Group Members


Debbie Crans: Our Fearless Leader

Graduate Student Bios:


Zeyad Arhouma

Focus: Vanadium and polyoxometalates as anti-tuberculosis agents
Skills: bacterial culturing, growth studies, vanadium NMR
Origin: Libya
Education: B. S. in Zoology from Benghazi University (Libya)
Hobbies: pool, soccer
Year Joined: 2014

Allison Haase

Focus: Analytical chemistry, bio-inorganic chemistry, impact of transition metals on bacteria.
Skills: LC/MS, Skyline MS software, Originlab software, Langmuir monolayers.
Origin: Sugarland, TX.
Education: B.S. in Professional Chemistry from Sam Houston State University (TX)
Interests: Reading, video games, handicrafts
Year Joined: 2016

Heide Murakami

Focus: organic and inorganic synthesis, anticancer compounds
Skills: NMR spectroscopy, EPR spectroscopy, speciation
Origin: Hawaii
Education: B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa
Hobbies: video games, D&D, reading, sleep
Year Joined: 2016

Maggi Braasch-Turi

Focus: organic synthesis of bioactive molecules
Skills: anhydrous and air-free technique, column chromatography & prep TLC, IR and NMR spectroscopy, MS
Origin: Owatonna, MN
Education: B.S. in Chemistry from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology
Hobbies: cross stitching, hiking, reading
Year Joined: 2020

Kate Kostenkova

Focus: synthesis, characterization and biological applications of vanadium-based anticancer compounds and lipid electron carriers
Skills: vanadium chemistry, inorganic and organic synthesis, NMR spectroscopy (1D and 2D), EPR spectroscopy
Origin: Dniprodzerzhynsk, Ukraine / Spokane, WA
Education: B. S. Chemistry (with Biology minor) – Whitworth University (WA)
Hobbies: yoga, running, rock climbing, hiking, and cooking
Year Joined: 2018

Nate Gasparovic
Focus: using NMR techniques to address environmental issues
Skills: NMR spectroscopy, Gaussian09 simulations
Origin: Pittsburgh, PA
Education: B. S. in Chemistry from Mercyhurst University
Hobbies: Movies, music, and museums
Year Joined: 2020

Andrew Bates


Focus: Organic Synthesis
Skills: NMR spectroscopy, prep TLC
Origin: Bloomington, IL
Education: B. S. in Chemistry from Colorado State University
Hobbies: Hiking, basketball, cooking, music
Year Joined: 2020

Skyler Markham

Focus: organic and organometallic chemistry
Skills: Pd chemistry, anhydrous technique, NMR
Origin: Topeka, KS
Education: B. S. in Chemistry from Fort Hays State University (KS)
Hobbies: disc golf, finding new parks to take my daughter to
Year Joined: 2020

Sarah Sanders

Focus: adding food preservatives to liposomes using thin-film hydration techniques
Skills: NMR, Igor Pro
Origin: Fort Collins, CO
Education: B. S. in Chemistry from Colorado State University
Hobbies: working out with friends, reading mystery novels, and painting
Year Joined: 2017

John Manganaro

  • Focus: synthesis, characterization, and biological testing of cytotoxic vanadium (V) catechol complexes, with the intention of discovering new, more effective chemotherapeutics
  • Skills: organic and inorganic synthesis utilizing air-free, moisture-free Schlenk techniques. Experience with gold (I) catalysis, porphyrin synthesis, total synthesis of natural products, and vanadium chemistry. Characterization of novel compounds using 1H/13C/51V NMR (1D and 2D), mass spec, and UV Vis. Collaboration with biochemists and analytical chemists.
  • Origin: born in Pensacola, FL, raised in Normal, IL
  • Education: B.S. in Chemistry at Miami University
  • Hobbies: rock climbing, lock picking, and reading
  • Year Joined: 2021 (formerly – Prof. Willams group)

Josef Grundy

  • Focus: Solution-based inorganic synthesis and organic synthesis of ligands.
  • Skills: NMR, HPLC, ICP-OES, Schlenk techniques, Inorganic Synthesis, Organic Synthesis.
  • Origin: Chico, California
  • Education: B.S. in Chemistry- California State University, Chico
  • Hobbies: Video games, Hiking, Running, Cycling, Homebrewing, Cooking, Fermenting Foods, Pets.
  • Year Joined: 2021