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Current Research Group

The research team that makes everything happens!



Visiting Professor Dr. Mrinal Chakraborty

My research revolves around studying the photochemistry of corannulene derivatives.



Visiting Scientist Dr. Anju Duley

Dr. Anju Duley got her PhD at Indian Institute of Technology, Kapur, investigating peptide design, synthesis and conformational analysis. Currently, she is using her expertise in conformational analysis to investigate solid state photochemistry.

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Graduate Student




Dylan J. Shields

My research in Professor Gudmundsdottir’s laboratory is focused on elucidating solid-state reaction mechanisms and how molecular energy can be converted into mechanical energy. By understanding how to convert molecular stress into mechanical energy, new classes of smart devices can be formulated for use in sensors or energy harvesting applications.  I am proficient in using transient spectroscopy on nanosecond timescale in solution and the solid state, and familiar with picosecond Pump-Prove spectroscopy (IR and UV). I am efficient in synthesis of organic compounds, as well as isolating and characterizing photoproducts.  In addition, I can readily preform DFT calculations and use the calculations correlate with experimental results. Finally, I have experience in obtaining and solving X-ray structures. ​


Twitter: @CrystDyls

Orchid ID:

My CV is embedded here.



Upasana Banerjee

Current Research:

My research in Dr. Gudmundsdottir group is focused on physical organic chemistry, more precisely studying the mechanism of photoreactions in solution, solid-state and cryogenic matrices, with special emphasizes on determining the forces that cause crystals to be photo-responsive upon exposure to light. I am skilled in organic synthesis, transient spectroscopy such as laser flash photolysis, matrix isolation, and EPR spectroscopy. Furthermore, I am proficient in supporting my reactions mechanism with density functional theory calculations. My research also focuses on photoresponsive organic crystals. I have investigated various underlying factors such as crystal packing, intermolecular interactions, size and quality of the crystal and the intensity of the incident light to understand how these factors control the dynamic behavior of organic crystals, to develop a bridge between the structure and function of photoresponsive organic crystals.



Graduate student in University of Cincinnati since 2015
Masters in organic chemistry, VIT University, Vellore, India, 2014
Bachelors in chemistry, University of Calcutta, Calcutta, India, 2012


  • URC Award: Graduate Student Stipend and Research Cost Program for Faculty (URC) —Student Collaboration Award for a total of $4400.00 for project ‘Towards molecular machineries utilizing photodynamic organic crystals’ University of Cincinnati, received 2020

  • RITE Fellowship: $4000 funding for continuing a collaborative project ‘Electron Spin Resonance (EPR) studies on highly reactive radicals’ at Hiroshima University, Japan, Chemistry Departmental fellowship at University of Cincinnati, received 2019

  • Ann P. Villalobos / LANGE Fellowship: To recognize and support an outstanding performance as a graduate student, Chemistry Departmental fellowship at University of Cincinnati, received 2019

  • Laws Fellowship: For recognition of outstanding research performance by third year or higher graduate student, Chemistry Departmental fellowship at University of Cincinnati, received 2018

  • Doctoral Enhancement Award:  To an outstanding graduate student to support recent accomplishments to date and future research potential, Chemistry Departmental fellowship at University of Cincinnati, received 2018

  • Milton Orchin Award: Given to most outstanding 2nd or 3rd year graduate organic chemistry student, Chemistry Departmental fellowship at University of Cincinnati, received 2018

  • Research Associates Award: $2000 funding 1 of 2 in Department of Chemistry for 2015 entering class



Nayera Abdelaziz


Graduate student in University of Cincinnati since 2015

Current Research:

My present work is focused on using photocatalyzt to sensitize azido compounds



Sobiya George

Graduate student in University of Cincinnati since 2016
Masters in organic chemistry, Sam Houston State University, TX, USA, 2016
Bachelors in chemistry, University of Jaffna, Jaffna, Sri Lanka, 2011


Current research:

My present work is focused on using flow chemistry techniques to make flavanoid derivatives. Flavonoid derivatives exhibit diverse biological activities which are beneficial to human health. Photochemical method is a sustainable way to make this biologically active compounds from hydroxy chalcones. My focus is to apply the continuous flow method in the photochemical synthesis of flavonoids to make it more sustainable. Also, I am interested in studying the photochemical mechanism for the formation of flavonoid derivatives from hydroxychalcones.



Rajkumar Merugu

Raj obtained his MSc from BGSU 2017. He will be working towards his PhD in the group.



Noha Ahmed

Noha joined the group this winter to work towards her PhD.



DeAnte Judkins

At the University of Cincinnati, DeAnté obtain his BSc ACS certified in 2014. Afterwards, DeAnté proceeded to the industry where he worked at Tedia as a R&D Chemist. There is where he developed many procedures to purify raw materials formulating high purity solvents and also developed different methods to analyze the solvent’s purity using instrumental analysis.


Today, DeAnté is currently a PhD Candidate at the University of Cincinnati where he is training to become a Physical Organic chemist with a focus in Photochemistry. In his research, DeAnté is studying the photo-reactivity of nanocrystals and solutions of Azide-Naphthoquinone derivatives, where solvent trapping occurs and polymorphic behavior is displayed. To elucidate the reaction mechanism upon photolysis, many in-lab techniques are used such as products isolation, cryogenic matrices, laser flash photolysis, x-ray crystallography, ESR spectroscopy, and all the former instrumental analysis techniques. As a Photochemist studying reaction mechanisms that incorporates excited states, high-spin nitrenes, and other reactive intermediates, DeAnté compliments his experimental data with computational analysis. Having DFT Calculations assist his instrumental data, he is able to further identify the portion of the mechanisms that occurs on the nanosecond scale as well as the intermediates and products. In his research he will be displaying how the crystal lattice affects the photodynamic behavior of his Naphthoquinone crystals; one Naphthoquinone derivative shows to be jumping crystals and the other derivative exhibits polymorphic behavior upon crystallization where the crystal lattice alters the photodynamic effect from jumping to bending.



Leanna Patton

Leanna is in her 3rd year working on her PhD 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 SciFindern.  

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.


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 (2020-2021), 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.  

William Sebastien IMG_2842.jpg


William Sebastian

William joined the group January 2020, after graduating from UC spring 2010.  He is working on photodynamic crystals. 


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. 


Dinindu Mendis

Dinindu joined the group January 2021.  He is working on a solution and solid-state photochemistry as well as on photodynamic crystals.