Tor Lab Alumni


Graduate Students.


Name: Patryjca Hopkins
Year of PhD Defense: 2017
Undergraduate Education: M.S., Chemistry; University of Lodz
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. Jan Epsztajn
Division: Organic
Thesis: Toward Red Emitting Nucleosides: Design, Synthesis, Photophysical Properties, Oligonucleotide Incorporation & Applications


Name: Kristina Hamill
Year of PhD Defense: 2016
Undergraduate Education: B.S., Chemistry; James Madison University
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. Kevin L. Caran
Division: Organic
Thesis: Overcoming Biological Barriers: Synthesis and Evaluation of Molecular Transporters


Name: Ryan Weiss
Year of PhD Defense: 2015
Undergraduate Education: B.S., Chemistry; Point Loma Nazarene University
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. Dale Shellhamer
Division: Organic
Thesis: Targeting Glycosaminoglycans with Small Molecules: Design, Synthesis, and Applications


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Name: Lisa McCoy
Year of PhD Defense: 2014
Undergraduate Education: B.S., Chemistry; Point Loma Nazarene U.
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. Vic Heasley
Division: Organic
Thesis: Exploring biomolecular interactions: New ligands and novel assays


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Name: Rich Fair
Year of PhD Defense: 2014
Undergraduate Education: B.S., Chemistry; University of Pittsburgh
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. Dennis Curran
Division: Organic
Thesis: Synthesis of aminoglycoside analogs and other potential antibacterials.
Current Position: Postdoc, Max Planck Institute, Berlin.


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Name: Andro Rios
Year of PhD Defense: 2012
Undergraduate Education: B.S., Chemistry; California State University, Sacramento
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. John D. Spence
Division: Organic
Thesis: On the Origin of the Canonical Nucleobases: Selection Pressures and Hydrolytic Stabilities of N-Glycosyl Bonds


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Name: Mary Noe
Year of PhD Defense: 2011
Undergraduate Education: B.S., Chemistry; University of Colorado at Boulder
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. Marvin H. Caruthers
Division: Organic
Thesis: Design, synthesis and incorporation of fluorescent thiophene-modified nucleoside analogs


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Name: Yun Xie
Year of PhD Defense: 2010
Undergraduate Education: B.S., Chemistry; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. M. David Curtis & Prof. Nils Walter
Division: Inorganic
Thesis: Synthesis and Applications of Quinazoline-Based Fluorescent Nucleoside Analogues.
Current Position: Postdoc, Scoot Silverman Laboratory, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


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Name: Matthew Belousoff
Visiting Fulbright Scholar, Australia
E-mail: mbelousoff@ucsd.edu
Year of PhD Defense: 2008
Undergraduate Education: B.S., Chemistry; University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Undergraduate & Thesis Research Advisor: Prof. Leone Spiccia
Research Project: Peptide nucleic acid-metal hybrid conjugates as novel therapeutics.


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Name: Nicholas Greco
Year of PhD Defense:Feb. 2008
Undergraduate Education: B.S., Chemistry; Stonehill College
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. Lewis J. Liotta
Division: Organic


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Name: Victor Tam
Year of PhD Defense: August 2007
Undergraduate Education: B.S., Chemistry; University of California, Berkeley
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. Matthew B. Francis
Division: Organic
Thesis: Targeting Unique Nucleic Acid Structures with Small Molecules
Current Position: Faculty Instructor at Foothill College in the Bay Area.


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Name: Fang Zhao
Year of Ph.D. Defense: September 2006
Undergraduate Education: B.S., Chemistry; Beijing Normal University, China
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. Sui Zhao
Division: Organic
Thesis: "Aminoglycoside Derivatives and Mimetics as RNA Binders"
Current Position: Industrial Postdoc; Immusol, Inc.


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Name: Lev-Elson Schwab
Year of Ph.D. Defense: June 2006
Undergraduate Education: University of California, Santa Cruz
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. Harry Noller
Division: Biochemistry
Thesis: "Cellular Uptake and Delivery of Guanidinoglycosides is Heparan Sulfate Dependent"
Current Position: Postdoctoral Scholar (with Prof. Gabriele Varani); University of Washington


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Name: Grace Yang
Year of Ph.D. Defense: 2005
Undergraduate Education: California Institute of Technology
Undergraduate Research Advisor: Prof. Harry Gray
Division: Organic
Thesis: "Application of the Adaptive Poisson Boltzmann Solver on the Investigation of the Small Oligonucleotide A-site Model and 30S Ribosomal Subunit Binding to Aminoglycosidic Antibiotics"
Position After Graduation: Burnham Institute
Current Position: Fordham Law School


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Name: Susan Seaman
Year of Ph.D. Defense: 2004
Undergraduate Education: University of Florida, Gainesville
Division: Organic
Thesis: "Fluorescent Nucleosides as Probes for DNA Structure and Recognition"
Current Position: Postdoctoral Scholar; University of Montreal


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Name: Charles (Qi) Liu
Year of Ph.D. Defense: 2004
Division: Organic
Thesis: "Synthesis of Small Molecules Targeting RNA"
Position after Graduation: Postdoctoral Scholar; California Institute of Technology
Current Position: Research Scientist; Gilead Sciences, Inc.


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Name: Michelle Hysell
Year of Ph.D. Defense: 2004
Undergraduate Education: University of Southern Colorado
Division: Organic
Thesis: "Synthesis and Study of the Physical Properties of s-Triazine Nucleosides"
Current Position: Research Chemist; Immusol, Inc.


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Name: Phoebe (Edith) Glazer
Year of Ph.D. Defense: 2003
Undergraduate Education: Williams College
Division: Organic
Thesis: "Expanding the Organic Chemistry of Coordination Complexes: Construction of "Large Surface Area" Ligands and Multi-Metallic Arrays"
Current Position: Postdoctoral Scholar; The Scripps Research Institute & the California Institute of Technology (joint)

Name: Nathan Luedtke
Year of Ph.D. Defense: 2002
Undergraduate Education: University of Washington
Division: Biochemistry
Thesis: "RNA Affinity and Specificity of Modified Aminoglycosides, Metal Complexes, and Intercalating Agents that Target the HIV-1 Rev Response Element"
Position After Graduation: Postdoctoral Scholar; Yale University
Current Position: Assistant Professor, University of Zurich
Academic Biography: [LINK]

Name: Hima Joshi
Year of Ph.D. Defense: 2001
Thesis: "Conjugated Phenathrolines and Metal-containing DNA as Luminescent Probes"
Position After Graduation: Assistant Professor; University of San Diego
Current Position: Assistant Professor; California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Name: Dennis Hurley
Year of Ph.D. Defense: 2000
Thesis: "Metal Complex Probes for Energy and Electron Transfer in Biological Systems"
Current Position: Senior Research Scientist; Vertex Pharmaceuticals

Name: Sarah Kirk
Year of Ph.D. Defense: 2000
Thesis: "RNA-Small Molecule Interactions"
Current Position: Assistant Professor; University of Williamette

Name: Chris Thomas
Year of Ph.D. Defense: 1999
Thesis: "Ruthenium DNA Hybrid Materials for Supramolecular Synthesis"
Current Position: University of California, San Diego;
Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials

Name: Hai Wang
Year of Ph.D. Defense: 1997
Thesis: "Design, Synthesis and RNA Binding of Aminoglycoside Antibiotics"
Current Position: Clinical Micro Sensors

Name: Dimitrios Tzalis
Year of Ph.D. Defense: 1997
Thesis: "Coordination Compounds as Synthetic Building Blocks"
Current Position: Postdoctoral Scholar, Fachbereich Chemie der Philipps-Universität Marburg

Postdoctoral Fellows.


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Name: Noam Freeman, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: Feb 2010 - June 2015
Doctoral Institution: Ph.D., Chemistry; Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. Chaim Gilon
Ph.D. Thesis: Development of Novel Methods for Solid Phase Synthesis of Aza-Peptides and Their Application for Combinatorial Peptidomimetic Aza-Scan
Research Project:1) CNS and neurological activity of neurotensin peptidomimetic analogs. 2) Synthesis of new fluorescent nucleosides.


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Name: Ezequiel Wexselblatt, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: Sept 2012 - June 2015
Doctoral Institution: Ph.D., Chemistry; Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. Joshua Katzhendler and Dr. Eylon Yavin
Ph.D. Thesis:Synthesis of Novel ppGpp Analogues as Potential Antibacterial Agents
Research Project: Synthesis and Evaluation of Oligo-guanidinoglycosides for Protein Replacement


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Name: Dongwon Shin, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: August 2008-2013
Doctoral Institution: Ph.D., Chemistry; University of California, Riverside
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. Christopher Switzer
Ph.D. Thesis:Syntheses and Properties of Artificial Oligonucleotides: Metallo Base-pairs and Simplified Backbones.
Research Project: Synthesis, evaluation and implementation of fluorescent nucleosides and oligonucleotides.


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Name: Renatus Sinkeldam, Ph.D., Assistant Project Scientist
Time in Tor Lab: May 2006-July 2013
Doctoral Institution: Ph.D., Chemistry; Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. E. W. Meijer
Ph.D. Thesis: The design and synthesis of helical foldamers based on poly-ureidophthalimides.
Research Project: Synthesis and photophysical characterization of novel fluorescent isomorphic nucleotides and their incorporation in DNA/RNA.


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Name: Lucile Fischer, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: December 2008 - November 2009
Research Project: Cellular Uptake.


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Name: S. G. Srivatsan, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: December 2005 - Summer 2008
Doctoral Institution: Ph.D., Biochemistry; Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. Sandeep Verma
Ph.D. Thesis: Modeling prebiotic catalysis using adenylated polymers. [LINK]
Previous Postdoctoral Experience: University of Bonn
Research Project: Enzymatic incorporation of artifical fluorescent nucleotides for quantifying small molecule binding to RNA.


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Name: Feng Yang, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: 2005-2008
Doctoral Institution: Ph.D., Chemistry, Biochemistry; Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. Yuguo Duo and Prof. Fanzuo Kong
Ph.D. Thesis: Carbohydrate Chemistry: Methodology and Application [LINK]
Previous Postdoctoral Experience: University of Alberta
Research Project: Synthesis of dissacharide mimics.
Academic Biography: [LINK]


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Name: Pradip Chakraborty, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: December 2005 - 2008
Doctoral Institution: Ph.D., Chemistry; University of Goettingen
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. Ulf Diederichsen
Ph.D. Thesis: Design synthesis and structural investigation of nucleobase functionalized beta-peptides.
Research Project: Synthesis and biological activities of a radiolabeled cyclic lanthionine enkephalin analogue and cellular uptake of nucleotide-guanidinoglycooside conjugates.



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Name: Paola Castaldi, Ph.D. (joint with Prof. Thomas Hermann)
Time in Tor Lab: Winter 2005-Summer 2007
Doctoral Institution: Ph.D., Chemistry; Imperial College, London
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. Susan E. Gibson
Ph.D. Thesis: Introduction of Multiple Chiral Centers into Symmetric Small Molecules.
Research Project: Synthesis of small-molecule ligands for the bacterial ribosomal decoding-site RNA.


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Name: David Jaramillo
Time in Tor Lab:Spring 2006-Spring 2007
Doctoral Institution: University of Western Sydney
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. Janice Aldrich-Wright
Ph.D. Thesis: N/A
Research Project: Synthesis of novel fluorescent nucleotides.

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Name: Damien Jouvenot, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: Fall 2004 - Spring 2006
Ph.D. Institution: University of Strasbourg
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. Jean-Pierre Sauvage
Thesis:
Current Position: Assistant Professor of Chemistry; University of Grenoble (France)


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Name: Avi Koller, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: Winter 2004 - Spring 2005
Ph.D. Institution: Tel Aviv University
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. Yoel Kashman


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Name: Kenneth Blount, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: Summer 2002 - Spring 2005
Ph.D. Institution: University of Colorado, Boulder
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. Olke Uhlenbeck
Current Position: Research Scientist (with Prof. Ronald Breaker); Yale University


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Name: Haim Weizman, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: 1999 - 2003
Ph.D. Institution: Weizmann Institute of Science
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. Avraham Shanzer
Current Position: Lecturer; University of California, San Diego


Name: Katja Michael, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: March 1996 - August 1999
Ph.D. Institution: Technical University of Munich
Current Position: Graduate Advisor, University of Texas at El Paso


Name: Dr. Jürgen Boer
Time in Tor Lab:
Ph.D. Institution:
Current Position:


Name: Andrei A. Zlota, Ph.D.
Time in Tor Lab: December 1993 - July 1994
Ph.D. Institution: Weizmann Institute of Science
Ph.D. Research Advisor: Prof. David Milstein
Current Position: President and Chief Chemical Engineer of The Zlota Company

Undergraduates.


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Name: Sang H Lee
Year: 4th Year B.S.
Major: Biochemistry and Cell Biology
Research Project: Fluorescent Nucleosides


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Name: Francis Yu
Time in Lab: Summer 2015 - Fall 2017
Major: Chemistry
Research Project: Fluorescent Nucleoside Synthesis


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Name: Justin Bennink
Time in Lab: Summer 2007 - Fall 2009
Major: Biochemistry/Chemistry
Research Project: Synthesis of Surfen derivatives: discovering small molecule inhibitors of heparin sulfate.
Life after Graduation: UC Irvine, School of Medicine

Name: Chris Redgate
Time in Lab: Summer 2007 - Summer 2009
Major: Biochemistry/Chemistry
Research Project: Cellular Uptake.
Life after Graduation: UCLA, School of Medicine

Name: Andrew Roberts
Time in Lab: Summer 2007 - Summer 2008
Major: Biochemistry/Chemistry
Research Project: Fluorescent Nucleosides.
Life after Graduation: UCLA, Chemistry Ph.D. Graduate Program


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Name: Paul Marcus
Time in Tor Lab: Fall 2006 - Summer 2008
Major: Biochemistry
Research Project: Synthesis of new fluorescent nucleosides
Life after Graduation: Ohio State University, College of Medicine


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Name: Bryan Phan
Time in Tor Lab: Fall 2006 - Spring 2007
Major: Biology
Research Project: Development of artificial nucleobases.


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Name: Baia Lasky
Time in Tor Lab: Summer 2004 - Summer 2006
Major: Biology
College: Earl Warren
Life after Graduation: University of Illinois, Chicago, School of Medicine
Research Project: Synthesis of metal-coordinating compounds and aminoglycoside-based protein-denaturing agents


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Name: Denise Kwong
Time in Tor Lab: Summer 2004 - Summer 2006
Major: Biology & Chemistry
College: Earl Warren
Life after Graduation: University of California, San Diego, School of Pharmacy
Research Project: Development of a fluorescence-based assay for detecting small molecule binding to the HIV-1 DIS


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Name: Kay Buchner
Year in Tor Lab: Spring 2005 - Summer 2006
Major: Chemistry
College: Muir College
Life after Graduation: University of California, Irvine; Chemistry Ph.D. Graduate Program
Research Project: Synthesis and development of ruthenium-based molecules


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Name: Sara Wu
Time in Tor Lab: Summer 2005 - Summer 2006
Major: Pharmalogical Chemistry
College: 6th College
Life after Graduation: N/A
Research Project: Synthesis of beta-peptide-based, constricted aminoglycosides


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Name: Kim Nguyen
Time in Tor Lab: Spring 2005 - Winter 2005
Major: Chemistry
Current Position: University of California, San Francisco, School of Pharmacy


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Name: Brian Agan
Time in Tor Lab: Spring 2005 - Winter 2005
Major: Chemistry
Current Position: Research Associate; Hisamitsu Laboratories


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Name: Stephanie Kinkel
Time in Tor Lab: Summer 2004 - Summer 2005
Major: Biology
Current Position: Research Associate; The Salk Institute


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Name: Dan Palacios
Time in Tor Lab: June 2003 - Summer 2005
Major: Chemistry
Current Position: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champagne; Chemistry Ph.D. Graduate Program


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Name: Sing Lam
Time in Tor Lab: June 2003 - Summer 2005
Major: Chemistry
Current Position: N/A


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Name: Katy Muzikar
Time in Tor Lab: June 2003 - Summer 2005
Major: Chemistry
Current Position: California Institute of Technology; Chemistry Ph.D. Graduate Program (Advisor: Prof. Peter Dervan)


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Name: John Enquist
Time in Tor Lab: July 2003 - July 2004
Major: Chemistry
Current Position: California Institute of Technology; Chemistry Ph.D. Graduate Program (Advisor: Prof. Brian Stoltz)


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Name: Samar Yalda
Time in Tor Lab: July 2003 - July 2004
Major: Chemistry
Current Position: University of California, San Diego, School of Pharmacy

    Other Undergraduate Alumni
    Annette Ho
  • Time in Lab: Summer of 2003
  • Current Position: University of California, Los Angeles, Medical School
    Judy Hwang
  • Time in Lab: June 2001 - June 2003
  • Current Position: Biophysics Graduate Program; University of California, Berkeley
    Jan Mazura
  • Time in Lab: September 1999 - December 2000
  • Current Position: N/A
    Jonathan Rotter
  • Time in Lab: January 1998 - March 2000
  • Current Position: N/A
    Andrew Dutton
  • Time in Lab: January 1998 - December 1998
  • Current Position: School of Medicine; Johns Hopkins University
    Olivia Griffiths
  • Time in Lab: June 1996 - December 1998
  • Current Position: N/A
    Ram Jamshidi
  • Time in Lab: June 1995 - June 1998
  • Current Position: Department of Physics; University of California, San Diego
    Doug Miesen
  • Time in Lab: Julu 1997 - December 1997
  • Current Position: School of Medicine; University of California, San Diego
    Alejandro Dunnick
  • Time in Lab: January 1997 - August 1997
  • Current Position: California Institute of Technology
    Kendall Becker
  • Time in Lab: N/A
  • Current Position: School of Medicine; University of California, San Diego
    Diana Lewis
  • Time in Lab: August 1994 - July 1995
  • Current Position: Research Associate II; Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
    Michael F.
  • Time in Lab: June 1994 - September 1994
  • Current Position: N/A
    Warren Poag
  • Time in Lab: June 1994 - September 1994
  • Current Position: Medical School
    Deyi Zhang
  • Time in Lab: April 1994 - August 1994
  • Current Position: Eli Lilly & Company

Contact Professor Tor

  • Email:
    ytor@ucsd.edu
  • How to find us:
    UC San Diego Campus
    Pacific Hall 6225A (Tor Office)
    Pacific Hall 6227 - 6228 - 6127