Current Group Members

Kenneth Smith

kenGraduate Student: 09/2013 – Present

Research Focus: Charge transfer dynamics in photo-excited, plasmonic nanomaterials with an emphasis on catalytic reduction on semi-conductor substrate(s)


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.

Brandon Barrett

Graduate Student: 09/2016 – Present

Research Focus: Charge separation dynamics and applications in optoelectronic materials


Undergraduate University: Shippensburg

Hometown: Waynesboro, PA

Chana Honick

Graduate Student: 09/2016 – Present

Research Focus: Dynamics of photoswitchable materials and singlet fission in assembled organic materials


Undergraduate University: UMBC

Hometown: MD

Ryan Brady

Graduate Student: 09/2017 – Present

Research Focus: Photocyclization of OTP derivatives


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.

Rachel Dziatko

Graduate Student: 09/2018 – Present

Research Focus: Charge-Transfer Dynamics of Metal Nanoparticles


Undergraduate University: Barnard College

Tylar Clark-Winters

Graduate Student: 09/2018 – Present

Research Focus: Charge-transfer interactions and dynamics


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.