Kostas was born in London and grew up in Thessaloniki, Greece. He got his Diploma in Chemical Engineering from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, where he worked on the assessment of biofuels for non-road applications. Continuing at the same vein, he is working on heterogeneous catalysis for diesel fuel production from small oxygenates. Outside the lab, he likes playing basketball and soccer and enjoying the nature in the Bay Area.
Dimitri grew up in Columbus, Ohio and attended the University of Chicago where he worked on asymmetric aldol chemistry under Prof. Hisashi Yamamoto. Outside of lab, he enjoys playing tennis, sampling the diversity of Berkeley dining, and attending concerts. He hopes to one day become a tower of chemistry like his colleagues in the Toste group.
Dillon obtained his B.S. from Rice University in 2011, exploring new applications of carbon nanotubes under the guidance of Prof. Zachary Ball. After having his fill of Texas barbeque and humidity, he has returned to the west coast to continue his studies in the area of asymmetric gold (I) catalysis. When not in lab, he enjoys the entertaining sciences of meteorology and StarCraft.
After growing up in scenic Wichita, Kansas, Andrew reluctantly migrated eastward to UNC- Chapel Hill for college where he did his undergraduate research with Jeff Johnson working on asymmetric annulations involving strained cycloalkanes. Armed with his newly-learned southern charm, Andrew decided to brave Berkeley for grad school. When not in lab, he enjoys distance running, basketball and nice cold PBR.
Jigar was born and raised in New Jersey, arguably the best state in the country. He completed his undergrad at Northwestern working on enzyme inhibitors with Professor Richard Silverman. He then came to Berkeley and joined the Toste group (completing his westward migration). Outside of chemistry, he likes the Eagles, but only when they are winning.
Willie is originally from St. Paul, Minnesota. He attended the University of Minnesota where he worked with Professor Andy Harned on the synthesis of chiral organocatalysts and with Professor John Ellis on the synthesis of low-valent polyarene metal complexes. Shrouded in the mystery of the Great North Woods, he came to Berkeley to learn a thing or two about chemistry in the Toste group. He hopes to climb a redwood tree someday.
Dave went to high school in Exeter, NH, but not the good high school in Exeter, NH. He then completed his undergraduate studies at Rochester, where he attained a slightly lower GPA than Mark Levin did. Dave joined the Toste group in 2013. Dave is considered to be one of the group's top four graduate students in his year. Dave likes foosball, dinosaurs, and medium-length walks on the beach.
Mark was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. He attended the University of Rochester as an undergrad where he worked on oxidative Nazarov cyclization chemistry under the direction of Professor Alison Frontier. Having had his fill of harsh upstate NY winters, he migrated westward to Berkeley to join the Toste group. Outside of lab, he enjoys playing guitar poorly and sampling regional beers.
Drew grew up in San Diego. He graduated from UCSD in 2008, when dinosaurs still roamed the Earth. After that, he tried his hand at numerous exciting pursuits, including peptide manufacturing, database maintenance, medicinal chemistry, and unemployment. Now, at long last, he is safely returned to the warm embrace of the University of California system.
Rebecca grew up in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a city known almost entirely for being home of "The Office". She left the Electric City for the Bronx to attend Fordham University, where she worked on the synthesis and environmental applications of dendrimers with Dr. Amy Balija. After four years, she left the East Coast for Berkeley and joined the Toste group.
At Northwestern University, Cindy worked on the development of a three-component reaction for the synthesis of thienopyrroles with Dr. Alexander Statsyuk. Since then, she's headed west to work on her PhD at UC Berkeley as a joint student in the Toste and Raymond groups. Like any true Texan, Cindy enjoys barbecue and beer, fiercely hot summers, and Korean dramas.
Richard was born and raised just outside Toledo, Ohio. He left the Glass City for the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign where he worked on enantioselective phase transfer catalysis with Professor Scott Denmark. Upon graduation in 2013, Richard came to Berkeley and joined the Toste group. Outside of lab he enjoys all things sports, fishing, CBS’s Survivor, and Tony Packo’s.
Patrick was born and raised in the mountains of western North Carolina. He attended UNC-Chapel Hill and did his undergraduate research working on the palladium-catalyzed C-H alkylation of aromatic systems with Dr. Erik Alexanian. After graduating in 2014, Patrick headed out west to begin his graduate studies at Berkeley, where he joined the Toste group. When not in lab, he enjoys being outdoors and relaxing with his pals.
Suhong was born and grew up in Goyang, Korea. When he was at Seoul National University, he worked on the development of ruthenium vinylidene catalysis with Dr. Chulbom Lee. Before starting his career as a Ph.D at Seoul., he really wanted to live in the United State for a while. So, he visited UT Austin as an exchange student and worked with Dr. Simon M. Humphrey. After having a fantastic year at Texas, he decided to pursue a doctoral degree at the west coast! Outside of lab, he enjoys both playing and watching basketball.
John grew up in St. Louis, Missouri. He left the Midwest to study at the University of Southern California as an undergrad where he worked on the synthesis of perovskite nanoparticles with Dr. Richard Brutchey. After graduating in 2014, John came to Berkeley and joined the Toste and Alivisatos groups. Outside of lab, he enjoys watching Archer, playing tennis, and playing Settlers of Catan.
George grew up in Enfield CT. He attended Connecticut College as an undergraduate and worked toward the synthesis of Guanacastepene A with Professor Timo Ovaska. After graduating in 2007 he attended the University of Rochester and started his PhD under the supervision of Professor Robert K. Boeckman Jr. His work focused on the synthesis of FK-506. After completing his doctorate in 2013, he joined the Toste Lab and now works on synthesizing biofuels, lubricants, and chemicals. Outside of lab he photographs weddings and enjoys what nature he can find in the Bay Area.
Carolina was born and raised in the state of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She received her B.S. and M.S. degrees from Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). In 2010, she moved to State University of Campinas (UNICAMP) to start her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Ronaldo Aloise Pilli. Her graduate work was focused on the total synthesis and structural elucidation of polyketides, and asymmetric aldol chemistry. She joined the Toste group in 2015 as a post-doc to learn about asymmetric catalysis. Outside of lab she enjoys samba, barbecue, beer and the unique Berkeley life.
John was born in Kentucky and completed a B.S. degree in chemistry from Western Kentucky University in 2010. John pursued his doctorate at UT Austin under the mentorship of Christopher Bielawski, where he explored the mechanical activation of polymeric materials. Following the completion of his degree in 2014, John joined the Toste laboratory at UC Berkeley. His current research efforts focus on developing new strategies for the synthesis of olefin monomers from biological feedstocks.
Derek grew up in the prairie outside Denver, CO. After earning a B.A. in religion from Colorado College, he transitioned to the "dark" side and completed a B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Colorado Denver. Reluctant to leave the majestic Rocky Mountains, he pursued graduate studies with Tomislav Rovis at Colorado State University developing chiral rhodium catalysts for the enantioselective synthesis of N-heterocycles. Having thoroughly explored the Colorado front range, Derek made a pilgrimage west to join the Toste group at UC Berkeley, where he studies supramolecular Ga4L6K12 complexes as artificial-enzyme mimics in collaboration with the Raymond and Bergman groups.
Ying was born in Jilin, China and completed both of his B.S. and Ph.D. degrees at Nanjing University of Science and Technology under the supervision of Prof. Chun Cai with a focus on heterogeneous catalysis. In December, 2012, he became a research assistant at Nanjing Unversity with the Prof. Guigen Li. In June 2013, he joined the Toste group as a postdoctoral fellow working on gold chemistry as well as enjoying the good weather in Berkeley.
Hiroyuki was born and raised in Aichi, Japan. He obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Nagoya Institute of Technology (NIT) in 2008. In 2012, he earned his Ph.D. degree with Prof. N. Shibata in NIT, working on the asymmetric trifluoromethylation reactions and the synthesis of biologically active fluorine compounds based on organocatalysis. In 2013, he joined the Toste group as a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow to investigate gold catalysis in beautiful California.
David was born and raised in Germany. He studied chemistry in Muenster and obtained his diploma in 2011. After moving with his supervisor to Berlin, he completed his PhD in 2014 working with Martin Oestreich. His graduate work was focused on cooperative Si-H bond activation for the generation of potent silicon electrophiles for catalysis. During his PhD, he spent six months in the laboratory of Kazuyuki Tatsumi in Nagoya, Japan. He joined the Toste group in 2015 as a DAAD-Postdoctoral Fellow to work on new catalytic reactions and methods for organic synthesis.
Reed Larson was born in Coon Rapids, MN. After earning his B.A. in chemistry at Macalester College, he moved Evanston, IL to work for Regan Thomson at Northwestern University where he completed the total synthesis of (-)-GB17. After receiving his PhD in the summer of 2014, the curiosity of snowless winters brought him to the Toste group at Cal Berkeley. He is currently exploring the utility of chemical transformations of biomass materials.
Suresh Pindi was born in India. He received a master's degree in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT Kanpur). Suresh got his PhD under the supervision of Professor Guigen Li at Texas Tech University. In 2014, he joined Dean Toste's research group. He is currently studying the heterogeneous catalysis for the production of biofuels and lubricants. Other than chemistry he likes to watch college football.
Gabriel was born and raised in Basel, Switzerland. After obtaining his MSc from the University of Basel in 2010, he moved to the ETH Zurich to start his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Jeffrey W. Bode. His graduate work was focused on the synthesis of sterically hindered amides via the addition of Grignard reagents to isocyanates. After completing his doctoral studies, he joined the Toste group in 2014 as a SNF-Postdoctoral Fellow to work on gold-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions.
Lipeng was born in Hebei, China and received his B.Sc in Biology at the Agricultural University of Hebei and then his M.Sc in Biochemistry under the guidance of Prof. Rui Wang in Lanzhou. Then, he joined Prof. Matthias Beller’s group at the Leibniz Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock (LIKAT) in Germany as a PhD student, where he focused on alkene carbonylation reactions and carbon dioxide utilization. In 2014, he joined Toste group and works on the conversion of biofuel.
Tao was born and raised in Anhui, China. He obtained his B. Sc. at Beijing Normal University, where he conducted organometallic chemistry research on nickel catalyzed C-O activation under the supervision of Prof. Zhangjie Shi (Peking University). He then worked with Prof. Guosheng Liu at SIOC to pursue a Ph.D. degree starting in 2007. His graduate work mainly focused on palldium catalyzed difunctionalization of alkenes. In 2013, he joined the Toste group as a postdoc and began his new adventure in the field of organocatalysis.
Xiaoyu was born and raised in Suzhou, China. He obtained his B. Sc. at Nanjing University in 2007. He then moved to Shanghai Institue of Organic Chemisty to pursue a Ph.D. degree in Professor Biao Yu's lab. His Ph.D. work was focused on the total synthesis of complex natural glycoconjugates, namely Landomycins and Jadomycins. In 2013, he joined the Toste group as a postdoctral to learn about asymmetric catalysis.
Zhenyu was born and raised in Yangzhou, China. He obtained his B. Sc. at Nanjing University in 2005. He then moved to the Shanghai Institue of Organic Chemisty. He earned his Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Yao Zhujun. His Ph.D. work was focused on the total synthesis of marine diterpenoid Clavulactone (Isolated by his boss's boss: Prof. Wu Yulin) In 2013, he joined the Toste group as a postdoctoral researcher to learn about asymmetric catalysis.
Jie was born in Shuangcheng, Heilongjiang, China. After receiving her B.S. and M.S. in Capital Normal University under the supervision of Prof. Shengli Cao, she moved to Tsinghua University. Her Ph.D. studies in the groups of Prof. Yufen Zhao and Prof. Hua Fu focused on catalytic copper reactions. Then she joined Prof. Yadong Li's group to study nanoparticle catalyzed organic reactions. Now, she is working on exploring the catalytic properties of gold nanoparticles. Outside the lab, Jie likes playing tennis and basketball.
Weiwei was born and raised in Hunan, China. He obtained his B. Sc. at Lanzhou University, where he conducted some work on nano-chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Haoli Zhang. In 2006, he changed his interest to the organic chemistry and entered Prof. Dawei Ma's group at SIOC to pursue a PhD degree. His PhD work was on the total synthesis of natural product, GB 13 and Vincorine. Now He joins the Toste group as a postdoc and enjoys learning about the gold chemistry.
Susumu Ito was born and brought up in Chiba, Japan. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from Tokyo University of Science (TUS). After that, he has been working for Kaken Pharmaceutical Co., Ltd. from 2009. While his working at the company, he pursued and earned his Ph.D degree of pharmaceutical sciences, working with Prof. Shin Aoki at TUS in 2014. Then, he joined the Toste group as a visiting scholar and is developing new catalytic reactions and methods for organic synthesis.
Omkar was born and raised Mumbai, India. He is pursuing an Integrated Masters of Science (Chemistry) degree from the Indian Institute of Technlogy Roorkee (IIT-Roorkee). In the past, he has worked on research projects pertaining to Organic Synthesis at TU Munich, ICT Mumbai, University of Nottingham, and Monash University. He likes to meet and socialise with people across the globe, and is a big time foodie. He enjoys traveling, being outdoors, and relaxing with his pals.
Jaime was born and raised in Madrid, Spain, where he obtained his Chemistry Degree at Autonoma University of Madrid (UAM). After that, he started his Ph.D. at UAM under the supervision of Prof. M. Carmen Carreño (UAM). His graduate work focuses on the study of the reactivity of quinonyl boronic acids. In June 2015, he decided to join the Toste group as a visiting student researcher to work on Au-catalyzed cross coupling reactions. Outside of the lab, he likes playing sports, travelling, photography and, of course, enjoying the Bay Area lifestyle.
Growing up in Palatine, "German California", Rebecca enjoyed a sunny youth. She went to study Chemistry at the University of Heidelberg doing undergraduate research on Bronsted acid catalysed cyclisations. Her passion for old cheese and good wine led her to Toulouse, France, where she worked with Nicolas Mezailles on novel phosphine ligands for nickel catalysis. Outside of lab, she enjoys playing soccer, running and drinking unhealthy amounts of good coffee.
Tiffany grew up near Los Angeles and joined the Toste group in 2015, where she works on trifluoromethyl gold complexes. Previously, she worked on transannular and [6+4] cycloadditions in the Houk lab at UCLA. Outside of lab, she enjoys running, exploring the Bay Area, and all varieties of music.
Kevin grew up in Lino Lakes Minnesota, about 20 minutes north of the Twin Cities. He is currently a student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities majoring in chemical engineering. In Minnesota, he is a member of a bio group working to synthesize metabolic pathways to useful monomers. During his free time, he enjoys playing squash and tennis, as well as going camping and hiking.
Matt was born and raised in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He is studying Chemical Engineering at Michigan State University and plans to graduate in 2017. At Michigan State, he worked on a total synthesis of Salinosporamide A and Agelastatin A under Prof. Babak Borhan. Outside the lab, he enjoys playing tennis and solving Rubik's cubes.
Orla was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland. She is currently completing a Bachelors of Science in Chemistry at University College Dublin. She came to Berkeley in January 2015 on a study abroad program and loved it so much she decided to stay for the summer. She joined the Toste group for the summer of 2015 to work on asymmetric catalysis in fluorination reactions. Outside of the lab, Orla enjoys playing field hockey and tennis, and exploring California and the Bay area.