Romo Group Former Members

Graduate Students

Schmitz, William D.Ph.D./1998I. Beta-Lactone-Based Strategy Applied to the Total Synthesis of Okinonellin II. Stille Couplings of 2-Bromothiazolines with Organostannanes  

Senior Res. Investigator, Bristol-Myers-Squibb (Lawrenceville, NJ) 2000-2021

Research Fellow, Medicinal Chemistry Loxo Oncology at Lilly (Boulder, CO) 2021-present 

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Rzasa, Robert M.Ph.D./1998Total Synthesis and Structural Verification of the Novel, Immunosuppressive Agent, (-)-Pateamine A from the Marine Sponge, Mycale sp.   Senior Scientist at Amgen Inc. (Thousand Oaks, CA), 2004-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Yang, Hong WoonPh.D./1998A Tandem Mukaiyama Aldol-Lactonization Approach to Beta-Lactones, Application to the Synthesis of the Potent Pancreatic Lipase Inhibitor, (-)-Panclicin D; Studies of the Catalytic, Asymmetric [2+2] Cycloaddition of Aldehydes and Silylketenes   Research Scientist III at GlycoMimetics, 2013-2018; Senior Scientist at Sanofi, 2018-2020; Principal Scientist at Sanofi, 2020-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Zhao, CunxiangPh.D./1999A Beta-Lactone-Based Route to 1,2-Disubstituted Cyclopentanes. Mechanistic Studies of the Tandem Mukaiyama Aldol-Lactonization (TMAL) Reaction; Studies of the Zwitterionic Intermediate in the General Mukaiyama Aldol Reaction   Senior Director of IDSU at WuXi AppTec, Binhai District, Tianjin, China   E-mail / LinkedIn
Cohn, StephenM.S./1999A Convergent Intermolecular Diels-Alder Approach to the Spirocycles Found in the Marine Neurotoxic Agents, the Gymnodimines   Research Associate at Wyeth-Ayerst Pharmaceuticals, NY   E-mail / LinkedIn
Yang, JuM.S./1999Synthetic Studies of the Potent Marine Toxin, (-)-Gymnodimine   Director, EMD-Serono, MA, 2016-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Buchler, IngridM.S./2000Large Scale Synthesis of Pateamine A Intermediates in Route to Designed Derivatives for Putative Cellular Receptor Isolation and Receptor/Ligand Interaction Studies; Conformational Studies of Pateamine A   Chemist at Lieber Institute of Brain Development, Johns Hopkins (Baltimore), 2011-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Tennyson, ReginaldM.S./2001Studies in Asymmetric Beta-lactone Synthesis: Extensions of the Chiral Nuclophile Catalyzed Aldol-Lactonization (NCAL) Reaction and New transformations of Chlorinated Beta-Lactones   Scientist at SABIC , Missouri City, TX   E-mail / LinkedIn
Wang, YingcaiPh.D./2002Development of New Syntheses and Transformations of Beta-Lactones: Application to a Concise Total Synthesis of (+)-Brefeldin A   Senior VP Chemistry at Acme Bioscience, San Francisco, CA   E-mail / LinkedIn
Dilley, AnjaPh.D./2002A Unified Strategy Toward the Biogentically Related Oroidin Derived Bisguanidinine Marine Alkaloids: Palau'amines, Styloguandines, and Axinellamines   Senior Research Scientist II at Wyeth Research (Pearl River, NY), 2004-2010   E-mail / LinkedIn
Poullennec, KarinePh.D./2003Enantioselective Total Synthesis of the Potent Antitumor Agent Dibromophakellstatin En Route to Dibromophakellin and Palau'amine   Principal Scientist at UCB, University of Cambridge, Braine l'Alleud, Wallonia, Belgium   E-mail / LinkedIn
Zhou, MinM.S./2003Affinity Precipitation Using Thermo Responsive, Water Soluble Polymers as Matrix; Synthetic Studies Toward the Ageliferins       E-mail / LinkedIn
Oh, SeonghoPh.D./2006Optimization and Extensions of the Nucleophile Catalyzed Aldol-Lactonization (NCAL) Process for Bicyclic Beta-lactone Synthesis: Applications to Piperidine, Pyrrolidine, and Gamma-lactam-fused Beta-lactones   Vice President of R&D at SK Biotek   E-mail / LinkedIn
Franco-Torres, Francisco M.S./2007Progress Toward the Synthesis of (+)-Dibromophakellin and Congeners: Proposed Final Stages for Palau'amine Synthesis   Research Associate at Pfizer (St. Louis, MO)   E-mail / LinkedIn
Duffy, Richard Ph.D./2007I. Synthesis, Reactivity, Structure and Application of Spiroepoxy-Beta-Lactones: Studies Toward (-)-Maculalactone A II. Metal Mediated Couplings of Dichloroolefins Applicable to the Haterumalides   Senior Chemist at Evonik, Houston, 2017-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Kong, KePh.D./2007Studies Toward the Total Synthesis of the Marine Toxin, (-)-Gymnodimine   Scientist at Amgen (2011-2014); CPRIT Synthesis Facility Director, Baylor University, 2014-present; Medicinal Chemist at NIH NCATS, Bethesda, MD   E-mail / LinkedIn
Wang, ShaohuiPh.D./2007Synthetic Studies Toward Paulau'amine and Enantioselective Total Synthesis of Biogenetically Related (+)-Phakellin and (+)-Monobromophakellin   Project leader at Merck Sereno (Beijing) Pharmaceutical R&D Co, Beijing, China, August 2014-present; Project & Portfolio Management, Merck Sereno (2012-2014); Project Lead, Associate Director of Project Management (2014-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn
Matla, Andrea M.S./2007Expanding the Scope of the Nucleophile Catalyzed Aldol Lactonization (NCAL) Process and Transformations of the Resulting Beta-Lactones   Teaching in Houston, TX   E-mail / LinkedIn
Mitchell, Andy Ph.D./2008Development of a Tandem, Three-Component Synthesis of Tetrahydrofurans via Silylated Beta-Lactone Intermediates in the Tandem Mukaiyama Aldol-Lactonization   Asst. Prof., Illinois State University, 2010-2015; Associate Professor, 2015-2021; Professor, 2021-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Cho, SungWookPh.D./2008Total Synthesis of Beta-Lactone Containing Natural Products; I. Total Synthesis of Belactosin C II. Synthetic Studies Toward Spongiolactone   R&D Manager, Dow Chemical, Korea (2015-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn
Purohit, Vikram Ph.D./2008Development of Lewis Base Catalyzed Stereoselective Methods for Synthesis of Beta-Lactones and Dyotropic Rearrangements of Tricyclic Beta-Lactones   Research Scientist I, TEVA Pharmaceuticals, October 2012- 2015; Senior Research Investigator, Novatia, 2016-2017; Independent Consultant, 2017-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Lee, Changsuk Ph.D./2009Synthesis of Haptens for the Marine Toxin, Gymnodimine; Synthesis of Beta-Lactone Fused Carbocycles and Nitrogen Heterocycles; Efforts Toward the Synthesis of the Proposed Structure of Thiolyngbyan   Post Doc with Professor Eric Simanek at Texas Christian University, January 2011-2014; Senior Researcher, BeyondBio, Daejeon, Korea (2015-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn
Galindo, Kay A. Ph.D./2010Applications of Beta-Lactones: Utility of Spiroepoxy-Beta-Lactones and Development of a Double Diastereoselective Nucleophile Catalyzed, Aldol-Lactonization Process Leading to Beta-Lactone Fused Carbocycles and Tetrahydrofurans   Research Scientist, Haliburton, Inc., Houston, TX. 2010-13; Principal Scientist (2013-16); Global R&D Manager-Chemistry & IDP (2016-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn
Zancanella, Manuel A. Ph.D./2010Synthetic Studies Toward Selected Members of the Pyrrole-Imidazole Alkaloids: Axinellamine, Konbu'acidin and Palau'amine   Scientist, Amgen, 2011-2014; Senior Scientist, Amgen, 2014; Scientist II, Global Blood Therapeutics,San Francisco, 2014-2017; Senior Scientist II, 2017-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Nguyen, HenryPh.D./2010I. A1,3- Strain Enabled Retention of Chirality During Bis-Cyclization of Beta-Ketoamides: Asymmetric Synthesis and Bioactivity of Salinosporamide A and Derivatives II. Optimization of an Organic Syntheses Procedure: Asymmetric Nucleophile-Catalyzed Aldol-Lactonization with Aldehyde Acids   Senior Organic Chemist, LKT Laboratories; R & D Scientist, Baker-Hughes, Houston, 2014-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Chamni, SupakarnPh.D./2011New Diazo Reagents and Applications of Beta-Lactones for Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Natural Products   Lecture & Researcher, Chulalangkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand, 2012-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Liu, GangPh.D./2011Beta-Lactones as Synthetic Vehicles in Natural Product Synthesis: Total Synthesis of Schylzeines B and C and Omphadiol, and Studies Toward the Total Synthesis of Scabrolides A and B and Sinulochmodin C   Institute Research Scientist, MD Anderson: Institute for Applied Cancer Sciences, 2012-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
McFarlin, Rae Lynn M.S./2013Chemoselective Functionalization Of Carboxylic Acid And Phenol Containing Natural Products And The Development And Use Of A Nucleophile Catalyzed Michael Aldol Lactonization Process   Chemistry Teacher at Central High School (San Angelo, TX), 2013-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Reyes, Jeremy ChrisPh.D./2013Bioinspired Total Sytnhesis of Agelastatin A and Derivatives for Cellular Target Idnetification; Synthesis of 15N-Labelled Oroidin and Keramidine Analogs for Metabiosynthetic Studies   Research Scientist at Dow Chemical (Freeport, TX), 2013-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Shirley, MorganPh.D./2014Beta-Lactones as Key Building Blocks; Synthetic Applications to Diverse Natural Products   Research Scientist at Chevron (San Francisco, CA), 2014-present   E-mail / LinkedIn
Harvey, Natalie L.Ph.D./2015I. Total Synthesis of (+)-Spongiolactone and Derivatives Enabling Initial Structure-Activity Relationship Studies: Discovery of a More Potent Derivative II. Studies Toward Recyclable Isothiourea Catalysts   Ink R&D Chemist, HP Inc, 2015-present; Supplies System Optimization Program Manager, 2017-present, Hewlett-Packard, Corvallis, Oregon   E-mail / LinkedIn
Abbasov, MikaelPh.D./2015Acylammonium Catalyzed Diels-Alder Lactonization, Bioactivity-Guided Retrosynthesis of Gracillins, Studies Towards the Synthesis of Palau'amine   Assitant Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Cornell University   E-mail / LinkedIn
Knight, AustinM.S./2017Methods for Diamination of Alkenes   Doctorate in Chemical Education, Oklahoma University   E-mail / LinkedIn
Van, KhoiPh.D./2017Application of Chiral α,β-Unsaturated Acylammonium Salts for Efficient Catalytic Transformations, Studies Toward the Synthesis of Rameswaralide       E-mail / LinkedIn
Kong, WeixuM.S./2017Diastereo- and Enantioselective Synthesis of N-Heterocycle Fused β-Lactones       E-mail / LinkedIn
Suzuki, Jamie2018Synthesis and Derivatization of Pyridazinones       E-mail / LinkedIn
Tao, YonfengPh.D./2020Synthesis of Spongiolactone-Based Alkynyl Proteomic Probes, (+)-Hypercalin C, and Pharmacophore-Directed Retrosynthesis of Ophiobolins   Postdoctoral researcher at Scripps (Cravatt Lab)     E-mail / LinkedIn
Kang, GuoweiPh.D./2020Photo-catalyzed, β-Selective Hydrocarboxylation of αβ-Unsaturated Esters with CO2 Under Flow for β-Lactone Synthesis; Natural Product Derivatization with β-Lactones, β-Lactams Toward 'Infinite' Binders; Enantioselective Synthesis of Medium-Sized Lactams Employing Chiral α,β-Unsaturated Acylammonium Salts   Postdoctoral researcher at Scripps (Jin-Quan Yu Lab)     E-mail / LinkedIn
Chaheine, ChristianPh.D./2020Efforts Toward an Enantioselective Total Synthesis of (–)-Oxazolomycin B and Simplified Chemical Probes for Proteomics Studies; Pharmacophore-Directed Retrosynthesis Applied to Gracilin A: Simplified Bioactive Derivatives   Postdoctoral researcher at Scripps (Parker Lab)     E-mail / LinkedIn
Jordain, RoxanePh.D./2021Understanding the Singlet Oxygen Reactivity of Salarin C through Synthesis of a Simplified Macrocyclic Analogue; Multicomponent, Enantioselective Organocatalytic Synthesis of Tetrahydropyradazinones from α,β-Unsaturated Acylammonium Salts and Unusual Rearrangements   Lab Lecturer, Baylor Univeristy     E-mail / LinkedIn
Truax, NathanyalPh.D./2022Total Synthesis of Rameswaralide Utilizing a Pharmacophore Directed Retrosynthetic Approach   Postdoctoral researcher at Scripps (Baran Lab)     E-mail / LinkedIn
Woods, EvanPh.D./2023Pharmacophore-Directed Retrosynthesis Applied to Salarin C and Phainanoid F   Medicinal Chemist at AstraZeneca     E-mail / LinkedIn
Sutter, PatrickPh.D./2023Single Electron Studies of Acylammonium Intermediates, Zinc-Mediated Carboxylations in Flow, and the Total Synthesis of (–)-Inthomycin C   Medicinal Chemist at Cogent Biosciences     E-mail / LinkedIn
Kiledal, SigridPh.D./2023Pharmacophore Directed Retrosynthesis Applied to the Ion Channel Inhibitor Waixenicin A; Multicomponent, Enantioselective Organocatalytic Synthesis of Tetrahydropyridazinones   Process Chemist at Evonik     E-mail / LinkedIn


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Postdoctoral Scholars


Dr. Helene Arcand Shea

January 1996-March 1997   Associate Director, Drug Substance Manufacturing at AMAG Pharmaceuticals, Boston, MA   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Kaapjoo Park


 May 1997-April 1998   Director of Yuhan Corporation (January 2011-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Nam Song Choi



June 2000-December 2001   Nam Song Choi, Associate Professor
Department of Medical Bioscience, Konyang University, Chung Nam, Korea 320-711
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Dr. Yong Ahn


March 2000-January 2002        

Dr. Guillermo Cortez


October 2000-October 2002   Senior Organic Chemist at Eli Lilly.(August 2002-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Yasuno Yokota


September 2001-September 2002   Research Scientist at Research Triangle   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Andy Skauge


October 2004- November 2005   Lecturer, California State University; Senior Chemist/Lab Manager at Grow More, Inc.   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Paul Dransfield


October 2002- October 2005   Research Scientist, Amgen, San Francisco, CA.(September 2005-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Shukun Li


2002-2004   Principle Research Scientist, Shanghai Chempartner (2011-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Ananthapadmanab Sivaramakrishnan


July 2005-March 2006   R& D Specialist with Albemarle Corporation, Baton Rouge, LA   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Huda-Henry Riyad


january 2005-January 2006   CEO and Editor of Key Publishing Group, Toronto, Canada.   E-mail/ LinkedIn

Dr. Ziad Moussa


November 2003- June 2006   Assistant Professor, Taibah University (Saudi Arabia).   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Krishnan Ponnamperuma


June 2004- December 2006   Texas A&M University Lecturer   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Satyamaheshwar Peddibhotla

January 2005-September 2007   Senior Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Burnham Institute for Medical Research, Florida (September 2007-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Gil Ma


September 2005-August 2007   Scientist IV, Organic Chemistry, The Coca-Cola Company (May 2012 – present )   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Liang Tang


November 2005-September 2007   Software Engineer, Emprise Technology, Toledo, OH   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Wei Zhang

June 2006-July 2008   Senior Chemist, Senior Research Scientist, AMRI, Albany, NY.   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Xinzhong Lai


January 2008-December 2008   Research Scientist, Novartis   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Cong-Ying Zhou


Octiober 2007-December 2008   Research Assistant Professor, University of Hong Kong, China   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Fang Li


August 2009-July 2010   Research Associate ,University of Arizona, (2010-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Carolyn Leverett


September 2008-September 2011   Senior Scientist, Medicinal Chemistry, Pfizer (June 2012 – present)
  E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Chun-Xiao Xu


2009-2011   Senior Scientist, Anichem, NJ (October 2011-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Frederick Briones


2012-2013   Scientist at Moderna Therapeutics (September 2015-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Nathan Collett


2013   Process Scientist II, Ampac Fine Chemicals.(May 2014-present)

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Dr. Morgan Jouanneau


2014-2016   Senior Chemist at Sygnature Discovery (June 2017-present)   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Paul Gladen


2013-2016   Asst. Professor, Lake Forest College, Lake Forest IL   E-mail / LinkedIn

Dr. Jin Wang


2014-2015   Post-doctoral Researcher, University of Arizona   E-mail / LinkedIn


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Undergraduate Students

Susannah Huth2017NSF REU: Efforts Toward the Total Synthesis of Rubesanolides A and B via NCMAL   Senior at College of the Holy Cross, Worcester MA   E-mail / LinkedIn
Cody Yao2017Baylor Mini-Pharma   Senior at Baylor University   E-mail / LinkedIn
Javier Henandez2016-2017Baylor Mini-Pharma   Senior at Baylor University   E-mail / LinkedIn


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Visiting Scholars

Ariane Fernandes Bertonha2016Synthesis and structure activity relationship studies of pseudoceratidine   Post-doctoral fellow in the Brazilian Biosciences National Laboratory (LNBio) at Brazilian Center for Research in Energy and Materials (CNPEM). Advisor: Dr. Andréa Dessen   E-mail / LinkedIn
Masaki Yamagami2016Development of NCMPL organocascades   M.S./Chemistry, Osaka University (2013) Advisor: Prof. Michio Murata   E-mail / LinkedIn