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Lab Members

Current Members

Orland Bateman
Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering
B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Utah

obateman [at] caltech [dot] edu

My research focuses on polymer crystallization in mixed matrix membranes, with an emphasis on the influence of casting conditions and particle loading on the kinetics of crystallization and final membrane morphology. I am also involved in a collaboration to treat sepsis using dendritic Silicon oxycarbide membranes.


Chittur Priya
Graduate Student, Chemistry
B.Tech Industrial Biotechnology, Anna University

pchittur [at] caltech [dot] edu

Physical properties of engineered living materials.


Rachel Ford
Graduate Student, Chemistry
B.S. Chemistry, University of Florida

rford [at] caltech [dot] edu

Mixed matrix polymeric materials for water purification membranes and for the electrochemical reduction of carbon dioxide (Polymer Chemistry)



Hojin Kim
Graduate Student, Chemistry
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Rice University

hojin [at] caltech [dot] edu

Long end-associative polymers: chemistry, physics and applications (Polymer Physics and Chemistry).


Jin Mo Koo
Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering
B.S. Chemical Engineering, Johns Hopkins University

jkoo [at] caltech [dot] edu

I strive to identify the binding site(s) of a novel therapeutic oligopeptide drug which aims to cure various types of retinopathy.


Ben Laccetti
Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering
Biotechnology Leadership Trainee, Rosen Center for Bioengineering at Caltech and NIH
B.S. Chemical Engineering (Biotech Option), Georgia Institute of Technology
B.S. Mandarin Chinese, Emory University

blaccett [at] caltech [dot] edu

Developing a drug delivery device to treat Keratoconus by depositing Eosin Y in human corneal tissue (Eye Disease Treatments)


Rob Learsch
Graduate Student, Materials Science

rlearsch [at] caltech [dot] edu


Red Lhota
Graduate Student, Chemical Engineering

red [at] caltech [dot] edu

Long end-associative polymers: chemistry, physics and applications (Polymer Physics and Chemistry)


Tiziana Di Luccio
Research Scientist
Ph.D. Physics, University of Salerno (Italy)

tidilu [at] caltech [dot] edu

I am interested in studying nanocomposites of biocompatible and biodegradable polymers and inorganic nanoparticles for bioresorbable vascular scaffolds (polymer Physics).


Zach Shao
Graduate Student, Bioengineering
Biotechnology Leadership Trainee, Rosen Center for Bioengineering at Caltech and NIH
B.S. Biochemistry, Cell Biology, University of California, San Diego

zshao1 [at] caltech [dot] edu

Identify the molecular mechanism of action of a therapeutic oligopeptide drug using bioinformatics (Eye Disease Treatments).


Robert Tanner, Ph.D.
Visiting Associate
Professor of Chemical Engineering, Emeritus, Vanderbilt University
Ph.D. Case Western Reserve University, 1967
M.S.E. University of Michigan, 1963
B.S.E. University of Michigan, 1962

rtanner [at] caltech [dot] edu



Lealia Xiong
Graduate student, Medical Engineering
S.B. Physics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

lxiong [at] caltech [dot] edu

Molecular engineering of thermal bioswitches for engineered living materials. Optical characterization of living materials by optical coherence tomography. Joint student with the Shapiro lab.



Andy Ylitalo
Graduate student, Chemical Engineering
B.S. Physics, Stanford University

aylitalo [at] caltech [dot] edu

When you open a can of pop, dissolved carbon dioxide immediately fizzes into millions of bubbles. Replace pop with polymer, increase pressure to a few MPa, and cross-link to solidify, and you have one of the myriad plastic foams used in consumer products like cushions and building insulation. I am designing a high-pressure microfluidic flow cell to observe this initial "fizzing" (bubble nucleation and growth) of carbon dioxide during the foaming of polymeric liquids and working with theorists to model the foaming process. The techniques I use are optical microscopy and small-angle X-ray scattering for in situ characterization of bubbles and infrared imaging to track chemical kinetics. This research will guide development of polyurethane insulating foams with unprecedented thermal conductivity to reduce energy consumption in buildings and refrigeration.


Dan Zhou
Graudate Student, Chemistry
Schlumberger Foundation Faculty of the Future Fellow
B.S. Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China (2013)

dzhou [at] caltech [dot] edu

Investigating the binding partner(s) for a recent discovered therapeutic oligopeptide and their applications in neovascular retinal diseases (Eye Disease Treatments).



Christine Jary
Assistant to Professor Kornfield

cjary [at] cheme [dot] caltech [dot] edu



Ph.D. Graduates

Current Employment

Karthik Ramachandran
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2018
Lead Engineer, Drug Product Development, Alkermes
Boyu Li
Ph.D. Chemistry, 2016
Cytec Solvay Group
Amy Fu
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2015


Artemis Ailianou
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2014

Niagara Bottling

Paul Pirogovsky
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2013


Ming-Hsin “Jeremy” Wei
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2013
Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer, Fluid Efficiency Corporation
Zuleihka Kurji
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2013
Post-doc, Washington State University
Ryan Turner
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2012
Instructor of Chemistry, El Camino College
Joyce Huynh
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2011

Senior Product Manager, SugarSync

Yan Xia
Ph.D. Chemistry, 2010

Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Stanford University

Diana Smirnova
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2009

Product Planning for Adhesives, ExxonMobil

R. L. Ameri David
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2008

Associate, McKinsey & Company

Matthew S. Mattson
Ph.D. Applied Physics, 2008

Senior Scientist, ChromoLogic LLC

Michael J. Mackel
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2008

Professor, Portland Community College

Neal R. Carty (nee Scruggs)
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2007

Research Chemist, Avery Dennison

Rafael Verduzco
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2007

Louis Owen Assistant Professor, Rice University

Adam Olsen
Ph.D Chemical Engineering, 2006

Center for Naval Analyses

Charles S. Nickerson
Ph.D. Chemistry, 2006

Center for Naval Analyses

Derek W. Thurman
Ph.D. Chemistry, 2006

Research Chemist, ExxonMobil

Lucia Fernandez-Ballester
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2007

Research Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Eric A. Pape
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2005

Senior Product Engineer, Lam Research

Wei Shen
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2004
Associate Professor, University of Minnesota
Michael D. Kempe
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2003
National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Giyoong Tae
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2002
Professor, Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology
Weijun Zhou
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2000
Senior Research Scientist, Dow Chemical
Guruswamy Kumaraswamy
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 2000
Professor, Indian Institute of Technology Bombay
Zhong-Ren Chen
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 1998
Dean of Chemical Engineering and Materials, Ningbo University
Susan F. Rubin
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 1996
Engineering Analyst, Hewlett Packard
Vinay K. Gupta
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 1996
Professor, University of South Florida
Barbara Wang (nee Arendt)
Ph.D. Physics, 1995
Geun-Chang Chung
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 1994
LG Chemical
Rangaramanujam Kannan
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering, 1994
Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine



Postdoctoral Scholars

Current Employment

Dr. Loddie Foose
Dr. Rohan Hule
Dr. Bradley Olsen
Assistant Professor, MIT
Dr. Rob Lammertink
Professor, University of Twente
Dr. Deniz Cizmeciyan
Professor, Mount Saint Mary's University

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