Principal Investigator

Dr. Michael Pollastri


See profile here


Research Assistant Professor

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.

Associate Research Scientist

Baljinder Singh

Baljinder 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 pharmaceutical industry 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.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Naresh Gunaganti

Naresh Gunaganti is originally from India. He received his M.Sc. (Organic Chemistry) degree in 2007 from Osmania University, then he joined as a research chemist at Sai Advantium Pvt.Ltd, Hyderabad, India where he worked on process development of carbohydrate-based drug intermediates. After he clears the CSIR national eligibility test for junior research fellowship in 2009, he moved to CSIR-Central Drug Research Institute in 2010 to complete his Ph.D. under the supervision of Dr. T. Narender. After completion of his Ph.D. in 2015, he joined as a postdoctoral research fellow at The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA with Dr. HongYu-Li in the area of kinase drug discovery to find the cure for various type of cancer. In 2016 his entire research group moved to University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little rock, AR, USA. Naresh joined Prof. Pollastri’s research group in Dec. 2018. His current research interests are discovery and development of small molecule inhibitors against parasitic diseases.

Alex Muthengi

Alex was born in Kenya. He received his B.S. Chem. (1st class Honors) from Catholic University of Eastern Africa and M.S. degree from Kenyatta University in Kenya. His M.S. research involved synthesis of stereoisomers of menthane-diol and analogues for screening them on mosquitoes and ticks. As a Research Assistant at International Center for Insect Physiology and Ecology (ICIPE, Kenya), they developed mosquito repellents for commercial application. Alex then joined University of Massachusetts, Boston for his Ph.D. studies in Aug. 2014 and graduated in May 2019. His Ph.D. research involved Green Chemistry, and development of inhibitors of bromodomains and kinase targeting cancers under the mentorship of Prof. Wei Zhang. Upon Ph.D. graduation, Alex joined Pollastri’s group in Aug. 2019 and is currently developing therapeutics for neglected tropical diseases.

Quillon Simpson

Quillon originates from Melbourne, Australia. He completed his BSc Chem. (1st class Hons.) at Monash University under the supervision of Prof. David Lupton. His research was directed towards understanding incompatibilities of propargyl substituted carbazalones towards the palladium-catalyzed enantioselective decarboxylative allylation, utilized within the Lupton group for the synthesis of (+)-Kopsihainanine A. He then completed his PhD under the joint supervision of Prof. David Lupton, Dr. Oliver Hutt and Dr. Joel Hooper at Monash University and CSIRO. His research focused on catalytic reactions utilizing open shell reactive intermediates. Following completion of his PhD Quillon was employed at Advanced Molecular Technologies were he led three contract research projects. Namely, the synthesis and characterization of fluorophores for bio-conjugation, derivatization of synthetic flavonoids directed at tumor cell apoptosis and the synthesis of porphyrin triplet oxygen sensitizers for their use in photodynamic therapy (PDT). Quillon joined the Pollastri Group in 2019 to work on drug development for neglected tropical diseases.

Graduate Students

Jing Chai

Originally from China, Jing got her BS and MS degrees in Chemical Engineering from Shandong University and, East China University of Science &Technology. She moved to the US and received a second MS degree in Organic Chemistry from Temple University under the supervision of Professor Franklin A. Davis. In 2007, she joined GSK where she works on DNA Encoded Library Technology (ELT), focusing on on-DNA chemistry development, library design, and synthesis. Jing joined Prof. Pollastri’s group in 2018 as an industrial graduate student.

Undergraduate Students

Nyle Sharif

Nyle is a second year-honors student majoring in biochemistry. In his spare time, he enjoys playing basketball, exercising, and watching online videos.

PJ Donnelly

PJ is a fourth year undergraduate from Holliston, Massachusetts majoring in Chemistry with minors in Business Administration and Biology. Outside of the lab he works for the Northeastern Mens Hockey team, scuba dives in Cape Ann, travels, and enjoys learning new things.

Anson Huang

Anson is a second-year undergraduate from Reading, Massachusetts, pursuing a BS in chemistry and minoring in communication studies. When not in the lab, he enjoys writing fiction, playing music, and failing at video games.

Courtney Fu

Courtney is a second year honors pharmacy student from Phoenix, AZ with minors in entrepreneurship and economics. Outside of lab, she enjoys cooking, playing piano, and binge-watching Mythbusters.

Michael Chichioco

Michael is a fourth year undergraduate student from San Mateo, California majoring in Biochemistry with a Psychology minor. During his free time, he enjoys dancing, running and eating.

Justin Park

Justin is a fourth year undergraduate pursuing his BS in Chemistry. In his free time he likes to cook, exercise, and explore the city.

Edward Helbling

Edward is a fifth-year undergraduate pursuing his BS in Chemistry. In his free time, he likes to cook, exercise, exploring the city and reading.

Serena DiLiberti

Serena is a fourth-year undergraduate from Montclair, New Jersey majoring in Chemistry with a minor in International Affairs. During her free time, she enjoys swimming, traveling, and eating.

Keith Van Allen

Keith is a 5th year Chemistry Major at Northeastern from Orlando Florida. He was a member of the Northeastern Rugby Club and he enjoys watching movies, weightlifting, and socializing in his free time.



Lab Alumni

Postdoctoral Researchers

  • Dr. Cuihua (Helen) Wang (April 2009-March 2011)
  • Dr. Caitlin Karver (September 2009- June 2011)
  • Dr. Adam Lesser (2011)
  • Dr. Gautam Patel (July 2011-September 2012)
  • Dr. Emanuele Amata (May 2011-February 2013)
  • Dr. Trent Ashton
  • Dr. Sandra Luongo
  • Dr. David Finnegan
  • Dr. Takashi Satoh
  • Dr. Seema Bag
  • Dr. Daljit Matharu
  • Dr. Poornachandran ‘Poorna’ Mahalingam
  • Dr. Warren Weiner
  • Dr. Hitesh Jalani
  • Dr. Melissa Buskes

Graduate Students

  • Kelly Bachovchin (2019)
  • Westley Tear (2019)
  • Dana Klug (2018)
  • Andrew Spaulding (2018)
  • Meaghan (Sebeika) Fallano (2017)
  • Gengyang Yuan (2017)
  • Naimee Mehta (2016)
  • Enrico Mongeau (2016)
  • William Devine (May 2015)
  • Jennifer Woodring (Jan. 2011 – Dec. 2014)
  • Cheri Snedeker (2010 – 2012)
  • Bianca Celidet Perez de Lucani (Sep 2009 – Aug 2010)
  • Zhouxi Wang (2010 – 2012)
  • Stefan Ochiana (2009 – 2012)

Masters Students

  • Angela Tanner
  • Lisseth Silva
  • Zeke Clements
  • Elizabeth Jones
  • Uma Swaminathan

Undergraduate Students

  • Joel Beatty (January 2011-August 2011)
  • Craig Tallman (January 2010-July 2010)
  • Matthew Stevenson (August 2009 – December 2009)
  • Michael Russo (2009-2011)
  • Tim Hopper (2010-2012)
  • Brian Coffey (2010-2012)
  • Cristin Juda (2010-2012)
  • Emily Blazensky (2011-2012)
  • Katherine Spring (2011)
  • Peter Edwards (September 2011 – May 2013)
  • Charlie Hoyt (July 2012 – December 2012)
  • Anthony Varca (January 2013 – May 2013)
  • Mitchell Gallerstein
  • Stephen Ejk
  • Laura Tschiegg
  • Stephen ‘Cole’ Rougas
  • Melanie Fritsche
  • Vivian Hilborne
  • Jeremy Armand
  • Travis DeLano
  • Max Staab
  • Alex Hughes
  • Hillary Dequina
  • Katherine ‘Kate’ Schneider
  • Erin Burchfield
  • Brady Greene
  • John Karl ‘Jack’ Fisher
  • Raeann Dalton
  • Allison Leonard
  • Catherine LeBlanc
  • Kathleen “Kat” Le
  • Madeleine ‘Maddy’ Shay
  • Trevor Beardsley
  • Lindsey Foster
  • Yulia Dikusar
  • Mitch Rivers

Visiting Scientist

  • Efi Mavrogiannaki
  • Monica Clements
  • Amy Dounay
  • Antonio Quotadamo