changes with ambient temperature, for energy-saving applications as 'smart' window coatings. She has earned degrees in materials science and engineering from Cornell University (Ph.D.) and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (B.S.).


Kaushik Chatterjee, Ph.D.

Department of Materials Engineering
Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore

Kaushik Chatterjee was born and raised in India. He completed his B.E. in Metallurgical Engineering from Bengal Engineering College in India, and received his M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Virginia working on TEM investigations of phase transformations and interfaces in metal and alloy nano-particles. For his doctoral research in Bioengineering from the Pennsylvania State University, Dr. Chatterjee studied blood-material interactions for the development of blood-compatible material surfaces. As a post-doctoral fellow, he worked jointly at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the National Institutes of Health to develop combinatorial and high-throughput screening methods to screen cell-material interaction in 3D tissue scaffolds. Dr. Chatterjee is now an Assistant Professor in the Department of Materials Engineering of the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, where his lab is developing a research program focused on biomaterials and tissue engineering.


Jong Yeon Hwang (황종연), Ph.D.

Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry
Institut Pasteur Korea
696 Sampyeong-dong, Bundang-gu
Seongnam-si, Gyeonggi-do, 463-400 Korea

Jong Yeon Hwang was born in Sunchang, Republic of Korea. As an undergrad at Chunbuk National University, he studied organic chemistry with a concentration in medicinal chemistry. Dr. Hwang went on to receive his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees at the Korean Research Institute Chemical Technology (KRICT) in Daejeon, Korea, under the guidance of Prof. Young-Dae Gong. While at KRICT, he studied the efficient methods for constructing small molecule library by applying solid-phase combinatorial chemistry method. Dr. Hwang then moved to the department of Chemical Biology and Therapeutics (Dr. R. Kiplin Guy), at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (SJCRH), in Memphis Tennessee for his postdoctoral work. His major topic at SJCRH was synthesis and biological evaluation of small molecules that inhibit the interaction between thyroid hormone receptor and its obligatecoactivators. Dr. Hwang is currently working at Institut Pasteur Korea (IPK) as a medicinal chemist in the drug discovery program. He is interested in organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry, chemical biology, high-throughput screening, and drug discovery.


Min Ku Jeon, Ph.D.

Senior Researcher
Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute

Korean native Min Ku Jeon received his Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering, his Master’s in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, and Ph.D – also in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering – at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. Dr. Jeon began his postdoctoral research at Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology under the guidance of Prof. Seong-Ihl Woo, and then at the University of Notre Dame with Prof. Paul J. McGinn. He served as a postdoctoral researcherat Korea Research Institute of Chemical Technology in the lab of Dr. Yong-Ki Park, and is currently a senior researcher at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute Dr. Jeon’s research interests include development of fuel cell electrocatalysts (DMFC, PEMFC) via combinatorial method; application of combinatorial method to electrocatalyst, catalyst, and materials field;  and treatment of spent nuclear fuel hull wastes.


Eunha Kim,Ph.D.

Post-doctoral Researcher
Center for Systems Biology
Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School
185 Cambridge Street, Boston, MA, 02114

email :,

Eunha Kim was born in 1982 in Namwon, Korea (South). He received his B.S. degree in chemistry in 2005 from the Seoul National University, and his Ph.D. degree in organic chemistry in 2011 from Seoul National University under the guidance of Professor Seung Bum Park.

Dr. Kim is currently working as a post-doctoral research fellow under the guidance of Prof. Ralph Weissleder at Massachusetts General Hospital / Harvard Medical School. His current research interest is development of imaging drugs for diagnosis and intraoperative disease-specific fluorescent imaging.


Thomas Painter, Ph.D.

Thomas Painter is a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received both his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh, where he worked for Professor Kay Brummond developing organometallic methodologies for library synthesis. He then moved to a post-doctoral position at the University of Kansas Center for Chemical Methodologies and Library Development under the guidance Professor Jeffrey Aubé.  He is currently employed by Nalco Champion, an Ecolab Company, where he performs oilfield chemicals research in the flow assurance group.  His interests include library and high-throughput synthesis, medicinal chemistry, catalysis, process development, polymer chemistry, and flow chemistry.


Zinaida Polonskaya

Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry
The Scripps Research Institute
La Jolla, California

Ms. Polonskaya spent her formative years in Moscow, Russia. She studied biophysics at Moscow State University – graduating with honors – in 2006. She then worked at Ajinomoto Genetika Research Institute for a year and a half, developing genetically modified bacterial strains for amino acid production by fermentation. In 2008 she arrived in beautiful San Diego to start graduate studies at TSRI, where under the guidance of Professor M.G. Finn, she is focusing on adapting the bacteriophage-derived protein nanoparticles for use as carriers for carbohydrate conjugate vaccines.


Alessandro Poma MSc AMRSC

Vincent Building,
Cranfield University,
Cranfield, Bedfordshire MK43 0AL UK

Alessandro Poma is from Erice (Italy). He has obtained his MSc degree in Pharmaceutical Technology and Chemistry at the University of Palermo in 2009, and at the end of the same year he has started a PhD in the Cranfield Biotechnology Centre lead by Professor Sergey Piletsky. Since then, he has been developing and optimizing automatic solid-phase synthesis strategies to obtain molecularly imprinted nanoparticles (MIP NPs) able to perform as "artificial antibodies".


Jiang Wang, Ph.D.

Center for Drug Discovery and Design
Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica
Shanghai, China

Jiang Wang was born in Changchun, Jilin Province of China. Dr. Wang received her bachelor degree in Pharmaceutical Engineering at China Pharmaceutical University, and received her Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry under the supervision of Professor Hong Liu at the Center for Drug Discovery and Design, Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica, Shanghai, China. Her research interests are focused on the applications of Ni (II) complexes in the asymmetric synthesis of enantiopure amino acids and asymmetric synthesis of pharmacologically active molecules.


Shengqing Ye, Ph.D.

Department of Chemistry
Fudan University
Shanghai, China

Shengqing Ye was born in Quanzhou, Fujian Province, China in 1986. Dr. Ye received his bachelor’s degree at Fudan University in 2008, and then began postgraduate training at the Department of Chemistry at Fudan University. Dr. Ye's research work is mainly focused on tandem reactions based on diversity-oriented synthesis (DOS) to generate natural small molecule compounds library used for new drug and pesticide discovery.