Former Group Members

Tylar Clark-Winters

Graduate Student: 09/2018 – 05/2023; Ph.D. Defense, Feb. 24th, 2023

Dissertation Title: Control of Artificial Light-Harvesting Mechanisms through Molecular Assembly: Structure-dependent Charge Transfer in Conjugated Polymer Electrolytes Complexes

Moved on to: Undisclosed position.

Undergraduate University: University of Maryland, College Park

Hometown: Silver Spring, MD

Tylar graduated with a B.S. in environmental science and technology and a B.S. with honors in chemistry from the University of Maryland (UMD) College Park and was named UMD’s Undergraduate Researcher of the Year 2018. While attending UMD, Tylar participated in a variety of research projects including computer modeling of the molecular and thermodynamic properties of cell membranes, developing separation techniques for pharmaceuticals at the FDA, as well as using VSFG spectroscopic methods to characterize the behavior of chemicals at surfaces. While attending JHU, Tylar was awarded a NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She has proposed strategies to probe and control charge transfer dynamics that mimic photosynthesis-relevant processes in self-assembled supramolecular materials.

Ryan Brady

Graduate Student: 09/2017 – 12/2022; Ph.D. Defense, Nov. 28th, 2022

Dissertation Title: Multiphoton and Structural Control of 6-Pi Photocyclization in Ortho-Terphenyls

Moved on to: Support engineer, Quantum Materials Science, Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology.

Undergraduate University: University of Massachusetts-Boston

Hometown: Bay City, MI

Ryan has a BS in Chemistry from UMass Boston, where he did his undergraduate research work on the surface oxidation of activated and glassy carbons, in the Michelle Foster group. He is a US Navy veteran who has previously worked for the US Army, FDA, and NIST in a variety of materials, radiological, and health physics capacities.

Brandon Barrett

Graduate Student: 09/2016 – 07/2022; Ph.D. Defense: May 4th, 2022

Dissertation Title: Solvent and Structural Effects on Electron Transfer in Intermolecular Charge-Transfer Complexes and Photoexcited Organosilanes

Undergraduate University: Shippensburg

Hometown: Waynesboro, PA

Chana Honick

Graduate Student: 09/2016 – 12/2021; Ph.D. Defense, Dec. 14th, 2021

Dissertation Title: Structure-Dependent Photodynamics in Photoswitchable and Supramolecular Materials

Undergraduate University: UMBC

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Kenneth Smith

kenGraduate Student: 09/2013 – 05/2020; Ph.D. Defense, 12/16/2019

Dissertation Title: Dynamics of Energy Transfer in Large Aluminum Nanoparticles: Size and Surface Dependent Photoresponses of Solution Processed Particles

Undergraduate University: University of California Davis

Hometown: San Francisco, CA

Ken is originally from San Francisco and graduated from UC Davis with a B.S. in Chemistry. While there he participated in research with Ting Guo on possible cancer treatment and imaging techniques utilizing gold nanoparticles. He then worked as a staff research associate at UCSF. Working under Tracy McKnight in the department of Radiology and Biomedical Imaging he investigated the metabolic mechanisms associated with the malignant progression of brain tumors by correlating in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and spectroscopic (MRS) features of human brain tumors with ex vivo measures of metabolism and other molecular alterations associated with tumor aggressiveness. Before joining the Bragg lab in 2013, he finished a masters program in physical chemistry at the University of San Francisco where he worked with Giovanni Meloni, studying reactive intermediates and products of possible biofuels using time resolved mass spectrometry at the Advanced Light Source at Laurence Berkeley National Labs.

Jamie Young

Jamie Young in America

Postdoctoral Researcher: 06/2016 – 09/2018
Research Projects: Energy- and Conformer-Dependent Excited-State Relaxation of an E/Z Photoswitchable Thienyl-Ethene; Energy Transer in Conjugated Polymer Electrolyte Complexes
Moved on to: Lecturer, Department of Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University
E-mail: [email protected]
Graduate University: University of Warwick, UK
Hometown: Llanfallteg, Wales, UK

Tim Magnanelli


Graduate Student: 09/2011 – 06/2018; Ph.D. Defense, Oct. 11, 2017.Thesis Title: Spectroscopic Probes of Charge Separation, Energy Transfer, and their Dependencies on Local Structure in Assembled Organic Materials
Moved on to: NRC Post-doctoral Fellow, NIST, Gaithersburg (with Ted Heilweil)
Undergraduate University: UMBC
Hometown: Monrovia, MD

Josh Snyder


Graduate Student: 09/2011 – 07/2017; Defense, May 8, 2017
Thesis Title: Structural Effects on Photocyclization in Ortho-Arenes
Moved on to:  Post-doctoral research, Kohler Lab, The Ohio State University
Undergraduate University: Shippensburg
Hometown: Dornsife, PA

 Wenjian Yu


Graduate Student: 09/2010 – 10/2016; Ph.D. Defense, Sept. 28, 2016
Thesis Title: Ultrafast Spectroscopic Interrogation of Structural Dynamics and Disorder of Excited States in Conjugated Organic Polymers.
Moved on to: Postdoctoral research with Professors David Gracias and Chao Wang at JHU
Undergraduate University: Fudan University, Shanghai, China
Hometown: Shandong Province, China

Jiawang Zhou


Graduate Student: 09/2010 – 09/2016; Ph.D. Defense, Aug. 29, 2016
Thesis Title: Ultrafast Excited-State Structural Dynamics and Charge-Transfer in Photoresponsive Conjugated Molecular Materials.
Moved on to: Postdoctoral research with Professor Michael Wasielewski at Northwestern University
Undergraduate University: University of Science and Technology of China
Hometown: Nanning, Guangxi Province, China

Molly Molloy


Graduate Student: 09/2010 – 07/2016; Ph.D. Defense, July 27, 2016
Thesis Title: TStructural and Solvent Control of Photochemical Bond Formation: Nonadiabatic Photocyclization of ortho-Terphenyls
Moved on to:  Post-doctoral research at NIH
Undergraduate University: University of Notre Dame
Hometown: Washington, DC

Paul Donohoo-Vallett


Post-Doctoral Researcher: 01/2014 – 08/2014
Research Focus: Computational exploration of vibrational Raman spectroscopy of conjugated polymers using DFT and QMMM methodologies
Graduate University: University of Colorado Boulder
Hometown: Fairfax, VT
Moved on to: AAAS fellowship at DOE