in the Chemical Engineering Department

Principal Investigator

D. Tyler McQuade, PhD

A surfer-turned-scientist, Dr. McQuade studied and did research in organic chemistry at UC Irvine, UW Madison and MIT. He learned the principles of chemical engineering during his 14 years in academics in the U.S., Switzerland, and Germany, and as a Program Manager, Deputy Director and Acting Director of the Defense Science Office at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). While at DARPA, Dr. McQuade led a wide variety of research programs ranging from algae farms to produce biofuels, mobile systems that could rapidly destroy chemical warfare agents, and machines that automated chemical synthesis. He welcomes students who share his passion for improving the world by combining intellectual imagination with focused dedication.

in the Chemical Engineering Department

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Mateo Berton, PhD

Originally from Brussels, Mateo Berton, Ph.D., received his bachelor’s (2010), master’s (2012) and doctoral (2016) degrees in chemistry from the University of Valencia (Spain) where he studied the reactivity of carbon dioxide and explored its synthetic applications. In his postdoctoral position at Johnson & Johnson in the department of continuous flow chemistry under the direction of Jesús Alcázar he gained expertise applying this methodology in drug discovery. In 2017, he moved to the US to work for Paul G. Williard as a postdoctoral research associate at Brown University studying solid state and solvent free aldol and hydride transfer reactions. 

in the Chemical Engineering Department

Postdoctoral Research Associate

K. Kashinath, PhD

Kashinath received his Ph.D in 2016 from CSIR-National Chemical Laboratory, Pune, India under the guidance of Dr. D. Srinivasa Reddy. During his Ph.D he worked on total synthesis of natural products and was involved in several medicinal chemistry programs. Later he joined Ahammune Biosciences Pvt Ltd, Pune, India where he helped development of drug a candidate to treat Vitiligo, a skin depigmenting disorder. In February 2019, he joined Dr. McQuade’s lab and is currently working on low cost synthesis of Lamivudine, an antiretroviral drug. His research interests includes total synthesis, drug discovery and process development.

In the Chemical Engineering Department

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Irini Abdiaj, PhD

Irini  joined the McQuade group in January 2019. She holds a M.Sc. in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technologies and an industrial PhD in Janssen, Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, Toledo, Spain. Irini is a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Fellow and her doctoral work under the supervision of Dr. Jesus Alcazar was to enable the role of visible light photoredox catalysis for drug-discovery using flow chemistry. Currently she is working on developing cost-effective strategies for the synthesis of HIV drug, Lamivudine.

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In the Chemistry PhD Program at Federal University of São Carlos (UFSCar)

Graduate Student (visiting)

Juliana Souza

Juliana received her B.S. in chemistry in 2013 from Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), Brazil, and has master's degree in organic chemistry, specifically on porphyrin synthesis by the same university (2014-2015). Currently, she is a graduate student at UFSCar and Virginia Commonwealth University and works with photochemical reactions in continuous flow conditions.

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In the Chemical Engineering PhD Program

Graduate Student

Adam Luxon

Adam is a computational chemist-chemical engineer hybrid looking to push the boundaries of computer assisted chemistry.  He is interested in chemical data standardization and processing for machine learning applications.  His research centers around developing models that relate molecules' wavefunctions with complex performance properties. Adam earned his B.S in Chemistry at the University of Richmond where he did computational chemistry research in Dr. Carol Parish's lab. 

In the Chemical Engineering and Chemistry Bachelor's Program

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Quang Le

Quang is part of the OKN project as a Research Technician. Outside of school and work, he enjoys exercising and reading. His favorite author as of 2019 is Randall Munroe, creator of the webcomic XKCD.

In the Chemical Engineering Bachelor's Program

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Andres Hyer

In his free time, Andres likes to go to the gym and play chess. The reason he decided to go into chemical engineering is to one day  work on alternative fuels.


Virginia Commonwealth University