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.
Aya was born in Japan and grew up in the great state of New Jersey. She attended Columbia University, where she studied the surface chemistry of CdSe nanocrystals in the group of Prof. Jonathan Owen. She also spent a summer synthesizing dinickel complexes for ethylene polymerization in the group of Prof. Theodor Agapie. She traded New York bagels for San Francisco sourdough and moved to Berkeley, where she works with Dr. Francesca Toma and Prof. Toste at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis in developing nanoparticulate systems for CO2 reduction.
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.
Alec grew up in scenic Salem, CT. He attended Wake Forest University and performed undergraduate research with Dr. Paul Jones. While attending Wake Forest, he worked as an intern at Pfizer in Groton, CT, working on methodology and the mechanism of the Ni-catalyzed Suzuki-Miyaura cross-coupling with Dr. Jotham Coe and Dr. Sebastien Monfette, respectively. After graduating, he made the move to the best coast and joined the Toste lab in 2015. In his free time, Alec likes to limber up on his foam roller, listen to Motown, and watch Duke lose.
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.
Julie was born and raised in Corvallis, Oregon. She graduated with a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Arizona State University in the Spring of 2014, where she worked on amorphous photocatalysts for water splitting under the direction of Dr. Candace Chan. Julie joined the Toste group in the Fall of 2014 at the Energy Biosciences Institute and is co-advised by Professor Alexis Bell in Chemical Engineering. Her research is focused on the catalytic conversion of biomass to liquid fuels and lubricants. Outside of the lab she enjoys painting, playing the violin, and the outdoors.
Laura graduated from Carleton College in 2010. She then returned to her native state of Massachusetts to work at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute studying marine microbial signaling with Dr. Ben Van Mooy. After participating in research cruises in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, she moved to the land between the seas, Panama, where she lived and worked for three years as a Peace Corps Volunteer. She is a joint student in the Toste and Raymond groups.
Have you heard, "I love Kanye"?
Mariko was born in Osaka, Japan, and spent time in both Japan and North Carolina growing up. She obtained her B.S. in chemistry at Emory University, working on the development of novel benzoisothiazolone organocatalysts in the lab of Dr. Lanny Liebeskind. Although she will always love the south, she made the move to Berkeley after graduation and became a joint student in the Toste and Raymond groups. Outside the lab, she enjoys playing the piano, eating chicken nuggets, and trying out different kinds of coffee.
Thomas was born in Lorain, Ohio and grew up in Kansas City, MO. Deciding to leave the Midwest, he attended Vassar College located in Poughkeepsie, New York. At Vassar College, he conducted his senior thesis under Professor Tanski. In 2016, Thomas obtained his BA in Chemistry and made the leap to the West Coast, hoping to escape the cold, dark winters he had grown so fond of since childhood. In the Toste Lab, Thomas's main interests are in developing novel catalytic methods as well as exploring unusual organometallic reactivity.
Chuck was born and raised in the suburbs of St. Louis. He left the home of the Cardinals to go south and do his undergrad at Georgia Tech, thinking he’d be close to the ocean before realizing that Atlanta is still 4 hours away from a beach. At Tech, he majored in Chemical Engineering and researched the mechanisms of different antioxidants in polymer processing under Dr. Charles Liotta. Once he got out of Tech, he decided to inch his way closer to the ocean and head west to Berkeley where he joined the Toste Group.
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.
Souvagya grew up in Kolkata, India. He got his bachelors degree in Jadavpur University, Kolkata and masters degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India. In 2010, he moved to United States to pursue doctoral studies in organic chemistry. He joined Prof. RajanBabu research group at The Ohio State University in 2011, where his graduate work was mainly focused on asymmetric catalysis of carbon carbon bond forming reactions using sustainable feedstock ethylene. After the completion of his doctoral studies in December 2015, he decided to move from cold Columbus to sunny San Fransisco to join the Toste lab to learn about biomass derived biofuels and lubricants. When not in lab, you can find him watching tennis and soccer or enjoying the beauty of nature at National parks.
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.
Jianbin was born in Shandong, China. He received his B.Sc. degree in chemistry at Xinzhou Normal University 2010 and then, he earned his M.Sc. degree in organic chemistry at Wenzhou University in 2013 under the guidance of Prof. Jiang Cheng in China. He then joined the group of Prof. Matthias Beller for his Ph.D. at the Leibniz-Institute for Catalysis at the University of Rostock (LIKAT) in Germany, where he mainly focused on carbonylation reactions by utilizing homogeneous catalysts. During 2016, he moved to the Toste group at UC Berkeley as a Postdoc to explore biomass-based transformations by homo- and/or hetero-geneous catalysts. Out of lab, he likes to play basketball and traveling.
Jaime was born and raised in Lisbon, Portugal. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Chemistry from Instituto Superior Técnico, Portugal. He then moved to the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Lisbon, where he earned his Ph.D. with Prof. Carlos A. M. Afonso in 2014 and pursued one year studies as postdoctoral researcher. In 2016 he joined Toste group to learn about asymmetric catalysis. Outside of lab, he is always in to do all kinds of sports and taste new beer.
Seojung was born and raised in Korea. She graduated with a B.S. in chemistry from Sogang University in 2008. She received her M.S. degree in 2010 from Sogang University under the direction of Professor Duck-Hyung Lee. She then moved to Caltech and began her doctoral studies under the guidance of Professor Brian M. Stoltz. Her Ph.D work was focused on the total synthesis of polycyclic natural products. In 2016, she joined the Toste group as a postdoc to learn about asymmetric catalysis.
Mingyou was born in Sichuan, China. He obtained his BSc degree at Southwest University in 2008. Then he moved to Shanghai Institute of Organic Chemistry (SIOC) to continue his Ph.D. study. After completing his Ph.D. in 2013 under the supervision of Prof. Jinbo Hu, he joined a SIOC and Merck joint postdoc programme under the supervision of Prof. Jinbo Hu and Dr. Yongxin Han. His research involved studies on the synthetic application of diazo compounds in organofluorine chemistry. In 2015, he joined the Toste group as a postdoc with SIOC fellowship to study gold(III)-catalyzed asymmetric reactions.
Steve was raised in Buffalo, NY and earned a B.S. degree in Chemistry from Le Moyne College in 2009. He then moved to the University of Rochester and earned his Ph.D. with Alison Frontier. His research was focused on developing a scalable synthesis of rocaglamide and cyclization reactions initiated by 1,6-conjugate addition. In August 2015 he joined the Toste group developing methods to convert biological feedstocks into olefin monomers. Outside of lab Steve enjoys hopelessly rooting for the Bills, trying local beers and being outdoors.
Roman grew up in San Francisco, got his Bachelors in Chemistry for UC Davis, and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Northwestern University in Chicago. As a graduate student, Roman studied the self-assembly of solution dispersible organic crystals for photocatalytic applications. Outside the lab he enjoys being in nature, judo, and watching ice hockey. Roman is currently joint between the Toste lab and the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab where he is working on developing new catalysts for CO2 reduction.
Ilia was born and grew up in Vladivostok, Russia. At the age of 13, he and his family moved to Saint-Petersburg, Russia where he attended lyceum 239 followed by Saint-Petersburg State University where he received his diploma in organic chemistry. He decided to pursue his PhD degree at ETH Zurich with Prof. Peter Chen where he studied gas-phase reactivity of organic and organometallic molecules. Now Ilia is an SNF postdoctoral fellow at UCB. And yes, he knows how to drive a tank.
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.
Koji was born and grew up in Hokkaido, Japan. He obtained his B. Sc. at Hokkaido University in 2012. He then got his PhD under the supervision of Professor Hajime Ito at the same university. His Ph.D. work was focused on development of new borylation reactions using copper(I) catalysis. In 2016, he joined the Toste group as a postdoctral scholar to learn about gold catalyzed reactions. Other than chemistry he likes to watch NBA and MLB games.
Junqi was born and raised in Singapore. She received her B.Sc and M.Sc from National University of Singapore under the supervision of Prof. Shao Q. Yao. In 2009, she moved to Illinois to pursue graduate studies with Prof. Martin Burke, working on the iterative cross-coupling of MIDA boronates. In 2016, she joined the Toste lab as a postdoctoral researcher to explore new catalytic reactions.
María Padilla Paz was born and raised in Mexico. She received her B.S. and Ph.D. at UAEH and National Polytechnic institute in Mexico. As graduated student, she studied the coordination chemistry and reactivity of organometallic iridium compounds. María has been involved in several research projects including small molecules activation and catalysis. During 2016, she moved to Toste group as a Postdoc to explore new transition-metal chemistry and its development into practical and catalytic synthetic methods for converting biomass feedstocks to useful monomers.
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.
Xinxin was born and grew up in Zhejiang, China. He obtained his B. Sc. at Northwest University in 2010. He then moved to Shanghai Institue of Organic Chemisty (SIOC) to pursue a Ph.D. degree under the supervision of Long Lu. His Ph.D. work was focused on development and application new reagents on trifluoromethylthiolation. In 2016, he joined the Toste group as a postdoctral to learn about gold catalyzed reactions.
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.
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.
Baihua was born in Guangdong, China. He received his Master in Chemistry from Ecole Polytechnique Federal de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland in 2010. In the same year he started his PhD under the supervision of Prof. Nicolai Cramer at EPFL. His thesis focused on the development of chiral cyclopentadienyl ligands for enantioselective Rh(III)-catalyzed C-H functionalizations. After completing his doctoral studies, he joined the Toste group in 2015 as a SNF-Postdoctoral Fellow to work on the field of chiral counter-anion 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.
Alex was born in Ukraine and immigrated to Chicago when he was eleven. As an undergraduate, he attended Northwestern University, where he studied chemistry and mathematics and was introduced to chemistry research in the groups of Tobin Marks and SonBinh Nguyen. Subsequently, Alex completed his doctorate at MIT: supervised by Jeremiah Johnson, he studied the surface chemistry of persistent carbenes and harnessed supramolecular cage chemistry to develop new polymer metallogels. For his postdoctoral work, Alex moved to UC Berkeley to join the Toste group, where he will learn more about gold chemistry and catalysis. In his spare time, Alex enjoys fishing, playing guitar and exploring Northern California with his wife.
Simon was born and raised in Berchtesgaden, Germany. He received his B. Sc. from the Ludwigs Maximilians University in Munich, Germany. For his thesis he joined the group of Prof. Dirk Trauner, where he was working on photochromic antagonists for AMPA receptors. During his Master studies, he also joined the group of Prof. Paul Knochel for a research study on solid air-stable zinc reagents. In October 2016, he joined the Toste group to work on Supramolecular Host for his final Master thesis. Outside the Lab he likes sport, tasting craft beer and playing the guitar.
Julius was born and raised in Germany. He obtained his Bachelor degree in Chemistry and Biochemistry at the LMU Munich under the supervision of Prof. Dirk Trauner. In 2015 he began his Master studies at the RWTH Aachen University working in the lab of Prof. Dieter Enders. He joined the Toste group in October 2016 as a Visiting Student Research to work on Photoredox Catalysis. Outside of lab, he likes to go cycling and cooking good food.
Midori was born and grew up in Japan. She obtained her M. Sc. in Chemistry at Kyoto University in 2015. She is working on iridium-catalyzed asymmetric reactions to pursue her Ph.D. at the same university, and she joined the Toste group as a visiting student scholar in August 2016. Outside the lab she likes to play the piano and chorus, and enjoying pleasant summer days in Carifornia.
Cyril was born and grew up in Laval, France. He did the main part of his studies at the Ecole Normale Supérieure, South of Paris and he obtained his B. Sc. from the Ecole Polytechnique in the field of Molecular Chemistry, Science and Engineering (2016). Before starting his Ph.D, Cyril joined the Toste Group for 10 months as a Visiting Student Researcher. In his free time, he enjoys going sailing, running, playing Handball, and tasting beers at the end of the day.
Mathias was born and grew up in Germany. He studied Chemistry and Biochemistry at the Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich where he received his B.Sc. in 2015. For his Bachelor thesis he joined the group of Prof. Herres-Pawlis to work on the synthesis and characterization of model complexes of blue copper proteins. For his Master studies he moved to RWTH Aachen University where he joined the group of Prof. Carsten Bolm for a research internship working on the mechanosynthesis of Aminonitriles and Tetrahydroisoquinolines. In October 2016, he joined the Toste group as a visiting student researcher to work on phase-transfer catalysis with chiral phosphoric acids. Outside the lab, Mathias likes doing sports and playing the clarinet and the piano.
Melissa was born and raised in Belgium. She studied Bioscience Engineering at Ghent University, where she received her B.S. and M.S. degrees in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Shortly thereafter, she started her PhD in the group of Prof. C. Stevens to work on the synthesis of Strigolactones, a recently discovered class of plant growth regulators. In October 2016, she joined the Toste group as a visiting researcher to study gold catalysis and its use in enantioselective ring closure reactions. When not in the lab, Melissa can be found in the pool or in nature, as she loves swimming, hiking and trail running.
Max grew up in Boston, Massachusetts where he spent most of his time surfing and not trying very hard at school. He is now pursuing his B.S. in Chemistry at Berkeley, where he spends most of his time trying very hard at school. Max joined the Toste group in 2016 and it is his goal to not blow anything up. Max is very popular and has a lot of friends that like him.
Banruo grew up in Shanghai, China. He is now a Junior of Honors Chemistry, Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Previously, he worked on palladium-catalyzed difunctionalization of olefin under the guidance of Prof. Wanbin Zhang. In 2016 he joined the Toste group to learn about asymmetric catalysis. Outside of lab, he enjoys food, music and also lovely squirrel in Berkeley.
Yongil (Paul) was born at Seoul, South Korea and joined the Toste group in 2016, where he works on fluorination with palladium complexes. He is currently pursuing B.S degree of Chemistry at UC Berkeley. Previously, he worked the synthesis of HDAC inhibitor (anti-cancer drug) at Yonsei University under the supervision of prof. Gyoon-Hee Han. He also performed the total synthesis (Hinkdentine A) in the DYKC lab at Seoul National University under the supervision of prof. David-Yukai Chen.
Woojin Lee was born and grew up in South Korea. He left South Korea for studying chemistry in Kansas and transferred to Berkeley. He is currently interested in total synthesis and medicinal chemistry. Outside of chemistry, Woojin enjoys playing tennis, playing piano, and taking a walk on the campus. He hopes to be a Chemist/CEO at a pharmaceutical company in the future.
Kristina Liu grew up in San Diego. She is currently pursuing a degree in Chemistry at UC Berkeley and joined Toste Group to learn about asymmetric catalysis. Outside of lab, she enjoys reading mystery novels, and relaxing to classical rock.
Ke grew up in Ningbo, China. Now, he is a junior student of Lanzhou University. He joined Toste group in 2016 to learn asymmetric catalysis. Previously, he worked on cobalt catalysis under the guidance of Professor Xingzhong Shu. Outside of chemistry, Ke enjoys photographing and cycling.