Research Scientists

Seema Bag

Seema is originally from Mumbai, India. She received her B.Sc in Chemistry from University of Mumbai in 1998. Then she did her B.Tech (2002), M.Tech (2004) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry followed by her PhD (Tech), under the supervision of Dr M. Degani in Pharmaceutical and Medicinal Chemistry (2010) from Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai. Her doctoral research involved design and synthesis of anti-infectives. She joined Dr B. Torok’s research group at University of Massachusetts, Boston as a postdoctoral research fellow, where her research involved design and synthesis of multi-target inhibitors for Alzheimer’s disease, then she joined Dr J. Rochford’s research group in the same school and worked towards design and optimization of molecular photoacoustic contrast agents (MPACs) for in vivo imaging of breast cancer tumors. In 2013 Seema Bag joined Dr M. Pollastri’s research group and is currently involved in synthesis of molecules for cystic fibrosis.

Daljit Matharu

FullSizeRenderDaljit is originally from Leeds, UK. He received his MChem in Medicinal Chemistry from Nottingham Trent University in 2003. Then he did his PhD under the supervision of Professor Martin Wills at the University of Warwick. His doctoral research involved the synthesis and application of novel tethered rhodium catalysts to Asymmetric Transfer Hydrogenation of ketones and imines. In 2007, he joined Professor Chulbom Lee’s research group at Princeton University as a postdoctoral research fellow, where he worked on synthetic efforts toward the total synthesis of Exiguamine A. This was followed by a postdoctoral position at Pennsylvania State University working in the lab of Professor Feldman pursuing synthetic efforts toward the total synthesis of Lomaiuiticin B. His longest serving postdoctoral position between 2010 and 2014 was in the Specialized Chemistry Center (NIH funded center) at the University of Kansas working under the guidance of Professor Jeff Aubé. His work involved numerous medicinal chemistry projects spanning different therapeutic areas.
Daljit then moved to Fort Collins, Colorado in August 2014 for a brief stint working in the Colorado Center for Drug Discovery at Colorado State University where he was able to apply medicinal chemistry knowledge and synthetic expertise to drug discovery projects emerging from Colorado’s research institutions. In July 2015 Daljit Matharu joined Dr M. Pollastri’s research group and is currently involved in the synthesis of molecules for tuberculosis.

Postdoctoral Associates

Lori Ferrins

image4Lori is originally from Melbourne, Australia. She received her B. Med. Chem. (1st class Hons.) from La Trobe University in 2010 under the supervision of Dr. Belinda Abbott and Dr. Seb Marcuccio. Her research focused on developing the first total synthesis of picrorocellin and its structural derivatives as potential antimalarial compounds. She then moved to the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Monash University to complete her PhD under the supervision of Prof. Jonathan Baell. Her research focused on the design and synthesis of novel heterocyclic compounds for the treatment of human African trypanosomiasis. Lori joined Dr. Pollastri’s research group in 2015 and is continuing her work on inhibitors for human African trypanosomiasis.

Baljinder Singh

image3Baljinder was born in India. He received his B. Pharm (2007) from Kurukshetra University, India and M.S. Pharm (2009) from National Institute of Pharmaceutical Education and Research (NIPER), Ahmedabad, India. After completion of his masters degree, he joined the research group of Piramal Life Sciences Ltd., Mumbai, India where he worked on the discovery of NCE’s from natural products. He then moved to CSIR-Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine, India in 2010 to complete his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. R. A. Vishwakarma. His research interest primarily focused on drug discovery exploiting medicinal chemistry and natural product chemistry tools. Baljinder joined Prof. Pollastri’s group in 2015 and is currently working on neglected tropical diseases.

Graduate Students

Naimee Mehta

Originally from Rajkot, Gujarat, Naimee got his B. Sc. in Chemistry from St. Xavier’s Ahmedabad, Gujarat. He is currently pursuing his PhD in organic chemistry  in Dr. Pollastri’s lab and joined  the lab in August of 2012. He is an avid cricket fan and likes to play volleyball in his free time.

Dana Klug

Dana grew up in Franklin, Tennessee but moved to Chicago for college where she obtained her B.S. in Chemistry from DePaul University, minoring in Sociology and Biology. She became interested in neglected diseases and joined the Pollastri lab in 2013. In her spare time Dana enjoys reading, music, and exploring the city of Boston.

Kelly Bachovchin

image2Kelly previously attended Kean University in NJ, her beloved home state. There she received her B.S. in Molecular Biology and her M.S. in Biotechnology. She was honored in March 2014 by the NJ state Assembly for her contributions to women in the sciences. She joined the Pollastri lab later in 2014.

Undergraduate Students

Travis DeLano

10628398_10203744977698471_1338285481838890822_nTravis is a second year undergraduate student from Maine pursuing a BS in chemistry. In his free time, he enjoys music, reading, hiking, and travelling.

 Vivian Hilborne

Vivian_Hilborne_COLOR Vivian is a third year undergraduate from California pursuing a BS degree in chemistry. In her free time, she likes reading, photography, and travelling.


 Laura Tschiegg


Laura is a fourth-year undergraduate from Connecticut pursuing a BS/MS degree from Northeastern University in Chemistry. In her free time she loves sailing, dancing, and hiking.

 Melanie Fritsche


Melanie is a third year undergraduate from Hopkinton, Massachusetts. She is pursuing a BS degree in chemistry with a minor in Chinese. Outside of the lab she loves dancing, rock climbing, and spending time with her family.

Pollastri Lab Alumni