Group Members

Current Members

Margaret Madsen is currently a Junior at Western Connecticut State University working towards a B.S. in Chemistry with Biochemistry option. She is beginning her research with Dr. Robertson in the Spring 2021 semester investigating the synthesis of the common intermediate, O,O-diethyl S-(2-formylbenzyl)phosphorothioate, and creating a library of 1-substituted 1,3-dihydrobenzo[c]thiophenes from that intermediate. She plans on attending graduate school to earn a PhD following her graduation from WCSU.

Alumni

Tyler Ryan graduated with his B. A. in Biochemistry in May 2016. He was a member of the Robertson group between 2015 and 2016. He worked on the development of synthetic methodologies that allowed access to sulfur-containing heterocycles. He is an excellent researcher and is able to effectively communicate his work. In October (2016), Tyler began his career at a local chemical company where he is able to utilize his knowledge of synthetic organic chemistry.

Ishan Nag graduated with his B. A. in Biochemistry in May 2016. He was a member in the Robertson group between 2015 and 2016. He worked on multiple projects that investigated the formation of sulfur heterocycles via the addition of Grignard reagents to aldehydes tethered to phophorothioate esters. He is thoughtful about his research and is able to communicate his work in an exceptional manner. Ishan began his graduate work at Brandeis University in the Fall of 2016.

Ian Murray graduated with his B. A. in Chemistry in May 2016. He was a member in the Robertson group between 2015 and 2016. He laid a solid foundation for the development of synthetic enzymes that future students will certainly build upon. Ian is an extremely diligent and hard-working researcher who is able to clearly articulate the results of his work. In August (2016), Ian earned a position at a local chemical company and has since been working on organic synthesis projects.

Edwin Rojas worked in the Robertson group during the Spring 2016 semester. His research efforts focused on developing efficient methods for the synthesis of 2-substituted thiazolidines and thiomorpholines. Edwin is an outstanding student and avid researcher. Edwin Rojas graduated with his B.A. in Biochemistry (2017) and then worked in George Whitesides’ laboratory at Harvard University during the Summer of 2017. Edwin began earning his DMD and PhD in Chemistry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the Fall of 2017.

Sadia Alam began working in the Robertson group during the Spring 2016 semester and continued her research through the Spring of 2017 semester. She worked on the development of methods that described the formation of C—S bonds so that isothiochromanes and benzo-fused tetrahydrothiophenes might be accessed in a more efficient manner. In the Spring of 2017, Sadia graduated with her B.A. in Chemistry; she plans on attending medical school.

Madiha Khan began working in the Robertson group during the Fall 2015 semester and continued her research project through the Spring of 2017 semester. In a short amount of time, she developed a robust method for the synthesis of nanogels for eventual application as synthetic enzymes. She investigated this research area in a more comprehensive manner during the Fall 2016/Spring 2017 semesters as she completed her B.A. in Biochemistry. Madiha graduated in the Spring of 2017 and will be attending New York Institute of Technology, College of Osteopathic Medicine in the Fall of 2019.

Erica Frisco began volunteering in the Robertson group during the Summer of 2017 and continued her work through the Spring of 2018 semester as she completed her senior research.  She investigated the synthesis of sulfur-containing heterocycles that possess potential blood-clotting and anti-bacterial properties. After graduating from Western Connecticut State University with a B.A. in Biochemistry and a minor in Mathematics (Spring 2018), Erica plans to travel the world as she teaches high school chemistry abroad and will eventually pursue a PhD in Chemistry.

Danny Monahan volunteered in the Robertson group throughout the Summer of 2016 and then continued his research during the Fall 2016 and Spring 2017 semesters. He tirelessly worked on developing synthetic methods that provided access to privileged scaffolds that contain sulfur. Specifically, Danny developed a protocol for the synthesis of 2-substituted tetrahydrothiophenes using an epoxide as a synthetic handle. Danny earned his B.A. in Biology (Spring 2018), and will begin the Physician Assistant Program at Pace University in Fall 2019.

Jae Hak Oh entered the Robertson group in the Fall 2016 semester. He worked towards developing a method that described the synthesis of 1,4-dithianes. Jae worked countless hours on this project during the Fall 2016 semester and made a significant amount of progress in this research endeavor, which he continued throughout the Spring 2018 semester. Jae was accepted into the Special Master’s Program in Physiology at Georgetown University for the Fall 2018 semester. After successfully completing the Special Master’s Program in Physiology, Jae was accepted into the Georgetown University School of Medicine; he will begin the Medical School Program in Fall 2019.

Xavier Arevalo joined the Robertson group in the Summer of 2018 and will focus his efforts on the development of a synthetic method that allows access to privileged, sulfur-containing heterocycles. Upon completion of his B. A. in Biochemistry, Xavier plans on pursuing a career in dentistry where he desires to specialize in cheiloplasty. Xavier was born in Ecuador and plans to provide dental care to the underserved communities in his home country.

Daniel Wong began working in the Robertson group during the Summer of 2018 to lay the groundwork for his Senior Research project that he will start in the Fall. He will continue Erica Frisco’s work on the synthesis of bicyclic, sulfur-containing heterocycles. Daniel completed his B.A. in Biochemistry during the Spring 2019 semester, and will be attending the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy beginning in the Fall 2019 semester.

Steven Hong joined the Robertson group in the Summer of 2018 and will work on the development of synthetic methods that provide access to privileged scaffolds that contain sulfur. Specifically, Steven plans to work on the development of a protocol for the synthesis of 2-substituted tetrahydrothiophenes via an epoxide intermediate. Steven completed his B.S. in Chemistry with Biochemistry option, and will be attending graduate school at the University of Maryland to earn his PhD in Biochemistry in the Fall of 2020.

Brody Lennon will embark upon his Senior year at Western Connecticut State University this Fall (’19) and he will also begin working in the Robertson research group. He will be investigating the synthesis of 2-thiomethyl-substituted tetrahydrothiophenes. His love for science first became obvious to him during his high school years when he participated in Project CLEAR, which was a program that involved assessing the health of a local lake. Recently, he worked at Bedoukian Research, Inc. as a Summer Intern (’19) working in the Distillation Dept. He enjoys teaching, hiking, and wake boarding! Brody will attend Colorado State University to earn his PhD in Chemistry beginning in Fall 2021.

Hannah Sexton is a Junior at Western Connecticut State University and she began working in the Robertson group during the Summer of 2018. She plans on continuing Anita Balaj’s project that investigated the synthesis of 2-substituted 1,3-oxathiolanes. She plans on obtaining a B.S. in Chemistry with Biochemistry option and a Mathematics minor. Hannah is interested in exploring various opportunities within the field of Chemistry, and is excited to see what her future holds. After graduation in May 2020, Hannah began a research internship at a local chemistry company. Hannah will attend Dartmouth College to earn her PhD in Chemistry beginning in Fall 2021.

Emma Dolan is currently a Junior at Western Connecticut State University and she will begin working in the Robertson group during the Spring of 2020. Emma will focus her efforts on continuing the work that Steven Hong developed for the synthesis of tetrahydrothiophenes (THTs). Specifically, she will work on building a library of THTs that possess a broad range of structural diversity. Emma graduated with her B.S. in Biochemistry in Spring 2021. Emma will begin her PhD in Chemistry Program at Boston University in Fall 2021.

Fred Tauro is a Senior at Western Connecticut State University and he began his work in the Robertson research group during the Spring 2021 semester. His work involves the development of a multistep synthetic protocol for accessing a library of 2-substituted thietanes. Fred successfully developed a four-step protocol to access 2-substituted thietanes, which highlights his exceptional organizational and laboratory skills. Fred graduated in Spring 2021 with his B.S. in Biochemistry and immediately landed a position in the chemical industry.

Ram Dixit is a Senior at Western Connecticut State University and he began his work in the Robertson research group during the Fall 2019 semester. His work involves the development of a multistep synthetic protocol for ferulic acid derivatives that can be incorporated into the Organic Chemistry II laboratory. Ram plans to land a position in the chemical industry.