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Current students of the Gudmundsdottir lab

Graduate Students




Leanna Patton

Leanna is a PhD candidate here at UC. Her research is focused on the photodynamic behaviors of azidostibenes. Leanna works in conjunction with the UC libraries and presents seminars on different resources such as Zotero, citation managers, and SciFinder-n.  

As a Ph.D.  candidate, Leanna is also a mentor to an undergraduate research student.

She enjoys mentoring and teaching others about her lab knowledge and experiences. 

In her free time, she also enjoys knitting. 



Brandi James

After obtaining her B.S. in Chemistry and Mathematics from Wilmington College (Spring 2018), Brandi joined the group in January 2019 with her work is focused on studying sun blockers and geminal diazides. She is currently a PhD candidate and the group manager.


While also researching physical organic chemistry with 2-Azidoazobenzenes in the Gudmundsdottir lab, she has broadened her graduate experience by fulfilling duties such as Lab Safety Advisor (2019-2022), and Peer Mentorship and Teaching roles through the UC Chemistry Department as CCDC’s Mentoring Liasion, UC REU Liasion for summer undergraduate research, (2020-present). Brandi has also been an ACS Project Seed Mentor since Summer 2020.


She enjoys singing for faculty birthdays and binge-watching competitive cooking shows.  


Dmitrii Govorov

I received my B.S. in Russia at the Ivanovo State University of Chemistry and Technology in 2018.  In January 2020 I joined Gudmundsdottir’s lab and started working on the mechanism of vinylnitrene photoisomerization reaction. My main instruments are multireference wavefunction-based and DFT calculations matched against spectroscopy data which together show possible pathways of photoinduced reactions. I am also looking for opportunities of employing machine learning algorithms as a tool to probe excited-state potential energy surfaces. Dmitrii is currently a PhD Candidate. Dmitrii received the Doctoral Enhancement Fellowship from the chemistry department in 2022. 


Dinindu Mendis

Dinindu joined the group January 2021.  He is working on a solution and solid-state photochemistry as well as on photodynamic crystals. Dinindu received the Dover Publishing award from the department for great communication in organic studies. He is currently a PhD candidate and our laser operator.


Niroodha Pitawela

Niroodha recieved her MSc from University of Iowa in 2021 and joined Anna's group in Fall of 2021 studying corannulene using Laser Flash photolysis and DFT calculations. 


Fiona Wasson

Fiona received her BSc in chemistry (ACS certified) with a minor in mathematics from Western Kentucky University in May 2021. She has a background in organic drug delivery polymers and syngas catalysis from her undergraduate research lab and industry internship experiences. Fiona joined the group in Winter of 2022 and is excited to work on gas releasing photodynamic crystals. She works on azides and endoperoxides for photodynamic studies and photomechanism. She was the GA for the chemistry library liason where she taught workshops for the university on SciFinder-n, Reaxys, and literature searching, while establishing a women of UC chem trailblazing highlight.


She is currently the President of CCDC (previously the Womens chair) and an REU corrdinator and mentor.


Janaka Kaviraj

Janaka received his MSc from Eastern Illinois in 2021 and began researching azides in the solid-state in January 2022. You can read more about his story above. Janaka became our group safety officer in Summer 2022. He is working on photodynamic vinyl and aryl azides and grows some of the most beautiful photodynamic crystals.


Dharma Raj Joshi

Dharma joined the group as a first year in spring of 2023. Dharma recieved his masters in Chemistry at Tribhuvan University at trichandra college in 2019. He is currently researching photochemistry of organic aromatic peroxides.


Sulaiman Umar Abbas

Sulaiman received his B.S. degree in the department of pure and industrial chemistry from Bayero University Kano, Nigeria in 2016. And my M.Sc. in the Department of Chemistry, School of Science, Tianjin University, China in the Collaborative Innovation Center of Chemical Science and Engineering (Tianjin) in 2022. My research focused on design, fabrication, and characterization of metal organic frameworks (MOFs) and nanomaterials for electrochemical applications. Now I am Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemistry, University of Cincinnati. My research focuses on photomechanistic studies of azides and hope to add my training in electrochemical studies to photochemistry.



Wandana Henarath Mohottige

Wandana joined the group as a first year in spring 2023. She is currently studying aryl azides.


Ben Crabtree

Ben joined the group Summer 2023. He is currently studying aryl azides.

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