Current Members

Principal Investigator

HannahShafaat02 Dr. Hannah Shafaat

Bio: Hannah received her B.S. in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in 2006, where she performed research on spectroscopic endospore viability assays with Adrian Ponce (NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory) and Harry Gray. She received her Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) in 2011, under the direction of Professor Judy Kim, as an NSF Graduate Research Fellow and a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellow. During her graduate research, she used many different types of spectroscopy to study the structure and dynamics of amino acid radical intermediates in biological electron transfer reactions. After earning her Ph.D., Hannah moved across the ocean to Germany to study hydrogenase proteins and learn advanced EPR techniques as a Humboldt Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow working under Director Wolfgang Lubitz at the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion (formerly Bioinorganic Chemistry).

Email: shafaat.1 [at] osu [dot] edu.

Fun fact:  Domino, Hannah’s cat, has logged over 15,000 frequent flier miles to follow Hannah as she’s moved around.

Graduate Students

Regina Trevino 

Bio: Regina is from Mission, Texas and attended The University of Texas at Austin, where she received a B.S. in Chemistry. While at UT Austin, she conducted research on the synthesis and characterization of dendrimer encapsulated nanoparticles as catalysts for the production of hydrogen. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. as a member of the Ohio State Chemistry and Biochemistry program in the inorganic division. She is presently working on the metalloenzymes project in producing hydrogenase like activity from artificial enzymes.

Email: trevino.59 [at] osu [dot] edu.

Fun Fact: Regina played roller hockey for over 4 years and still enjoys roller blading in her free time.

Joe Hazel 

Bio: Joe is from Charlotte, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry and Biology in 2015. While at UNC, he worked under Dr. Jerry Troutman on the biosynthesis of microbial glycans, especially the capsule polysaccharide of the bacterial pathogen Vibrio vulnificus. His current research in the group focuses on the heterobimetallic R2-like ligand-binding oxidase protein, R2lox.

Email: hazel.42 [at] osu [dot] edu.

Fun Fact: Joe joined the Shafaat group at OSU after four years of living as Florida Man, where he split his time between teaching online, hanging out on the beach, and eating grapefruit.

Luke Lewis

Bio: Luke is from Hermitage, Pennsylvania and earned his B.S. in Chemistry at Purdue University. While at Purdue, he worked on synthesizing fluorescent tags for small bio molecules. In 2018, Luke joined the Ohio State Chemistry and Biochemistry program in the inorganic division. His current project is investigating the binding affinity of carbon dioxide to catalysts.

Email: lewis.2667 [at] osu [dot] edu.

Fun Fact: He likes to pick heavy things up and put them back down.

Alina Yerbulekova 

Bio: Alina is from Almaty, Kazakhstan. She graduated from Nazarbayev University (Astana, Kazakhstan) in 2016 with B.S. in Chemistry. Alina attended Eotvos Lorand University in Budapest, Hungary where She received M.S. in Chemistry in 2018. During master’s program, Alina worked on synthesis and characterization of Herpex Simplex virus-1 glycoprotein D peptides and drug conjugates. Alina joined OSBP program at OSU in 2018. Her current project focuses on modelling reactivity of ACS using nickel substituted azurin.

Email: yerbulekova.1 [at] osu [dot] edu.

Fun Fact: My colleagues say that I have a killer side eye.

Ashlee Wertz

Bio: Ashlee is from Canton, Ohio and attended the University of Dayton where she received her B.S in biochemistry and M.S in chemistry. During this time, she worked on synthesizing ruthenium polypyridyl complexes for use in photodynamic therapy. Ashlee is currently working towards her Ph.D as a member of the Ohio State Chemistry and Biochemistry program in the inorganic division.

Email: wertz.97 [at] osu [dot] edu.

Fun Fact: Ashlee enjoys running in her free time and has completed 1 full and 3 half marathons.

Josephine Gan

Bio: Josephine is from Guangdong, China. She graduated from Brandeis University in 2018 with B.S. in Chemistry and Biochemistry. While at Brandeis, Josephine worked on turing pattern formation in reaction-diffusion system with external perturbations. After she graduated, she worked as a research assistant at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology investigating ATM loss in autophagy-lysosomal pathway. Josephine joined the Ohio State Chemistry and Biochemistry program in the biological division at OSU in 2019. Her current project focuses on characterization of R2lox heterometallic cofactors using DFT calculations.

Email: gan.161 [at] osu [dot] edu.

Fun Fact: Josephine did ballet dance for 8 years and still go dancing in her free time.

Undergraduate Students

Ella Troy

Bio: Ella is an undergraduate biochemistry major with a molecular genetics minor from Pittsburgh, PA. She is a PLTL leader for general chemistry, a lab assistant for the chemistry department, and a tutor at the Younkin center. After graduating, she plans on either attending medical school or entering in a MSTP program to attain a dual MD-PhD doctoral degree.

Email: troy.55 [at] osu [dot] edu

Fun Fact: Ella played travel ice hockey for eleven years and made it to national 6 times for it, placing third in the nation once.

Sierra Cady

Bio: Sierra is an undergraduate student majoring in chemistry and Spanish and minoring in neuroscience from Mokena, IL. She is the music director of Scarlet Fever acappella, a co-ed group that performs in the university and Columbus communities. Sierra plans on studying abroad in Seville, Spain during the spring of 2020.

Email: cady.61 [at] osu [dot] edu

Fun Fact: Sierra relates to Sia’s lyric “I am titanium”; her artificial hip makes titanium her favorite transition metal.


Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Chandradeep Ghosh, 2020

Bio: Chandra is from Kolkata, India where he completed his B.S. in Chemistry from Presidency College and obtained his M.S. degree from Banaras Hindu University. In his Ph.D tenure at Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science, under the supervision of Dr. Somdatta Ghosh Dey, he was involved in the investigation of active site structure and different reactivities of heme and copper bound amyloid β peptide using various spectroscopic techniques. He joined the Shafaat Group as a postdoc, and worked on trapping the reactive intermediates of the novel heterodinuclear metalloprotein, R2-like ligand-binding oxidase (R2lox).

Email: Ghosh.195 [at] osu [dot] edu.

Fun Fact: Chandra likes sketching portraits and painting in his free time.

michael_gc Dr. Michael Stevenson, 2017

Bio: Michael received his B.S. in Biochemistry from the University of Washington in 2009, where he studied how epigenetic modification can stimulate genetic variation with Professor Nancy Maizels. He received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Dartmouth College in 2016, under the guidance of Professor Dean Wilcox, and was an NSF GK-12 Fellow and recipient of the John H. Wolfenden Teaching Award. His graduate work entailed determining the thermodynamics of metal ions binding to proteins in the copper homeostasis pathway and the organomercurial detoxification pathway. He worked on probing the mechanism of hydrogenase activity in artificial enzymes.

Current Position: Michael is currently a post-doc at the University of California-Davis working for Dr. Marie Heffern.

Fun Fact: Michael enjoys wearing funky and colorful socks.

Graduate Students

sean_desk Dr. Sean Marguet, 2020

Bio: Sean is from Greenville, Indiana and attended Indiana University Southeast, where he received his B.S. in Chemistry and A.A. in Mathematics and Physics. At IUS, Sean computationally investigated the docking of Plasmodium falciparum plasmepsins to human hemoglobin under Dr. Victor Waingeh. Sean was working towards his Ph.D. as a member of the Ohio State Chemistry and Biochemistry program in the physical division. His research project involved computationally studying metalloenzymes using density functional theory (DFT) and molecular dynamics (MD) to evaluate the mechanism of catalysis of artificial metalloenzymes.

Current Position: Sean is currently looking for new opportunities in the catalysis industry.

Fun Fact: Sean enjoys snowboarding. He also likes to go to Lake Cumberland to go boating and wakeboarding.

Effie_balance Dr. Effie Kisgeropoulos, 2020

Bio: Effie is a native Ohioan and attended Kent State University, where she received a B.S. in Biotechnology. During this time she defended an honors thesis on the inhibition of ovarian cancer cell proliferation by endogenous lipid compounds. As a senior, she took a job with the oilfield company Buckeye Brine LLC troubleshooting water quality issues. She remained with the company after graduation, until accepting an offer as a member of the Ohio State Biochemistry Program, where she worked towards her Ph.D. Her research was on characterizing the novel heterodinuclear metalloprotein, R2-like ligand-binding oxidase (R2lox).

Current Position: Effie is currently a postdoc at National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) working for Dr. Paul King.

Fun Fact: While participating in a water quality study, Effie once fell in a particularly toxic stream while taking a sample…she is still waiting for her superhero powers to develop.

shelby_fumehood Dr. Shelby Behnke, 2019

Bio: Shelby Behnke is from South Carolina and attended the University of South Carolina Aiken where she received her B.S. in Chemistry. While in undergrad, she worked on synthesis and reactivity studies of small molecules. She worked towards her Ph.D. as a member of the Ohio State Chemistry and Biochemistry program in the inorganic division. Her project was on small molecule mimics of hydrogenases.

Current Position: Shelby is currently working as a Process Engineer at Intel in Portland, Oregon.

Fun fact: Shelby swam competitively for 19 years and can be found at the pool in the early hours of the morning.

Cami_glovebox  Dr. Camille Schneider, 2019 

Bio: Cami is from Kaukauna, Wisconsin and double majored in Biochemistry and Zoology at University of Wisconsin – Madison. While at UW, she studied the ischemia pathways in murine models. Cami joined the Ohio State Biochemistry Program in the Fall of 2014. Her research project involved creating an artificial metalloenzyme for the reduction of carbon dioxide.

Current Position: Cami is currently working at CAS in Columbus, Ohio.

Fun Fact: Cami hopes to one day own a Segway obstacle course in her backyard.

Clayton Wilson, M.S., 2019 

Bio: Clayton is from Greensboro, North Carolina and attended Clemson University, where he received a B.S. in Biochemistry. His undergraduate research was on the bactericidal properties of cationic phosphorous polymers. While at Clemson, Clayton participated in two summer internships for Proctor & Gamble in Cincinnati, Ohio, researching formulation and process development for laundry specific products. Clayton joined the Ohio State Chemistry and Biochemistry program in the organic division in 2017. He worked on nickel metalloenzymes modeling critical catalytic intermediates.

Fun Fact: Clayton was a cross country and track & field athlete for Clemson University and has competed in 23 different states. One day, he hopes to run a race in all 50 states.

Tash_candidacy  Dr. Anastasia Manesis, 2018

Bio: Anastasia, called Tasha by most, is from New Jersey and attended college at Northeastern University in Boston, MA where she obtained a B.S in Biochemistry and a B.A in Asian Studies. While in undergrad she worked for QinetiQ-North America researching the decontamination of biological and chemical warfare agents and at GlaxoSmithKline as a co-op student helping to construct small molecule synthetic libraries. She was a Ph.D candidate in the Ohio State Biochemistry Program and worked on the metalloenzyme project characterizing critical nickel intermediates found in enzymes that regulate global gas cycles.

Current Position: Tasha is currently a postdoc at Northwestern University working for Dr. Amy Rosenzweig.

Fun fact: Tasha won her heat in the Qdoba burrito eating contest her sophomore year of college.

Jeff_488nmlaser Dr. Jeffrey Slater, 2018 

Bio: Jeff received his B.S. in Biochemistry and Psychology from the University of Mount Union in 2013, where he performed research on the biosynthesis of novel sugar structures utilizing recombinant enzymes. Jeff was a Ph.D candidate and a member of The Ohio State Biochemistry Program (OSBP). He worked on the metalloenzyme project attempting to engineer hydrogenase activity into a non-catalytic protein scaffold.

Current Position: Jeff is currently a postdoc at Pennsylvania State University working for Dr. Martin Bollinger and Dr. Carsten Krebs.

Fun fact: Jeff has sang in choir for 13 years and has performed in the Vatican.

Dr. Pearson Maugeri, 2017

Bio: Pearson Maugeri is from Atlanta, GA and attended Harding University, located in Searcy, AR. He received his B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. While in undergrad, he worked at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta, GA doing PCR and sequencing assays on Varicella vaccines. Pearson has always been interested in interdisciplinary techniques. He was in the Biophysics graduate program doing resonance Raman spectroscopy of various metalloproteins to ascertain structure/function relationships and metal-binding selectivity.

Current Position: Pearson is currently working as a Process Engineer at Intel in Portland, Oregon.

Fun Fact: Pearson has played the guitar since he was in 7th grade and can also play the ukulele, banjo, and mandolin.

Undergraduate Students

Kassie Naughton, B.S., 2019 

Bio: Kassie was an undergraduate chemistry major from Cincinnati, OH. She was a General Chemistry Teaching Assistant for the Chemistry Department at OSU. Upon graduation, she plans on either attending medical school or going to graduate school for chemistry.

Current Position: Kassie is currently a graduate student at the University of Kentucky.

Fun Fact: Kassie was a member of her high school bowling team and has a high score of 265!

Zach Smith, B.A., 2018

Bio: Zach is an undergraduate biochemistry and psychology major from Cleveland, OH. He is on the executive board for Inspire OSU, a service organization helping a variety of causes. Upon graduation from OSU, Zach plans on attending medical school.

Fun Fact: Zach can recite all 45 presidents in order in less than 25 seconds.

Jess Fulton 

Bio: Jess is an undergraduate biochemistry major from South Vienna, Ohio. She is an active member of her service fraternity, Alpha Phi Omega, and enjoys working with the Columbus community. Jess plans to attend medical school to become a pediatric physician.

Fun Fact: Jess is part of a biochemistry study group called proTEAM!

Ayla Robinson, B.A., 2018 

Bio: Ayla is an undergraduate double majoring in chemistry and evolution & ecology, minoring in fine arts. She is passionate about her studies, as well as eastern philosophy, yoga and rock climbing. Ayla plans to continue her chemistry education in graduate school.

Fun Fact: Ayla completed her yoga teacher training in the summer of 2017 and loves outdoor adventures!

Tim O’Connor, B.S., 2018

Bio: Tim is a undergraduate biochemistry major from Chicago, IL. He is a member of the OSU Ski and Board Team and competes in slopestyle skiing events throughout the winter. He hopes to move into renewable energy or working with air/water quality in the future.

Current Position: Tim is working as an associate quality control chemistry analyst at Scientific Protein Laboratories in Chicago, IL.

Fun Fact: Tim is an avid fly fisherman and try to fish almost every day in the summers.

image1 Alex Leveto, B.S., 2018

Bio: Alex is a chemical engineering major from Warren, OH. He is a Student Lead at The Marketplace as well as a member of the OSU Ski Club and Relay for Life. Alex also plans to go into the renewable energy field upon graduation from OSU.

Current Position: Alex is work as an quality assurance intern at entrotech in Columbus, OH.

Fun Fact: Alex has ran in the annual Tough Mudder since 2014 and plans to continue the streak.

Nick_tube  Nicholas Trivelas, B.S., 2017

Bio: Nick was an undergraduate chemistry major from Chicago, IL with a minor in music. He sang in the OSU Men’s Glee Club and was an active member of Helix Tri-Beta.

Current Position: Nick is currently a senior at OSU and plans to graduate spring of 2017.

Fun fact: Nick used to Irish Step Dance for 8 years.

Matt_desk Matthew O’Connor, B.A., 2016

Bio: Matt is from Perrysburg, OH and graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry with a minor in Spanish. He was an active member of Delta Sigma Phi at OSU and worked as a laboratory TA for the Chemistry department.

Current Position: Matt is currently attending the University of Wisconsin-Madison (Masters education program).

Fun Fact: As a child, Matt came in second place in a hula hooping contest.

Haleigh_echem Haleigh Monaco, B.S., 2015

Bio: Haleigh is an OSU graduate from Cincinnati, Ohio. She received her B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Earth Sciences in 2015. She continued with her undergraduate work on mimicking hydrogenase activity in a small, robust metalloenzyme.

Current Position: Haleigh is currently attending University of Colorado-Boulder for a Ph.D in Chemistry.

Fun Fact: You could find Haleigh rock climbing at the OAC a couple times a week.

Sabrina Cirino B.S., 2015  

Bio: Sabrina graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry.

Current Position: Attending Case Western University for Masters of Science (MS) in anesthesia.