B.S., Chemistry, 2009; University of Notre Dame
Olaf G. Wiest 

Ph.D., Chemistry, 2014; University of California, Berkeley
Advisor: John F. Hartwig

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2017; University of Michigan
Advisor: Melanie S. Sanford

Christo was born in Sofia, Bulgaria and moved to the US at the age of four. He spent his formative years in South Bend, IN and received his B.S. in 2009 from the University of Notre Dame. There, Christo worked with Prof. Olaf Wiest on photocatalyzed cycloaddition reactions with selectivities that complement those of traditional Diels-Alder processes. Christo earned his Ph.D. in 2014 after beginning his studies at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with Prof. John Hartwig and later moving with the group to the University of California Berkeley. His research involved the development of methods and mechanistic study of metal-catalyzed additions of C–H, N–H, and O–H bonds across alkenes. Following his doctoral studies, Christo conducted his postdoctoral work with Prof. Melanie Sanford at the University of Michigan. Applying an organic chemist’s approach to energy storage, Christo designed new organic and organometallic compounds that could serve as redox liquids for large-scale flow batteries. Christo joined the faculty of The Ohio State University in the summer of 2017 and is now an associate professor. His group merges his love of catalysis and electrochemistry to develop new synthetic organic methods, upcycle chemical wastes and plastics, and design high-capacity flow batteries.

Awards and Honors

  • 2024 ACS Catalysis Lectureship Award
  • 2024 Thieme Chemistry Journals Award
  • 2023 Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award
  • 2023 OSU Early Career Distinguished Scholar Award
  • 2023 Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow
  • 2022 Division of Organic Chemistry Academic Young Investigator
  • 2021 Department of Energy Early Career Research Award
  • 2019 ENGIE Sustainable Energy Research Award
  • 2018 ACS Petroleum Research Fund New Investigator Award


  • 2016 University of Michigan Outstanding Postdoctoral Fellow
  • 2012 BASF Catalysis Winter School (CaRLa), 1st Place
  • 2011 National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow
  • 2009 Springborn Graduate Research Fellow
  • 2009 University of Notre Dame Most Outstanding Chemist Award
  • 2008 Pfizer Research Fellow
  • 2005 Siemens-Westinghouse Scholar
  • 2005 Moose Krause Scholar-Athlete
  • 2004 National Football Foundation: National Scholar-Athlete
  • 2022 Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award