Postdoctoral Researchers


Dr. Yosuke Ashikari

Ph.D., Kyoto University, 2013

M.E., Kyoto University, 2010

B.E., Kyoto University, 2008


Yosuke is originally from Japan, where he began studying synthetic and biological chemistry at Kyoto University. He completed both B.E. and M.E. degrees in the Department of Synthetic Chemistry and Biological Chemistry, and then completed doctoral research in the same department under the mentorship of Prof. Jun-ichi Yoshida. Yosukeís areas of expertise include development of new electrochemical organic syntheses with emphasis on the integration of electrochemical and chemical reactions. His doctoral thesis focused on electrochemical oxidative carboxylation and hydroxylation reactions mediated by alkoxysulfonium ions. After receiving his Ph.D., Yosuke continued research with Prof. Yoshida as a postdoctoral fellow. In April of 2014, Yosuke moved to Seattle to join the Boydston group as a postdoctoral fellow and focus on developing methods for using mechanochemical transduction to trigger amplified chemical responses.


Dr. Damian Dunford

Ph.D., Cardiff University, 2011

B. S., Cardiff University, 2005


Damian is origionally from Wales (United Kingdom), where he studied Chemistry at Cardiff University in the capitol of Wales. He completed his B.Sc. in Chemistry followed by a Ph.D. in synthetic organic chemistry with Professor David W. Knight. During his doctoral studies he focused on the methodology behind the synthesis of N-heterocyles and their application towards the synthesis of natural products such as pyrrolostatin. After receiving his Ph.D., Damian then went on to complete a Post-baccalaureate in Chemistry and General Science education at Buffalo State College. Following this Damian taught Organic and General chemistry at Buffalo State College and then at Colgate University. While at Colgate University Damian also carried out research in the area of porphyrin chemistry with Professor Rick Geier. Damian then went on to teach general chemistry at Whitman College in Walla Walla. In September of 2014, Damian made the move to Seattle to join the Boydston group as a postdo! ctoral fellow and focus on polymer mechanochemistry. Outside the lab, Damian enjoys cooking, going to the movies and being with friends and family.


Dr. Adam Goetz

Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles, 2014

B.A., Carleton College, 2008


Adam grew up in Kentucky, and then headed north where he received a B.A. from Carleton College. He completed his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at UCLA under the guidance of Prof. Neil Garg. During his graduate research, Adam studied the chemistry of heterocyclic arynes, including applications to the synthesis of substituted heterocycles and complex natural products. In June of 2014, Adam joined the Boydston Group as a postdoctoral fellow and began studying new methods for mechanical activation of polymers. Outside the lab, Adam enjoys cooking, traveling, and being outdoors.


Dr. Chang-Uk Lee

Ph.D., Louisiana State University, 2013

M.S., University of Tennessee, 2006

B.S., Pusan National University, 2004


Chang-Uk is originally from Pusan, South Korea where he graduated with honors with a B.S. degree in Polymer Science and Engineering. He then completed M.S. and Ph.D. degrees focusing on a combination of materials science and synthesis of advanced polymer structures. During his doctoral studies under the guidance of Prof. Donghui Zhang, he worked on synthesizing a new class of peptidomimetic materials (polypeptoids, structural mimics of polypeptides), cyclic block copolypeptoids, and studying their self-assembly in solution and macroscopic properties. He then took an appointment as a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research (UK CAER). In April of 2014, Chang-Uk made the move to Seattle to join the Boydston group as a postdoctoral fellow and begin studying polymer mechanochemistry.



Graduate Students


Derek Church

B.S., University of California, Santa Cruz, 2010


Derek is originally from San Francisco, California and received a BS degree in chemistry from University of California, Santa Cruz in 2010. His undergraduate research with Prof. Robert Ludwig focused on the study of H2 recycling by microorganisms. In the summer of 2008, he worked abroad at CarbogenAmcis, a company based in Switzerland, as a research associate producing drug intermediates.  In January of 2011, Derek joined the Boydston Research Group at the University of Washington. Outside the lab, Derek enjoys being outdoors (weather permitting), playing soccer (schedule permitting), and eating out (budget permitting).


Tori Kensy

B.S., Colgate University, 2014


Tori is originally from Holland, NY.  She received a BS in chemistry from Colgate University in 2014. Her undergraduate research with Professor Rick Geier focused on one flask syntheses of porphyrinoids. Tori made the cross-country trek to the Pacific Northwest and soon after joined the Boydston research group, in December 2014. Her projects currently focus on new designs for self-immolative polymers and materials for triggered release of small molecules. Outside the lab, Tori likes traveling, cooking, and spending time with friends.


Mike Larsen

B.A., Colorado College, 2009


Mike hails from the great state of Colorado and received his BA in chemistry from Colorado College in 2009. His undergraduate research with Dr. Rongson Pongdee focused on natural product synthesis, specifically on pathways toward the construction of complex aromatic cores. After a stint as the chemistry department paraprofessional at CC, Mike moved to the Pacific Northwest and joined the Boydston Research Group in July 2010. In his free time, he enjoys outdoorsy activities, pub trivia, and writing short autobiographical paragraphs in the third person.


Pengtao Lu

B.E., East China Univeristy of Science and Technology, 2013

M.S., The University of Akron, 2014


Pengtao is originally from Shanghai, China, where he began studying polymer science and engineering at East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST). After he completed his B.E. degree in the Department of Polymer Materials at ECUST, he then got the chance to study at the Department of Polymer Science at The University of Akron. During his master studies under the guidance of Prof. Stephen Z. D. Cheng, he focused on synthesizing newly-designed soft matter by conjugation of functional fullerene with polymer, and studying their self-assembly morphology in solution. In November of 2014, Pengtao officially joined the Boydston research group.


Laura Murphy

B.S., Pacific Lutheran University, 2013


Laura is originally from Woodinville, WA. She received a BS in chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University in 2013. Her undergraduate research with Dr. Andrea Munro focused on CdSe nanocrystal surface chemistry. Additionally, her undergraduate research with Dr. Neal Armstrong at the University of Arizona focused on charge transport studies at OPV-relevant interfaces. Laura joined the Boydston Research Group in December 2013. Outside of lab, Laura enjoys swimming, listening to country music, and spending time with family.



Johanna Schwartz

B.A., Bard College at Simon's Rock, 2014

Johanna grew up in Las Vegas, Nevada and received her BA degree in chemistry and biology from Bard College at Simonís Rock in 2014. Her undergraduate research with Dr. Chulsung Bae at UNLV focused on synthesizing more efficient hydrogen fuel cell polymers. She also worked with Dr. John Ketterson at Northwestern focusing on improving the synthesis and purity of cuprous oxide. While aboard the SSV Corwith Cramer as part of the SEA semester program, she worked with Dr. Jeff Schell identifying and characterizing thin phytoplankton layers in the Sargasso Sea. For her Bachelorís thesis research, she worked with Dr. David Myers at Simonís Rock, focusing on natural product synthesis. Specifically the research focused on the synthesis and biological testing of antibiotically and antifungally active alkynoic acids and butenolides. Johanna officially joined the Boydston group in December 2014. Outside of lab, Johanna enjoys playing guitar, listening to music in general, arts and crafts, and hanging out with any friend that actually has the free time to hang out.


Ashlynn Vander Meer

Ashlynn is originally from Puyallup, WA and was homeschooled to her Junior year of High school where she entered the Running Start program at Pierce College. At Pierce she became a chemistry and mathematics tutor in 2012. Ashlynn graduated with honors with her AS degree in chemistry and engineering in 2013 before transferring to the University of Washington. After joining the Boydston group in September 2014, she graduated in 2015 as a Chemistry Major. She has also decided to pursue her PhD in chemistry at the University of Washington. Outside of the lab, Ashlynn enjoys reading, baking, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


Former Students and Postdocs

Eric Finney

Kelli Ogawa

Greg Peterson

Zeran Wang

Sophia Tran

Hira Khalid

Erika Buckle

BeiBei Chen

Gedion Yitref

Neha Ansari

Se Ah Yoon

Marian Dobles

Candice Cooper

Dorothy Ackerman

Tariq Jabaiti

Stephanie Wang

Madeline Wong

Alice Chu

Thomas Bearrood



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