Postdoctoral Fellows

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Dr. Lei Liu

Lei was born in Beijing, China, and graduated in 2009 with B.S in Chemistry at China Agricultural University. Driven by his strong interest in Organic chemistry, he began with Ph.D. studies in Prof. Bin Fu's lab at China Agricultural University, where he focused on Asymmetric Catalysis. From Oct. 2013 to Dec. 2014 Lei worked on Oxidative C-C Couplings in Prof. Marisa C. Kozlowski’s group at University of Pennsylvania as a Visiting scholar.

Then he got Ph.D degree and started working as a Research Associate in Institute of Materia Medica, Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences & Peking Union Medical College with Prof. Xiandao Pan on Synthesis of Highly Potent and Multitargeting Antitumor Agents. In Mar. 2017, he joined Dr. Gutierrez’s group as a Postdoctoral Associate working in Iron-Catalyzed Cross Couplings. In his free time, Lei enjoys watching soccer games and spending time with his family. 


Your theory is crazy, but it's not crazy enough to be true.

- Niels Bohr

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Dr. Dinabandhu Sar 

Dinabandhu was born and raised in Garbeta, India. He did his graduation in chemistry (Hons) and master in Organic Chemistry from Vidyasagar University, India. He pursued doctoral studies in Prof. T. Punniyamurthy lab at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Guwahati, India. His doctoral work focused on C-H functionalization reaction. He obtained his PhD degree in January 2017. From June 2017 to December 2020, he conducted his research in Prof. Dipanjan Pan’s lab as a postdoctoral researcher at Bioengineering Department at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he focused on synthesizing novel small molecule and macromolecular agents for molecularly targeted imaging and therapy for treating cancer and cardiovascular disease. Then he worked in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Baylor University from January 2020 to September 2020, with Dr. B. Lindley on pincer complex synthesis and their application in organic methodology. He joined Dr. Gutierrez’s group in October 2020, working on Iron catalyzed Cross-Coupling reactions. In his free time, Dinabandhu enjoys watching detective movies and spending time with family.


If I am anything, which I highly doubt, I have made myself so by hard work
- Isaac Newton

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Dr. Ángel Rentería-Gómez 

Ángel Rentería-Gómez was born and raised in Guanajuato, México. He did his bachelor’s in chemistry, pharmacy, and biology (QFB for its abbreviation in Spanish) in Guanajuato University. He pursued doctoral studies in Prof. María del Rocio Gámez-Montaño group in the same university. His doctoral work focused on isocyanide-based multicomponent reaction (I-MCR) and mechanistic studies using DFT with the co-advisory of Prof. Jose Oscar Carlos Jimenez-Halla. In his last year of doctorate, Angel did a research stay with Professor Jieping Zhu at the EPFL-LSPN (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne-Laboratory of synthesis and natural products) in Lausanne, Switzerland, worked in MCR methodologies. He obtained his PhD degree in May 2019 (Honor: “summa cumme laude”). From Sep 2019 to December 2020, he worked like researcher and development chemist in Uquifa México S.A. de C.V. (Cuernavaca, México), where he focused on design, synthesis, purification, and characterization of reference standards for use in the manufacture of APIs (active pharmaceutical ingredients). He joined Dr. Gutierrez’s group in January 2021 as a Fulbright-García Robles scholar, working on Iron catalyzed Cross-Coupling reactions and computational research.

Ph.D. Students

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Madeline Rotella

Madeline was born in the US and raised in New Jersey. She attended Villanova University where she earned her BS in 2013. She stayed at Villanova to earn her MS degree in 2015 under the direction of Dr. Robert Giuliano where she studied carbohydrate synthesis and graphite nanofiber functionalization.

She then spent a year as a Visiting Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania working in Dr. Patrick Walsh’s lab where she studied palladium catalyzed CH functionalization reactions. In 2017, she joined the Gutierrez group where she uses computational and experimental methods to study the structural and electronic properties of diamine-bipyridine iron catalysts. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family and her dogs.


Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.

-Jules Verne, A Journey to the Center of the Earth

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Ryan Dykstra

Ryan was born in Goshen, NY, and was raised in New Jersey. During his undergraduate education at Montclair State University, he joined Dr. Eshuis’s lab where he utilized computational tools to study atmospheric reaction mechanisms and catalytic molecular dynamics. He graduated in 2016 with his B.S. in chemistry. In 2017, he began summer research under Dr. Gutierrez where he used ab initio methods to elucidate Nickel- and Iron- catalyzed reaction mechanisms. In his spare time, Ryan enjoys playing soccer and fishing.


The present is the only things that has no end. 

-Erwin Schrödinger

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Mingbin Yuan

Mingbin was born in Guangzhou, China. He obtained his B.Sc degree in 2017 from a joint program of Sun Yat-sen University and the Hong Kong Polytechnic University under the direction of Dr. Yung where he studied new energy related synthesis with rare earth metal complexes. He joined the Gutierrez group in Fall 2017 where he uses computational tools to elucidate the mechanism of iron-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions and radical organic transfromatons. In his free time, Mingbin enjoys running, reading and watching movies.


There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men; true nobility is being superior to your former self.

– Hemingway

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Zhihui Song

Zhihui was born and raised in Shandong, China. She majored in material chemistry and obtained her B.S. at Nankai University in China. During her undergraduate education, she studied in Professor Yu Liu’s lab, working on supramolecular. Besides, she also worked in Professor K. N. Houk’s group as a visiting scholar.

During this time, she concentrated on the computational study of the Diels-Alder reaction.  Zhihui joined in Professor Gutierrez’s group in 2017 at the University of Maryland. Her research focuses on the computational study of iron-catalyzed C-H activation processes.


Try not to become a man of success but rather try to become a man of value.

-A. Einstein

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Robert Martin

Robert was born and raised in Silver Spring, Maryland. He attends the University of Maryland, College Park where he is earning his (triple) BS in Chemistry, Mathematics, and in Education. He has worked as a TA for Organic Chemistry lab for 2 years and is currently working on the student teaching required to complete his certification for education. He decided to pursue research in Dr. Gutierrez's lab after taking Advanced Organic Chemistry with Dr. Gutierrez, and is currently working on computational research in the group. In his free time, he enjoys playing Pokemon, listening to rap music, and spending time with his family.



It was all a dream 

- Notorious BIG

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Cassandra Youshaw

Cassy was born and raised in Howard County, Maryland. She graduated from St. Mary’s College of Maryland in 2019 with a B.S. degree in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics.


There she worked in Dr. Chase’s lab, focusing on the synthesis and characterization of the fluorescent dye, Aza-BODIPY. She joined the Gutierrez group in Fall of 2019, working on iron catalyzed cross-coupling reactions. In her free time, Cassy enjoys watching nerdy movies and spending time with her family.


I was taught that the way of progress was neither swift or easy. 

-Marie Curie

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Shuai Yin

 Shuai Yin was born in Tianjin, China, and graduated in 2018 with B.S in Chemistry at Nankai University, China. In his undergraduate, he developed his interest of Organic mechanism and Physical chemistry. Driven by his strong interest of chemistry, he was admitted by Drexel University, where he worked in Dr. Martinez’s group, working on Pauson-Khand reaction.

In Fall 2020, he decided to pursue research in Dr. Gutierrez’s lab to have further study on the computational chemistry and the research of organic mechanism. In his free time, Shuai enjoys cooking, reading and playing computer games.


God does not play dice.

 — Albert Einstein 

Undergraduate Students

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Katya Beltran

Katya grew up in Silver Spring Maryland where she first discovered her love of chemistry in her IB HL chemistry class at Richard Montgomery High School. Ever since she was young, she loved doing puzzles with her grandfather and playing detective with her younger sister. She found that forensic science satisfied all her passions. She is excited to be a part of "The Original OG Research Labs" and do research in the field of Organic Chemistry for the first time. Some of her other passions include playing cello, working out, and dancing. 

“Practice does not make perfect. Practice makes permanent. Repeat the same mistakes over and over, and you don't get any closer to Carnegie Hall.”

 -Sarah Kay, No Matter the Wreckage

Former Members

Ph.D. Students 

Dr. Wes Lee

•Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher at NIH.


Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Jun Zhou

•Current Position: Assistant Professor at Changsha University of Science & Technology



Saul Flores

Joshua Turman

Dale Allen

Abigail Hunker

Emma Walter

Stephanie Vargas

David Polefrone

Zachary Wilhelm

Onyemachi Azubuko

Oreoluwa Akinyodee

Brandon Williams

Yuliang (Aaron) Wu 

Michael “Ben” Geherty

Victor Baumann

Donovaun Bialose

Surjo Bandyopadhyay

Linus Nemiroff

Michael Davis

Christopher Acha

Ashley Henriquez

Simone Williams

 Ashley Onwu

 Alyssa Manio

 Monica Cardenas


High School Students

Deeya Garg, Montgomery Blair High School

Pratik Lahiri, Richard Montgomery High School