Postdoctoral Fellows

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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


Jacob was born and raised in Mokena, Illinois, receiving his Bachelor’s in Chemistry at the University of Arkansas in 2021. As a 2019 NSF-REU student and later a transfer student to the University of Arkansas, Jacob worked under the direction of Dr. Nan Zheng. Exploring his interests in organic chemistry, Jacob investigated the cleavage of strained “cyloaminal” compounds using hypervalent iodine reagents and photocatalysis as a method to achieve selective C-H functionalization. In the fall of the same year Jacob enrolled in Texas A&M University’s Chemistry Department as a graduate student, joining the Gutierrez Research Group where he does synthetic work in multicomponent iron-catalyzed cross coupling reactions and further explore his interests in synthetic organic chemistry. In the free time he can find, Jacob enjoys reading, going on hikes, cooking, baking, exploring history and talking to family.


“It is common sense to take a method and try it:  If it fails, admit it frankly and try another.  But above all, try something.”

-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Jacob Grygus

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Achyut was born in Assam, India and was raised in Nazira, a small town in Assam. He completed his Bachelor of Science(Chemistry) from Zakir Husain Delhi College, University of Delhi in 2019 and then completed his masters from IIT Bombay in 2021. His master's thesis was done under the supervision of Prof. R.B. Sunoj where he worked on DFT based mechanistic investigation of transition metal catalyzed C-H activation reactions. In fall 2021, he joined Dr. Gutierrez's group where he is working on applications of density functional theory to understand the reaction mechanisms of transition metal catalyzed reactions. He is also interested in the applications of machine learning to predict, design and improve the catalytic efficiency of various metal catalyzed reactions. 


"Equipped with my five senses, I want to explore the universe around me and call the adventure science"

-Edwin Powell Hubble"

Achyut Gogoi

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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 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

Robert Martin

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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 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 

Shuai Yin

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. Madeline E. Rotella (2016-2021)

•Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher at UPenn with Prof. Kozlowski.

Dr. Wes Lee (2016-2021)

•Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher at NIH.


Postdoctoral Researchers

Dr. Lei Liu

•Current Position: Medicinal Chemist at Incyte Corporation 

Dr. Jun Zhou

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


Visiting Scholars

Camila Aguilera (2022)

•Current Position: Ph.D. student at U. Rochester with Prof. Neidig



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