Marcy J. Balunas, Ph.D.

Associate Professor in Medicinal Chemistry

Associate Professor in Chemistry

Affiliate Faculty, Center for Environmental Sciences and Engineering



Karen Tan, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Karen received her M.S. in Pharmacy from University of the Philippines in 2010. In 2011, she moved to Japan, where she majored in Natural Products Chemistry and successfully defended her M.S. (2013) and Ph.D. (2016) theses in Pharmaceutical Sciences from University of Tokyo.


Samantha Gromek

Graduate Student

Samantha received her B.S. in Biology from Susquehanna University in 2010.


Jing Liu

Graduate Student

Jing received her M.S. in Medicinal Chemistry, Natural Products Division from China Pharmaceutical University in 2004 and her B.S. in Traditional Chinese Materia Medica from China Pharmaceutical University in 2001.


Sara Puckett

Graduate Student

Sara received her M.S. in Biochemistry from University of North Carolina Greensboro in 2016. She received her B.S in Biology and Pre-Professional Sciences and B.A. in Chemistry and Spanish from Ferrum College in 2014.


James deMayo

Graduate Student

Jimmy received his B.S. in Physiology from University of California Santa Barbara in 2013. In September 2016, Jimmy successfully defended his M.S. thesis in Medicinal Chemistry.


Lucas Gitzel

Research Specialist

Lucas received his B.S. in Molecular and Cell Biology from the University of Connecticut in 2017.

Current Interns

Kailey Huot, Undergraduate student

Lava Kareem, Pharm.D. student

Cindy Li, Undergraduate student

Andrew Maxwell, McNair Scholar and Undergraduate honors thesis student

Brendan Stewart, University Scholar and Undergraduate honors thesis student




Former Lab Members

Heather Winter, Research Specialist

Lilly Tartsinis, Undergraduate honors student

Alexander Trouern-Trend, Undergraduate student

Jillian Garcia, Research Specialist

Annie Sung, Undergraduate honors thesis student

Athena Tao, Pharm.D. honors thesis studnet

Ashley West, Pharm.D honors thesis student

Matthew Lin, Holster Scholar and Undergraduate honors student

Georgina Appiah-Pippim, McNair Scholar and Undergraduate honors thesis student

Meggy Chen, Pharm.D. honors student

Joe Molleur, Volunteer (UConn Alumnus)

Taylor Riley, Undergraduate student

Allegra Molkenthin, High school student

Behnoush Hajian, Graduate student

Julie Costello, Pharm.D. honors thesis student

Lyubina Yankova, Undergraduate honors thesis student

Christopher Pavlik, Postdoctoral scientist

Sarah Leverett, Pre-Pharmacy honors student

Josh Baldino, Pharm.D. honors student

Sarah Chambers, Pharm.D. honors student

Tatyana Dyndikova, University of Rochester undergraduate student (REACH Program)

Ahsum Khan, University of Rochester undergraduate student (REACH Program)

Kristin Kipp, Research Assistant

Ann-Chee Cheng, Research Assistant

Patrick Brooks, Pharm.D. student

Ashley Kalinauskas, Undergraduate student

Sara Trevisani, Undergraduate student

Aileen Yang, Undergraduate honors student

Anu Jojo, Volunteer

Samie Ahmed, Undergraduate student

Panama Lab Members

Rebecca Pike, Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania (CREO Program)

Jessica Schwartz, Franklin and Marshall College

Jessica Avalos, University of California Santa Cruz (CREO Program)

Brittany Graf, The College of New Jersey (CREO Program)

Manuel Grosso, Universidad de Panamá (Estímulos Program, CREO Program)

Daniel Wong, Universidad de Panamá (Estímulos Program)

Cecilio Atencio, Universidad Autónoma de Chiriquí, (Estímulos Program)

Christina Wong, University of Rochester (CREO Program)

Amanda Fenner, University of Iowa (CREO Program)

Sarah Herbst, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (UMEB Program)

Kathryn Clark, McGill University (NEO Program)

Dioxelis López, INDICASAT