Gassensmith Lab

Graduate Students

Olivia Brohlin

B.S. Biochemistry—University of Texas at Austin (Austin, Texas)

Bio: My undergraduate research studied the effects of extracellular ATP on plant growth. My current research focuses on utilizing the bacteriophage Qβ as a drug carrier. In my free time I like the participate in outdoor activities and play with my dog, Cairo.

Bharath Devaki

B.T. Industrial Biotechnology—SASTRA University (Tanjore, India)

Bio: As an undergraduate researcher, I worked on Quorum Sensing Inhibition of Drug Resistant bacteria, following which I gained two years research experience at Center for Cellular and Molecular Biology working on cancer biology. My current research is mainly focuses on Virus like particles mediated nanomedicine and metal detection. I enjoy reading science fictions, detective stories, history, adventure, playing chess and cooking.

Michael Luzuriaga

B.S. Chemistry—California Polytechnic State University (Pomona, CA)

Bio: My interest in Chemistry is Organic Synthesis and characterization of compounds. I consider myself a Green Chemist that has always been interested in alternative types of energy and finding alternative routes that are cleaner for the environment. I am from Hacienda Heights, California and in my free time I like to exercise, cook, and check out new places. Interesting fact: I'm not Mexican, I am Peruvian and have European/Spaniard descent.

Candace Benjamin

B.S. Chemistry—St. John Fisher College (Rochester, New York)

Bio: Coming from the island nation of Trinidad and Tobago, I developed an interest in developing more accessible and effective disease treatment methods. I completed my undergraduate studies at St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York and found my place right here in the Gassensmith lab. When I'm not advancing my scientific prowess, I enjoy dancing, a variety of arts and crafts, gaming and baking.

Hamilton Lee

B.S. Chemistry—Trinity University (San Antonio, TX)

Bio: I am particularly interested in how intermolecular forces (IMFs) play a huge role in our world. I seek to advance our understanding of IMFs and design systems that have a positive impact in broad areas of our lives. When I’m not in the lab or performing activities related to lab, I like cooking, playing League of Legends, and playing StarCraft.

Shaobo Li

B.S. Chemistry—Beijing University of Technology (Beijing, China)

Bio: I learned fabrication of ordered macroporous perovskite material in my undergraduate study and found deep interest in porous materials. I like using SEM and TEM to characterize morphologies of the nanomaterials I prepared. In my spare time I like reading, watching movies and playing basketball.

Raymond Welch

B.S. Chemistry and B.S. Electrical Engineering—University of North Texas (Denton, Texas, USA)

  Bio: In my undergraduate research I learned about thin films, x-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, building ultra-high vacuum chambers, plasma etching and deposition, and magnetron sputtering. I am from Weatherford, TX and I enjoy blacksmithing, playing sports, watching football (Go Cowboys!), cooking, listening to music, and Minecraft.

Zhuo Chen

B.S. Materials Chemistry—Tianjin University (Tianjin, China) and M.S. Chemistry—University of Massachusetts at Lowell (Lowell, MA, USA)

Bio: I joined Gassensmith lab at 2014 Spring. My project is mainly on bioconjugation chemistry of bacteriophage Qβ for smart drug delivery carriers.

Madushani Dharmarwardana

B.S. Chemistry—University of Peradeniya (Peradeniya, Sri Lanka)

Bio: As an undergraduate researcher, I worked on isolation of bioactive compounds form natural product. My current research is mainly focuses on small molecule organic semiconductors and functionalized Tobacco Mosaic Virus as functional scaffolds. I enjoy reading science fictions and cooking.

Undergraduate Students

Zachariah Malik

Physics Major and Mathematics Major

Zachariah is an undergraduate student pursuing a double degree in Mathematics and Physics. He graduated from Westlake Academy in the top ten percent of his class. Zachariah is also part of the Collegium V Honors College and is in Jujitsu Club. His interests are Science, History, and Calligraphy.

Hamza Ahmad

Biochemistry Major

Hamza is an undergraduate student that is pursuing a Biochemistry degree with a focus in Premed, as he wants to be a trauma surgeon in the future. He likes to dance, create different types of art, and read in his free time. He graduated from Plano West Senior High School in 2015, and is an active member of UTDDFC on campus.

Cong-Bao (C.B.) Phan

Biochemistry Major

C. B. is an undergraduate pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry with the ultimate goal of earning an M.D. with a specialty in ophthalmology. In the past, he has earned his Associate's degree at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth through the Cornerstone Honors program. On his free time, C.B. loves to participate in the Filipino Student Association, exercising, cooking, and outdoor adventures.

Jose Maria Ramos

Chemistry Major

Jose graduated with a BS and MS in biology from Texas A&M International University in Laredo, TX. I  was a high school  teacher for 8 years and was then hired as a visiting instructor at Texas A&M International Unoversity.  I am perusing a BS in chemistry from UTD because my eventual goal is to apply to a doctoral program in chemistry.  My research interests include medicinal chemistry and behavioral ecology. I also have a passion for teaching.

Chayton Creswell

Biochemistry major and Neuroscience Minor

Chayton is an undergraduate pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in Neuroscience. He is a transfer student from Tarrant County College in Fort Worth. Through research in the Gassensmith lab he hopes to enrich his understanding of protein folding and reactivity to one day find applications of similar technologies in comprehending the cellular cascades responsible for cognition. Most of his free time is spent playing guitar, Dungeons and Dragons, or video games as well as flirting with mycology and pondering the beauty of our existence.

Joseph Vo

Biochemistry Major

Joseph is an undergraduate working towards a B.S. in Biochemistry and is aiming for medical school. He graduated from Plano East High School in the top 5% of the class. He currently is a part of the Biochemistry Association, an officer of AOE, and a member of Collegium V. His interests include music, basketball, food, and finding the best outdoor outings.

Nhan T. Khuu

Health Studies Major

Nhan is an undergraduate student and an aspiring chemist whose goal is to obtain an M.D. and practice radiology for his future career. Nhan is an active member of the Vietnamese Student Association and he loves to work out, though his love for gastronomy makes it difficult sometimes to keep his nutrition well-balance.

Kevin Huynh

Chemistry Major and Public Education Minor

Kevin joined Dr. Gassensmith research lab in Spring 2016. He is currently pursuing a degree in Chemistry and minoring in Public Education through the UTeach program. Teaching, along with research, provides him an enriching outlook and the opportunity to teach from both laboratory and classroom experience to as many students he can come across. Aside from college, Kevin cooperates with Rain-Team in the discussion of cancer awareness. Rain is symbolic of the origin of life, and it offers a moment of reflection for the cancers that challenge the medical field and society today. After college, Kevin ultimately aims for a medical profession in the practice of cardiology.

Bhargav Arimilli

Chemistry Major and Philosophy Minor

Bhargav is an undergraduate majoring in chemistry and minoring in philosophy. He is a cum laude graduate of Phillips Exeter Academy and is from Washington, DC and Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. He is a staff writer for the UTD Mercury, an executive assistant for UTD CometTHON, and an active member of Chemistry Student Association. His interests include graphic design and commercial aviation.

Lana Tuong

Biology Major

Lana joined the Gassensmith group in Fall 2016 and is an undergraduate pursuing a B.S. in Biology. She graduated as salutatorian from Lee’s Summit North High School. She is an active member of the BSA, Golden Key International Honor Society, and Collegium V. Her goal is to become a dentist and travel the world to provide free dental care to those in need. In her free time she does ballet and plays videogames.


Anna Lynn Edwards

Biology Major

Anna Schlimme

Graduated with a M.S. in Chemistry and Education in 2016

Last Known Whereabouts: Chemistry teacher at Wylie High School

Hafiz Busari

Graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry in 2015

Last Known Whereabouts: Graduate School at Lehigh University

Udayram Kantipudi

NanoExplorer (Su 2014)

Last Known Whereabouts: University of Texas at Austin

Jisoo Min

NanoExplorer (Su 2014)

Last Known Whereabouts: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Joycelyn Yiu

NanoExplorer (Su 2014)

Last Known Whereabouts: Rice University

Na Li

Postdoc 2015–2016

Last Known Whereabouts: Dow Chemical

Nazim Parupia

Graduated with a B.S. in 2015

Last Known Whereabouts: Texas Tech University–Health Science Center School of Pharmacy

Mohammad Kureishy

Graduated with a B.S. in 2015

Last Known Whereabouts: Texas Tech University–Heath Science Center School of Medicine

Quynh Nhu Do

Graduated with a B.S. in 2015

Last Known Whereabouts: University of Incarnate Word--Rosenberg School of Optometry (San Antonio, TX).

Sharjeel Hassan

Graduated with a B.S. in 2015

Last Known Whereabouts: Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine

Stacey DetVo

Biochemistry Major

Elizabeth Pham

Health Care Studies Major

Victoria Nguyen

Graduated with B.S. in Biochemistry in 2017

Last Known Whereabouts: UNT Health Science Center Program

Jocelyn Lee

Graduate with Biochemistry Major in 2016 and Education Minor

Last Known Whereabouts: UTeach University of Texas at Dallas