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Student Cohorts

The Master of Chemical Sciences (MCS) program draws domestic and international students who are looking to take advantage of the myriad career possibilities available in chemical science. Our students come to Penn with undergraduate degrees in chemistry, engineering, and other sciences and enroll full-time or part-time as their academic and professional lives allow.

Select a cohort year below to learn more about each of our accomplished MCS students:

Fall 2020 Incoming Class

Biological chemistry

Wai-Kit Chia (part-time student)
Rutgers University, Bachelor of Science in biochemistry
MCS concentration:
Biological
Currently:
Employed at Penn Medicine
Zhengyuan Jiang
Fudan University, Bachelor of Science in pharmaceutical science
MCS concentration:
Biological
Emily Kurtyan
Rowan University, Bachelor of Science in biochemistry
MCS concentration:
Biological
Juncheng Lu
Ohio State University, Bachelor of Science in biochemistry
MCS concentration:
Biological
Paul Martorano (part-time student)
Drexel University, Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering
MCS concentration:
Biological
Currently:
Employed at Penn Medicine
Tianchen Wang
Sun Yat-Sen University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Biological

Inorganic chemistry

Anuraj Sinha
Loyola University, Chicago, Bachelor of Science in biochemistry
MCS concentration:
Bio-inorganic
Akshay Venkatesh
Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Bachelor of Engineering in mechanical engineering
MCS concentration:
Inorganic

Organic chemistry

Qi Sun
Beijing University of Chemical Technology, Bachelor of Science in applied chemistry
MCS concentration:
Organic

Physical chemistry

Samantha Semelsberger
University of Miami, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Physical

Fall 2019 Incoming Class

Biological chemistry

Ruslan Fayfar, JD, MCS ‘23—expected (part-time student)
Pennsylvania State University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry; Michigan State University, Juris Doctorate
MCS concentration:
Biological
Literature review:
Targeting Parkinson’s Disease: A Nucleic Acid Based Approach (with Professor Luk, Penn Medicine)
Currently:
Employed at Frontage Laboratories
Brian Gillespie, JD, MCS ‘22—expected (part-time student)
University of Michigan, Bachelor of Arts in political science; Baylor University, Juris Doctorate
MCS concentration:
Biological
Capstone:

Controlled Drug Delivery Systems to Treat Subglottic Stenosis

Currently:
Employed at McKinsey & Company
Ivona Sasimovich, MCS ‘23—expected (part-time student)
Drexel University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Biological
Currently:
Employed at International Fragrances and Flavors

Materials chemistry

Diana Arndt, MCS ’21—expected
Bucknell University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Materials inorganic
Capstone:

Characterization of Variable Colloidal Nanoparticles Systems with Novel TEM Image Analysis and Single Particle Reconstruction (with Professor Murray)

Yunhan Gao, MCS ’21—expected
Xi'an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Bachelor of Science in applied chemistry
MCS concentration:
Materials inorganic
Capstone:

Photoelectrochemical Water Oxidation at Dye-sensitized Electrodes (with Professor Mallouk)

Yi-Meng Lo, MCS ’21—expected
National Taiwan Normal University (NTNU), Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Materials organic
Capstone:

L-Lysine-β-Alanine Dendrimers as Soft Nanomaterials for Biorelevant Applications (with Professor Jishkariani and Chemical and Nanoparticle Synthesis Core)

Organic chemistry

Ta-Jung (Darren) Chiu, MCS ’21—expected
National Sun Yat-sen University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Synthesis of BNM-III-170 bis-TFA Salt (with Professor Smith)

Jeremy McAndrew, MCS ’21—expected
King’s College, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Catalytic Use of Titanium Methylidene to Increase Molecular Weight of Alkenes (with Professor Mindiola)

Pankti Mehta, MCS ’21—expected
Mithibai College, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Synthesis of DOTA-Gd Functionalized High Density Dendritic Polyamide Macromolecules for Targeted MR Imaging (with Professor Jishkariani and Penn Medicine, Chemical and Nanoparticle Synthesis Core)

Samantha Miller, MCS ’23—expected (part-time student)
East Stroudsburg University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Organic
Currently:
Employed at Endo Pharmaceuticals

Physical chemistry

Steven Ly, MCS ’21—expected
University of California, San Diego, Bachelor of Science in pharmacological chemistry
MCS concentration:
Bio-physical
Capstone:

Characterization of Designed Self-assembling Systems by Computational Chemistry (with Professor Saven)

Youngtae Song, MCS ’21—expected
Kalamazoo College, Bachelor of Science in physical chemistry
MCS concentration:
Physical
Capstone:

Spinodal Dewetting Characterization of Diblock Copolymer Using AFM (with Professor Fakhraai)

Fall 2018 Incoming Class

Biological chemistry

Aaron Brodsky, ’22—expected (part-time student)
University of Delaware, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Biological
Capstone:

cGMP Validation of Tangential Flow Filtration in Recombinant Viral Vector Manufacturing (with Professor Chung and Penn Medicine)

Currently:
Employed at Penn Medicine
Joo Hyung Park, ’20—expected
Denison University, Bachelor of Science in biochemistry
MCS concentration:
Biological
Capstone:

Modulating the Effects of Y39 Phosphorylation on Vesicle Trafficking and Protein Aggregation (with Professor Petersson)

Shitian (Alice) Wei, MCS ’20
Nanjing University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Biological
Capstone:

Mechanism of CpAMs Misdirection of HBV Capsid Assembly (With Professor Guo and Blumberg Institute)

Currently:
Looking for a position in industry

Materials inorganic chemistry

Di An, MCS ’20
Harbin Institute of Technology, Bachelor of Science in material chemistry
MCS concentration:
Materials inorganic
Capstone:

Monolayer Self-Assembly of Monodisperse Nanocrystals at The Liquid-Air Interface (with Professor Murray)

Currently:
Structure and Materials Engineer, Consumer Business, Huawei, Shanghai
Xiang (Darcy) Zhou, MCS ’20
University of Sheffield, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Materials inorganic
Capstone:

Synthesis of Au-Ag Alloy Nanoparticles and Characterization of Nanoparticle-Anthracene Hybrid Materials (with Professor Murray)

Currently:
Looking for a position in industry

Organic chemistry

Hung-Ching Chen, MCS ’20
National Tsing Hua University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Optimization of the Synthesis of BNM-III-170 bis-TFA Salt (with Professor Smith)

Currently:
PhD candidate, University of Pennsylvania, chemistry program
Changfeng Deng, MCS ’20
Sichuan University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Synthesis and Photochemical Studies of Two p-Hydroxyphenacyl Derived Photocages (with Professor Chenoweth)

Currently:
PhD candidate, University of Pennsylvania, chemistry program
Jing Zhi (Kenny) Lo, MCS ’20
Pennsylvania State University, Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and molecular biology
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Formation of Nanoparticles for the Oral Delivery of Small Molecules by Flash Nanoprecipitation (with Professor Pruud’homme and Princeton University)

Currently:
Visiting Researcher, Princeton University
Devendra Maurya, MCS ’20
Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Bachelor of Technology in surface coating technology
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Can Mixed Ligand and Catalytic Solvent Effects Transform Single Electron Transfer Living Radical Polymerization (SET-LRP) into a Commercializable Process? (with Professor Percec)

Currently:
Research Scientist, University of Pennsylvania

Fall 2017 Incoming Class

Biological chemistry

Suzanne Dettling, MCS ’19
University of Michigan, Bachelor of Science in chemistry and psychology
MCS concentration:
Bio-organic
Methods Review:
Reverse-Polarity Activity-Based Protein Profiling (with Professor Matthews)
Currently:
Specialist, Global Vaccine Technical Operations, Merck, Philadelphia, PA
Durpri Lin, MCS ’18
Rutgers University, Bachelor of Science in food science, minor in chemistry and nutritional science
MCS concentration:
Biological
Literature review:
Nutrigenomics of Age-Related Macular Degeneration (with Professor Nolden and Monell Center for Chemical Senses)
Currently:
Monell Center for Chemical Senses
Qi Ouyang, MCS ’19
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Biological
Capstone:

Understanding the Relationship Between Furin and Antibody Binding (with Professor Campobasso and GlaxoSmithKline)

Currently:
Senior Scientist, GlaxoSmithKline, Boston, MA
Brian Roberts, MCS ’19
Virginia Tech, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Bio-organic
Capstone:

High Throughput Screening of Natural Products for Anti-Hepatitis B Activity (with Professor Todd and Blumberg Institute)

Currently:
Non-Clinical Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics Scientist, Boehringer Ingelheim, Ridgefield, Connecticut
Yang Yang, MCS ’19
University of Wisconsin, Madison, Bachelor of Science in biochemistry and linguistics
MCS concentration:
Biological
Capstone:

Targeting Hippo-YAP Signaling in Neurofibromatosis Type 1 and Neurofibromatosis Type 2 Tumors (with Professor Field and Penn Pharmacology)

Currently:
PhD candidate, University of Florida College of Medicine Biomedical Science Program, Pharmacology
Wenchu Zhao, MCS ’19
University of Iowa, Bachelor of Science in chemistry and biochemistry
MCS concentration:
Biological
Capstone:

Molecular Analysis of Copper Binding to the Bacterial MFS-type Copper Importer CcoA (with Professor Daldal)

Currently:
Associate Scientist, Genewiz, Greater NYC area

Materials inorganic chemistry

Yupeng Wu, MCS ’19
University of Oklahoma, Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering
MCS concentration:
Materials inorganic
Capstone:

Synthesis and Optical Properties of Rare Earth Doped Fluorides Nanoparticles Via Enhanced Absorption (with Professor Murray)

Currently:
PhD candidate, University of Texas at Dallas, chemistry program
Haoyun Zhang, MCS ’19
Nanjing University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Materials
Capstone:

Selective Hydrogen Bonding as a Driving Force for Nanoparticle Self-assembly (with Professor Murray)

Currently:
Big Data Engineer, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

Organic chemistry

Sheng (Jamie) Lin, MCS ’19
University of Utah, Bachelor of Science in biological chemistry
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Biliatresone Analogs and its Photoaffinity Probe (with Professor Winkler)

Currently:
PhD candidate, Indiana University, chemistry program
Lucas Man, MCS ’19
Emory University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry and applied mathematics
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Synthesis of Potent and Selective inhibitor for PHD1 and the Thermal and Photochemical Cyclization of Vinyl Azides Toward the Synthesis of 2-aminoimidazoles (with GlaxoSmithKline)

Currently:
Senior Research Associate, Gilead, San Francisco, CA
Jungmi Park, MCS ’19
University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign, Bachelor of Arts in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Synthesis of Dendritic Ligands Containing Ferrocene for Quantum Dots (QDs) and Characterization of QD-ligands Hybrid System (with Professor Murray)

Currently:
PhD candidate, University of Massachusetts Amherst, chemistry program

Physical chemistry

Trisha Bhagde, MCS ’19
St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Physical
Capstone:

Electronic Spectroscopy and Photochemistry of Methacrolein Oxide: A Four Carbon Criegee Intermediate from Isoprene Ozonolysis (with Professor Lester)

Currently:
PhD candidate, University of Pennsylvania, chemistry program
Zhenyao Fang, MCS ’19
Zhejiang University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Physical
Capstone:

Identification of Nontrivial Topological Properties in Wurtzite and Zinc Blende III-V Compounds (with Professor Rappe)

Currently:
PhD candidate, University of Pennsylvania, chemistry program
Fangqiong Yuan, MCS ’19
State University of New York Stony Brook, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Physical
Capstone:

Starch Based Supercapacitor (with Professor Santiago-Aviles and Penn Engineering)

Currently:
Senior-Level Technician, Penn Engineering, Cambridge, MA

Fall 2016 Incoming Class

Inorganic chemistry

Jia (Blair) Qi, MCS ’18
DePauw University, Bachelor of Arts in biology and chemistry
MCS concentration:
Inorganic
Capstone:

Janus Dendritic Ligands for Nanoparticle Assemblies (with Professor Tomson)

Currently:
Analytical Process Development Chemist, Ash Stevens LLC, Paramal Pharma Solutions, Southgate, MI
Jun Xie, MCS ’18
University of Minnesota Twin Cities, Bachelor of Chemical Engineering, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Materials inorganic
Capstone:

Kinetic Study of Rare Earth (III) Corrosion Inhibitors on Cold Rolled Steel Using Electrochemical Techniques (with Professor Schelter and Axalta Coatings)

Currently:
Employed at Axalta Coatings

Organic chemistry

Chengpeng Hu, MCS ’18
Purdue University, Bachelor of Arts in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Mechanisms of Electrochemical Cross Couplings Catalyzed by Nickel (with GlaxoSmithKline)

Currently:
Synthetic Chemist, Novartis, China
Aishwarya Kirtane, MCS ’18
Institute of Chemical Technology (ICT), Bachelor of Arts in dyestuff technology
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Ionic Liquids: Preparation, Characterization, Stability and Incorporation in Topical Formulations (with GlaxoSmithKline)

Currently:
Research Scientist, GlaxoSmithKline, India
Prasanna Sreevatsan, MCS ’18
Indian Institute of Technology, Master of Science in biotechnology
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Oxidative Coupling of Phenols (with Professor Kozlowski)

Currently:
Senior Research Technician, Dana-Faber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA
Sen (Frank) Zhang, MCS ’18
Arizona State University, Bachelor of Arts in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Organic
Literature review:
Radical-Polar Crossover Reaction (with Professor Molander)
Currently:
Organic Chemist, WHPM, Inc., Los Angeles, CA

Fall 2015 Incoming Class

Biological chemistry

Jiale Huang, MCS ’17
Zhejiang University of Technology, Bachelor of Science in pharmaceutical engineering
MCS concentration:
Bio-organic
Capstone:

Design and Synthesis of Tamandarin M Side Chain Analogs (with Dr. Simon Berrit)

Currently:
Research Associate, Syntron Bioresearch, San Diego, CA
Natalie Schibrowsky, MCS ’17
University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Bachelor of Science in biochemistry
MCS concentration:
Biological
Capstone:

Molecular Mechanism of Copper Regulation of Mitogen-Activated Protein Kinase (MEK1) (with Professor Marmorstein)

Currently:
PhD candidate, University of California, Los Angeles, biochemistry program
Jieliang Wang, MCS ’17
Purdue University, West Lafayette, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Biological
Capstone:

Peptide Synthesis and Modification as a Versatile Strategy for Probes Construction (with Professor Peterson)

Currently:
PhD candidate, University of Texas, Austin, pharmacology program

Inorganic chemistry

Katherine Elbert, MCS ’16
Haverford College, Bachelor of Arts in chemistry
NSF-GSP Recipient
MCS concentration:
Materials inorganic
Capstone:

Janus Dendritic Ligands for Nanoparticle Assemblies (with Professor Murray)

Currently:
PhD candidate, University of Pennsylvania, chemistry program
Yannan Lin, MCS ’17
Sun Yat-sen University, Bachelor of Science in chemical biology
MCS concentration:
Bio-inorganic
Capstone:

A Cucurbit[6]uril-Based Xenon-129 Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Biosensor Targeting Human Carbonic Anhydrase II (with Professor Dmochowski)

Currently:
PhD candidate, University of Pennsylvania, chemistry program

Organic chemistry

Christopher Annunziato, MCS ’17
Philadelphia University, Bachelor of Science in chemistry
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

The Study of Sulfenate and Sterically Hindered Chalcogenide Anions as Organocatalysts for the Construction of C-C Bonds (with Professor Walsh)

Currently:
Research scientist who worked in industry transitioning to a career in data science
Rahul Goel, MCS ’17
University of California-Berkeley, Bachelor of Science in chemical and biomolecular engineering
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Synthesis of Novel Tröger’s Base-Derived Helical Scaffolds (with Professor Winkler)

Currently:
Director of Technical Operations, Mahima Life Sciences Pvt. Ltd.
Michael Persun, MCS ’17
United States Coast Guard Academy, Bachelor of Science in marine environmental sciences
MCS concentration:
Environmental organic
Capstone:

Influence of Growth Conditions on the Secondary Metabolite Profile of Penicillium Rubens Biourge (with Professor Walsh)

Currently:
Chemistry Instructor, US Coast Guard Academy
Rauan Smail, MCS ’17
Kazakh National University, Bachelor of Science in chemical technology of organic substances
MCS concentration:
Organic
Capstone:

Single Electron Transfer Living Radical Polymerization (SET-LRP) of Nonpolar Monomers in Triphasic and Biphasic Mixtures of Non-Disproportionating Solvents with Water (with Professor Percec)

Currently:
Senior Lab Coordinator, Nazarbayev University, Kazakhstan