Current Group Members

Amy Lai

3rd Year Graduate Student

Amy is from New York City and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, PA and studied synthetic inorganic chemistry and computational chemistry. Sick of the cold, but nostalgic about childhood traffic, she moved to LA to attend UCLA as a joint student with Prof. Anastassia Alexandrova. When she is not in the lab or hoping for optimized structures, you can find Amy watching Gordon Ramsay cooking shows, shopping, or traveling.

Ruxi Dai

3rd Year Graduate Student

Ruxi is from Dalian, a city on the notheast coastline of China. He went to Peking Univeristy before he came to UCLA as a graduate student. In his free time, he enjoys reading and playing Dota 2.

Zach Hern

2nd Year Graduate Student

Zach is from San Antonio, Texas and completed his undergraduate studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio. There, he studied bioinorganic chemistry and the science behind making tasty guacamole. Tired of the hot and humid summers, he moved west to attend grad school at UCLA. When he is not in lab, you can find him searching far and wide for the best breakfast tacos and queso in SoCal, trying new IPAs, and attempting to travel but really just sitting in a plane on the LAX runway forever.

Yi Shen

1st Year Graduate Student

Yi was born in Baoding, a small city in China, and moved to the United States in 2012. She finished her BS and MS at UCLA and decided to continue her grad studies here as well. She loves traveling around when she has time and spending time with her lovely cat. You can find pictures of the cat in Yi's IG and Wechat.

Shije (Jenny) Deng

1st Year Graduate Student

Jenny is from Shenzhen, a city located in the southeast of China. To experience a different culture and customs, she moved to Tianjin and complete her undergraduate degree at Nankai university and moved to LA to start her graduate degree. In her spare time, she likes to play jigsaw puzzles and watch sitcoms.

Shuangshuang Li

3rd Year Graduate Student, visiting

Shuangshuang (you can call her "double") is from Tianjin University and joined the lab Fall 2018. Her previous work in China focused on heterogeneous Ni-based catalysis for CO2 utilization. Her hometown is Shandong and she loves to swim and cook.


Lab Assistant

Breville joined the group in Winter 2018 and keeps us motivated early Monday mornings and during late nights running kinetic studies

Tate Reuter

Master Student


Nima Adhami


Madeline Riffel



Joseph Nguyen



Shirley Chang



Shane Devero



Shane joined in Spring 2018 and works with Maddie. He is originally from Palatine, IL and likes to work out, hang out with friends, go to music festivals, play basketball, and eat.

Alumni: Graduate Students

Jonathan Brosmer (Ph.D. 2017)

Current position: Associate physical scientist, RAND Corporation

Mark Abubekerov (Ph.D. 2017)

Current position: Post-doc, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Stephanie Quan (Ph.D. 2017)

Current position: Engineer, Intel Corporation

Wenliang Huang (Ph.D. 2013)

Post-doc: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Buchwald Group)

Current position: Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Peking University

Selma Duhovic (Ph.D. 2012)

Post-doc: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Dinca Group)

Erin Broderick (Ph.D. 2011)

Post-doc: Argonne National Laboratory

Current position: Senior Research Scientist, UOP a Honeywell Company

Marisa Monreal (Ph.D 2011)

Post-doc: Los Alamos National Laboratory

Current position: Staff Scientist, Los Alamos National Laboratory

Colin Carver (Ph.D. 2010)

Current Position: Engineer, Intel Corporation

William Lemke (M.Sc. 2014)

Current position: Research Associate, Cabot Microelectronics

Paul Abukhalil (M.Sc. 2014)

Current position: Adjunct Faculty, Pasadena City College

Bryan Williams (M.Sc. 2012)

Current position: Director of Analysis, HYFN

Alumni: Postdoctorate Scholars

Dr. Junnian Wei

Ph.D. Peking University (Zhenfeng Xi group)

Current position: Post-doc, UCSF School of Medicine

Dr. Xinke Wang

Post-doc, Max-Planck Institut fur Chemische Physik fester Stoff

Current position: Product Development Chemist, Henkel, Electrical Conductive Materials, Shanghai.

Dr. Suyun Jie

Ph.D. Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Science

Associate Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, Zhejiang University, China

Alumni: Undergraduate Students

Alexander Laughlin

BS, MS 2018

Current: Graduate Student, Cornell University

Kevin Swartz

BS 2017

Current: Gradute Student, University of Notre Dame

Sooihk (James) Ro

BS 2017

Miranda Lowe

BS 2017

Current: UC Davis School of Medicine

Anh Ngoc Hong

Scott Shepard

BS 2016

Current: Graduate student, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cummins Group)

Jun Gao

BS 2014

Brian Lydon

BS 2013

Current: Graduate Student, University of California, Irvine (Yang Group)

Andrew Buechler

BS 2013

Jason Lee

BS 2012

Graduate Student, Materials Science and Engineering Department, University of Washington, Seattl (Luscombe Group)

Andrew Elliot

BS 2012

Graduate Student, University of California, Berkele (Williams Group)

David Gonzalez

BS 2012

Graduate Student, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences Department at University of California, Los Angeles

Allison Wong

BS 2011

MD/PhD student, University of California, San Francisco

Kevin Ogilby

BS 2011

Start-up company in Los Angeles

Peter Thuy-Boun

BS 2010

Graduate student, The Scripps Research Institute (Wolan Group)

Kathy On

BS 2009

Lab Technician, NanoImaging Services, Inc, La Jolla, CA

Nathan Gutzwiller

BS 2007

Nuclear Chemistry Technician, San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station, San Clemente, CA i

Alumni: Visiting Scholars

Clara Kim (2018)
High School, Diamond Bar High School
Noor Uddin (2018)
Graduate, Quaid-e-Azam University, Pakistan
Judith Riedhammer (2017)
Graduate, Friedrich-Alexander Universitat Erlangen-Nurnberg, Germany
Fawad Ahmad (2017)
Graduate, Quaid-e-Azam University, Pakistan
Jenny Deng (2017)
Undergraduate, Nankai University, China
Tianchang Liu (2017)
Undergraduate, Nankai University, China
Arnaud Savoy (2016)
System Engineer at ELSE SA, Switzerland
Arnaud Thevenon (2013)
Master, Imperial College London, UK
Berline Mougang (2012)
Graduate, University of Montreal, Canada

About Paula
Group Members
So Cal Organometallics
Pacifichem 2020