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 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.

Postdoctoral Associates

Melissa Buskes

Melissa BuskesOriginally from Melbourne, Australia, Melissa received her B. Sc. (1st class Hons.) from La Trobe University under the supervision of Dr. David Wilson and Dr. Belinda Abbott. The focus of her research was toward the in silico analysis and synthesis of 3-phosphoinositide-dependent kinase-1 (PDK1) inhibitors, focusing on the inhibitors selectivity toward PDK1 over alternate protein kinases. Melissa then went on to complete her PhD, also at La Trobe University. Her PhD research focused on the in silico design and synthesis of novel protein kinase inhibitors as antimalarial agents. Melissa joined Prof. Pollastri’s group in 2017 to pursue research in neglected tropical disease drug discovery.

Visiting Scientist

Amy Dounay

Amy is an Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Colorado College. She is currently on sabbatical and is spending the semester as a Visiting Scientist in the Pollastri group. Her research group at Colorado College is primarily focused on the design and synthesis of new drug leads for African sleeping sickness and other neglected diseases. When she is not in the lab and classroom, Amy enjoys traveling and hiking with her husband and two children, who are excited to explore Boston this fall.


Graduate Students

Dana Klug

danaDana 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.


Andrew Spaulding

Andrew_Spaulding_photoAndrew grew up in Stamford, Connecticut, and received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Vermont, with a minor in Japanese. He previously worked on antibacterial oxazolidinone derivatives targeting gram-negative bacteria under Dr. James Aggen, and joined the Pollastri lab in 2016. He enjoys chess, baseball, biking around Boston, and is both left and right-handed.


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.


Westley Tear

Westley_Tear_photo_2Westley grew up in Niskayuna, New York before attending college at SUNY Geneseo. He graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry. His previous research experience includes working on photoresists for EUV photolithography and the development of gram-negative antibiotics. He once won a staring contest with his own reflection. Westley joined the Pollastri lab in 2016.


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

Brady Greene

Brady GreeneBrady is a third year undergraduate student from Smithfield, Rhode Island who is pursuing a BS in chemistry with a minor in Spanish. In his free time he enjoys running, swimming, and petting dogs.


John Karl ‘Jack’ Fisher

JackJack is a third year undergraduate from Niskayuna, New York, majoring in chemistry with a minor in math. Outside of the lab, he enjoys reading and playing guitar.


Raeann Dalton

Raeann_DaltonRaeann is a third year undergraduate from Colonia, New Jersey pursuing a BS in chemistry with a minor in global health. In her free time she enjoys skiing, camping, and playing frisbee on the beach.


Mitch Rivers

Mitch_RiversMitch is just finishing his first year, pursuing a B.S. in chemistry with minors in math and biology. Outside of the lab he enjoys reading, exercising, and trying new activities.


Erin Burchfield

ErinErin is a third year from upstate New York pursuing an undergraduate degree in chemistry with a minor in music. In her free time, she enjoys singing, running and going to brunch.

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.

Allison Leonard

Allison is a fourth year undergraduate from New Jersey who is pursuing a BS in chemistry with a minor in mathematics. Outside of the lab, she enjoys playing Ultimate Frisbee, hiking, and trying new coffee shops.

Catherine LeBlanc

Catherine is a second year undergraduate from Watertown, Massachusetts who is pursuing her BS in Chemistry with a minor in biology. In her free time, she enjoys playing the guitar and clarinet, traveling, and eating.

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.



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

Graduate Students

  • 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

Visiting Scientist

  • Efi Mavrogiannaki
  • Monica Clements