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. 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


Troy Becker

B.S., University of Florida, 2016


Troy grew up in Cooper City, Florida and earned a B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Florida. As an undergrad, he worked with Professor Brent Sumerlin on photo-polymerizing ultrahigh molecular weight polymers via RAFT (reversible addition-fragmentation chain-transfer) polymerization. After graduating from the University of Florida, Troy moved to Seattle and started his Ph.D. with the Boydston group in Winter 2016. In his free time, Troy enjoys cooking, watching tv/movies, comics, and videogames.


Bo Cao

B.S., Sichuan University, 2013

M.S., The University of Pennsylvania, 2015


Bo is originally from Shanxi, China. He received his bachelorís degree at Sichuan University (SCU) in 2013, majoring in Polymer Science and Engineering. His undergraduate research focused on melt-processing of polymer blends. He then moved to Philadelphia and started his masterís degree in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania. He conducted his masterís research in Prof. Shu Yangís lab in the area of microfabrication of stimuli-responsive polymers and their pattern transformation studies. In December 2015, Bo officially joined the Boydston Research Group. Bo enjoys watching movies and hiking in his spare time.


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).


John Goldstone

1986 BA, Business Administration, Finance (Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude) Ė University of Washington

1988 MBA, Marketing & Statistics emphasis (W. Hunter Simpson Scholar)Ė University of Washington

1988-1995 Market Research Manager, Market Development Manager, Weyerhaeuser

1995-2008 Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, Project Manager Advisor, Weyerhaeuser

2008-2014 Director, Technology Licensing, Weyerhaeuser


    John has over 25 years of success translating scientific and technical innovation into commercially viable product and licensing revenue streams. Heís consistently worked with patent holders, business representatives, legal counsel and executives from both selling and buying organizations to secure deals that offered both attractive revenue and favorable tax benefits. He has over five years experience prospecting for, negotiating term sheets and agreements, and closing 14 licensing transactions and 6 divestitures thatís brought more than $15M of previously unrecognized or overlooked revenue.

    As Director of Technology Licensing at Weyerhaeuser, John drove the companyís strategic bias to license or divest technology in order to decrease the cost of in-house research and development. Heís worked with teams of scientists, engineers, and legal and business leadership to evaluate, determine, and present which technologies to license/divest. In addition, as a representative for Weyerhaeuser on a Joint Development Agreement, John led a team to re-open negotiations on fertilizer technology twice with an industry leader. His efforts achieved the companyís most successful license with royalty fees from the U.S. and 8 other countries.

    In all of his roles, John has been a resourceful and perseverant professional as well as a resilient licensing and deal-winning key contributor committed to optimizing the return on investment for innovation and technology by making the deal successful for both parties


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.


Daniel C. Lee

B.A., Cornell University, 2014


After coming to the United States from South Korea when he was 5, Daniel was raised in New York City. He later attended Cornell University where he received a BA in chemistry and psychology. For his undergraduate research, he studied the effects of different allosteric modulators on the single channel kinetics of glutamate receptors. He then moved to New Orleans to work as a chemist in the petrochemical industry for two years before starting his PhD with the Boydston group in Autumn 2016. Outside of lab, Daniel plays volleyball, coaches policy debate at UW, and enjoys traveling.


Pengtao Lu

B.E., East China University 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 (National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Research Fellow)

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.                                            


Melissa Ryskamp

B.S. (Chemistry), B.A. (Mathematics); Whitworth University, 2015.


Melissa is originally from Ontario, Canada. She moved to Washington as a teenager and later attended Whitworth University where she received a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in mathematics. Her undergraduate research with Dr. Trisha Russell involved the derivatization of the artificial sweetener, Sucralose, in order to study its potential interactions with drug-metabolizing enzymes. Melissa joined the Boydston group in December of 2015. Outside of the lab, Melissa enjoys snowboarding, playing volleyball, and spending time outdoors.


Johanna Schwartz (NSF Graduate Research Fellow)

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.


Carl Thrasher

B.A., United States Air Force Academy, 2015


Carl grew up all across the United States and received his BA in chemistry from the United States Air Force Academy in 2015, becoming a Second Lieutenant in the United States Air Force in the process. His undergraduate research with Dr. Scott Iacono involved the synthesis and development of new fluorinated silsesquioxanes cages for low surface energy applications. Carl also spent time at Los Alamos National Laboratory researching the genetic engineering of algae to increase biomass production. Carl joined the Boydston group in August of 2015. Outside the lab Carl enjoys cooking, working out, reading, exploring, and video games.


Ashlynn Vander Meer

B.S., University of Washington, 2015


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


Postdocs (current position)

Eric Finney (Pacific Lutheran University)


Damian Dunford (University of Washington)


Adam Goetz (Pfizer)


Graduate Students (current position)

Kelli Ogawa, PhD 2015 (Dow Chemical Company)


Greg Peterson, PhD 2015 (postdoc with Matthew Becker)


Mike Larsen, PhD 2015 (postdoc with Marc Hillymer)


Hira Khalid, visiting PhD student (Assistant Professor at GC Women University, Sialkot, Pakistan)


Sophia Tran (University of Washington)


Zeran Wang


Erika Buckle (University of Washington)


Undergraduate Researchers

Dorothy Ackerman

Neha Ansari

Thomas Bearrood

BeiBei Chen

Alice Chu

Candice Cooper

Marian Dobles

Tariq Jabaiti

Stephanie Wang

Madeline Wong

Gedion Yitref

Se Ah Yoon



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