Principal investigator, Assistant Professor of Chemistry
BSc. KNUST, Ghana, 2006 Ph.D. University of Oklahoma, 2013 Postdoctoral M.I.T., 2014-2016
Dr. Jong Hyun Kim Postdoctoral Researcher firstname.lastname@example.org Jong Hyun Kim, Postdoctoral Scholar, Chemistry, University of Kentucky. A scientist who dreams of changing the world through science. An interdisciplinary researcher who expands the research field by crossing chemistry (bio, physical, and inorganic), biology, pharmacy, and basic medicine. His current research is drug discovery and development, focusing mainly on anticancer drugs. He is also a bass guitar player.
Tyler Mertens Graduate student email@example.com Originally from Kentucky, Tyler joined the lab in 2017 where he helped develop the lab from the ground up. He completed his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. Samuel Awuah in 2021. His work was centered around the development of novel gold(III) complexes as well as tricoordinate gold(I) complexes for use as anticancer agents. He focused heavily on characterization and the mechanism of action of these gold agents through rigorous biological evaluation with a heavy emphasis on mitochondrial function and metabolism. Tyler is currently a postdoctoral research fellow at Brigham and Women’s Hospital through Harvard Medical School. Currently he is working on investigating the role on Interleukin-18 in intestinal inflammation and studying metabolic differences in acute/chronic colitis.
Samuel Ofori Graduate student firstname.lastname@example.org Samuel Graduated from the University of Cape Coast (Ghana) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry. He became convinced that there exist an unraveled elegance in every complexity. Motivated by that conviction he joined the Awuah Lab in January 2017 where his research focuses on total synthesis of natural products towards immuno-chemotherapy of cancer and autoimmune diseases.
Sailajah Gukathasan Doctoral candidate email@example.com Sailajah is currently working within a unique niche of developing gold-based reagents for specific protein modulation under the guidance of Dr. Samuel Awuah. She is originally from the idyllic city of Jaffna in Sri Lanka and graduated Honors with a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Zoology. She left her position as a government official in Sri Lanka to realize her true passion of contributing to society through science, better achieved by devoting her time to research and completing graduate school. Taking her first step towards her goal, she moved to the US in 2015 for a Masters’ degree from Tennessee Technological University. After graduating successfully in 2017, she joined the Awuah lab as a doctoral student.
Adedamola Arojojoye Graduate Student firstname.lastname@example.org Adedamola graduated from Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Nigeria with a Bachelor of Technology degree and from University of Lagos, Nigeria with a Master of Science degree in Chemistry. Motivated to pursue advanced research in Chemistry, he left his job with the University of Lagos to pursue graduate studies. He joined Awuah group in Fall 2019 and his research focuses on the synthesis and biochemical evaluation of novel stable organometallic complexes (mainly Au(III) and Au(I) complexes) with immunotherapeutic uses
Chibuzor Olelewe Graduate Student email@example.com Chibuzor completed his undergraduate studies in Biochemistry from the University of Nigeria. His interest in drug discovery which lies at the interface of Chemistry and Biology motivated him to pursue a graduate degree to acquire the requisite skills needed to be successful in this field of science. He joined the Awuah lab where he is interested in understanding the mechanism of action of small molecules designed with potential as chemotherapeutics.
Charles (Chase) Greif Graduate student firstname.lastname@example.org Chase is from a small town in Eastern Kentucky called Clay City. He was accepted into a dual B.S./M.S. program at Eastern Kentucky University for a Forensic Science/Chemistry degree path, but quickly realized that his passion lied in synthesis, rather than forensic analysis. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry and worked for two years in the environmental industry performing water quality analysis, before accepting a position at the University of Kentucky as a PhD student in 2020. Under the supervision of Dr. Awuah, he explores the novel field of tricoordinate Au(I) complexes and Tungsten derivatives, gauging their catalytic effects and searching for potent anti-cancer agents. In his free time, he likes to play with his cats, watch sports, and cook new, adventurous dishes.
Jovita Daraezinwa Graduate student Jovita.Daraezinwa@uky.edu Jovita graduated from the University of Benin (Nigeria) with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry. Her work focuses mainly on understanding PD L1 Biology using small molecule inhibitors and biological studies. With a passion for teaching and science, she hopes to enjoy a future career in academia after completing her PhD.
Oluwatosin Obisesan Graduate Student email@example.com Oluwatosin Ayomide Obisesan, is a Nigerian who earned her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. Her undergraduate research focused on molecular toxicology after which she went ahead to work briefly in the natural products industry. Oluwatosin is currently a PhD student in Awuah’s lab where she is exploring Protein Protein Interactions for cancer therapeutics.
Dr. R. Tyler Mertens Developing Synthetic Strategies for Multifaceted Applications of Stable Gold-Based Complexes Harvard Medical School
Dr. Samuel Ofori Rational design of Small Molecule Inhibitors of Protein-Protein Interactions: PD-1/PD-L1; MYC, ARID4B. UCLA