Current Group Members

The Team

Our team is a diverse group of scientists. We are a team of faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students all working together on a variety of projects.

Principal Investigator

Dr Dominik Konkolewicz - Assistant Professor of Organic Chemistry

Dr Dominik Konkolewicz (Dr. K) was born and educated in Sydney, Australia. He completed his bachelors degrees in Chemistry and Mathematics at the University of Sydney in 2006.

He commenced his Doctoral studies in 2007 at the University of Sydney, focusing on the synthesis and characterization of highly branched polymers by a combination of controlled radical polymerization and high yield organic reactions. After graduating with his Ph.D. in 2011, he moved to Carnegie Mellon University, to commence his postdoctoral work as a Visiting Assistant Professor/Senior Research Chemist. His postdoctoral work studied transition metal mediated controlled radical polymerization reactions utilizing photochemical methods, or in aqueous media. In 2014 he joined the Chemistry and Biochemistry Faculty at Miami University, where his group develops new materials for applications ranging from new photochemical strategies, materials that can repair themselves, and bioconjugates. Recurring themes in his research are using physical chemistry principles to guide the development of new organic materials and the use of fundamental mechanistic analysis to guide the design of polymers.

Dr Konkolewicz has published over 90 peer reviewed manuscripts, with over 40 from his independent career. He his work has been cited over 4000 times. He has won numerous awards for his research including National Science Foundation CAREER award (2017), ACS Polymer Materials Science and Engineering Young Investigator (2018), the ACS Petroleum Research Fund Doctoral New Investigator award (2016) and features as an emerging investigator from the journals Polymer Chemistry (2018) and Chemical Communications (2015). He has served as Co-Organizer (with Paula Diaconescu of UCLA) of the 2019 NSF Chemistry Early Career Faculty Workshop, and since 2019 he is the PMSE Co-Chair of the Macromolecular Alliance for Community, Resources and Outreach (MACRO) where he leads the professional development activities. When not in the lab, he is often found on two wheels especially doing long distance rides. He especially likes vintage bicycles and riding them on century rides.

Click here to access his Google Scholar Profile.

Graduate Students

Michael Allegrezza- Graduate Student

Michael is from Bowie, Maryland and is currently pursuing his doctorate at Miami University. He completed his B.S. in Chemistry at York College of Pennsylvania in May 2015. While at York, he worked on the design and synthesis of a novel nickel complex to be utilized as a chloride chemosensor. In fall 2015 he joined the Konkolewicz group at Miami University, where his current research involves applying photochemistry to polymer science.

Kate Bradford- Graduate Student

Kate received her BS in Chemistry from the University of Richmond in May 2017. During her undergrad career, she worked with Professor Tim Johann at Roanoke College developing a new drug target for antibiotic resistant Mycobacterium tuberculosis. She spent the following two years working on copper mediated difluoromethylation. She joined the Konkolewicz and Hartley groups in 2019 and began a collaborative project integrating macromolecules into polymers.


Kevin Burridge- Graduate Student

Kevin is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is currently pursuing his doctorate at Miami University. He completed his bachelors degrees in Chemistry (B.A.) and Biology (B.S.) at Thomas More College of Crestview Hills KY. During his undergraduate, he interned at the University of Cincinnati, designing and testing an aptamer-microRNA therapy for prostate cancer. Eventually, interest switched to chemistry and Kevin joined the Konkolewicz group in 2016, where his research focuses on protein-polymer conjugates.

Progyateg Chakma- Graduate Student

Progyateg (Progya) Chakma completed his BSc (Hons) in Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from University of Dhaka, Bangladesh with emphisis on Industrial Chemistry and Chemical Technology. He also performed undergraduate research at Center for Advanced Research in Science (CARS), University of Dhaka on “evaluating anti-cancer activity of Nigella sativa seed oil and extracts”. As a graduate student at Miami University, his research focus will be on Complex and Responsive Polymer Networks.

Nethmi De Alwis- Graduate Student

Nethmi De Alwis completed her BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry from University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka (2015). She worked on a synthetic organic chemistry project as her undergraduate research. In Fall 2016, she joined Miami university and Konkolewicz group. Her research focus mainly will be on combining photochemistry and post polymerization modification.

Obed Dodo - Graduate Student

Obed completed his B.Sc. (Hons) in Chemistry from Kaduna State University in Nigeria. During his undergraduate program, he carried out preliminary phytochemical research. He also determined the fortification levels of retinol, thiamin, riboflavin, and iron with a special emphasis on the factors that affect the stability of fortificants. Right after his graduation, he worked briefly in Covenant University, where he was involved in biogas research and taught general chemistry lab. He joined the Konkolewicz research group at Miami University in 2018, where he will focus on organic materials as his current area of interest with a special focus on self-healing materials.

Monica Sharfin Rahman - Graduate Student

Monica Sharfin Rahman attained her B.Sc. (Hons.) in Pharmacy and Master’s in Pharmaceutical Chemistry emphasizing phytochemical research from the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Dhaka, Bangladesh. After her Master’s, she took teaching as her profession at tertiary level in her subject of specialization in the Department of Pharmacy, BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh, where she worked from 2014-2017. During this period, she continued her research work in phytochemistry and public health. In 2018, she joined the Konkolewicz and Page groups at Miami University in 2018, where her research focus will be on Protein-Polymer conjugation.

Erika Stopler- Graduate Student

Erika is from the Greater New York City area and is completing her first year of graduate studies in Organic Chemistry at Miami University. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry (B.S) at the State University of New York College at Oneonta, and further developed her undergraduate interests in chemistry after spending time conducting green organic synthesis research for Dr. Jacqueline Bennett’s research group. Throughout her studies, she has presented research at three National American Chemical Society Meetings, and participated in four chemistry research Summer internships. In the Summer of 2017, she worked as a Chemist at her first industrial job; the career path she hopes to follow after completing her Graduate Degree at Miami University. Now, she has joined the Konkolewicz research group, where she will begin research on dynamic bonding in polymers.

Shiwanka V. Wanasinghe- Graduate Student

Shiwanka V Wanasinghe was born in Sri Lanka and completed her BSc (Hons) degree in Chemistry from University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka (2017). She carried out her undergraduate research project on “Reinforcement of natural rubber using Carbon Black / mineral hybrid filler’’ under the supervision of Prof. C. K. Jayasuriya. Her undergraduate research was published as an abstract in International Research Symposium on Pure and Applied Sciences 2017, University of Kelaniya, Sri Lanka. In fall 2018, she joined the Konkolewicz group at Miami University.


Thai Wright- Graduate Student

Thaiesha (Thai) Wright is a current graduate student from Tampa, Florida. She earned her B.S. in Chemistry at Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia in May 2015. While at Spelman, she worked to design and synthesize guanidine-based molecules to be utilized in treating breast cancer. In 2015, she joined the Konkolewicz and Page groups at Miami University, where her current research involves enzyme- polymer conjugations.

Borui Zhang- Graduate Student

Borui Zhang was born and educated in Xi’an China. She completed her Bachelor Degree inchemistry at Northwest University of China in June 2014. Now, she is pursuing a doctoral degree in chemistry at Miami University. She previously worked on the design; synthesis; and application of novel xanthenyl fluorescent probe, obtained the foundation of China National College Students Innovative & Entrepreneurial Training Program and first published her paper as second writer in 2013. Her current research project is on the topic of self-healing materials.

Undergraduate Students

Camaryn Bennett - Undergraduate Student

Camaryn Bennett is a first year Chemistry major from Dayton, Ohio who has recently joined the Konkolewicz group. Her focus is on precision polymer synthesis for bioconjugate applications. She hopes to attend graduate school after graduation from Miami.


Sydney Carnes - Undergraduate Student

Sydney Carnes is a second-year biochemistry student who joined the Konkolewicz group in spring of 2019. She plans to attend medical school after graduating from Miami. Her focus is on the synthesisis of protein-polymer conjugates.


Sean Cummings - Undergraduate Student

Sean is currently a sophomore chemistry major (BS) from Columbus, OH and is seeking to acquire his masters and doctorate in the same field after graduation from Miami. Sean is very fascinated with the world around, and his curiosity has lead to focusing efforts in the area of organic and polymer chemistry.

Nicholas Dougher - Undergraduate Student

Nicholas Dougher is a second year Chemistry (BS) major from Cleveland, Ohio, who has recently joined the team. His project is in Photo-polymerization of Organic Compounds. He plans to attend Miami University for a masters in Chemistry.

Madison Dolan - Undergraduate Student

Madison Dolan is currently an undergraduate biochemistry and neuroscience co-major at Miami University. She hopes to attend medical school following her undergraduate studies. Madison began research in 2017 and is focusing on polymer synthesis.

Henry Fischesser - Undergraduate Student

Henry is currently a senior finance major with a Pre-Medical Studies co-major from Cincinnati, Ohio. He started working with the Konkolewicz research group in the summer of 2016. His current research is focused on protein polymer chemistry.

Alexander Hull - Undergraduate Student

Alexander (Alex) Hull is a second-year biochemistry premedical studies co-major student at Miami University who intends on graduating in 2021. He plans to further his education in medical school when he graduates. He began working with the Konkolewicz research group in the spring of 2019 and focuses in the dynamic bonding and self-healing properties of polymers.

Madison Kearns - Undergraduate Student

Madison is a sophomore Biochemistry/Pre-Med co-major from Cleveland, Ohio, who has recently joined the Konkolewicz group. Her project is in the field of polymer bioconjugation. She hopes to attend medical school after graduating from Miami University.

Caleb Kozuszek - Undergraduate Student

Caleb is a third year Biochemistry student from Hillsboro, Ohio. Caleb began researching in the Konkolewicz lab in the summer of 2017 and his focus is on protein-polymer conjugates. He is a member of Miami Genetics Club and Miami Chemical Society and is planning to attend graduate school after his graduation in 2020.

Colleen Morley - Undergraduate Student

Colleen is currently a sophomore Chemistry major at Miami University, from New York. Colleen began working on the Konkolewicz research group September 2018. Her current research is focuses on self-healing polymers.

Ryan Parnell - Undergraduate Student

Ryan Parnell is currently a junior Biochemistry student from Naperville, Illinois. Ryan joined the Konkolewicz research group in the fall of 2018, focusing on protein-polymer bioconjugation. He hopes to attend medical school after graduating from Miami.

Emily Schreiber - Undergraduate Student

Emily is a second year Chemistry major from Cincinnati, Ohio. Emily started research in the Konkolewicz lab fall of 2018, focusing on self-healing materials through crosslinking polymers.

Adam Thompson - Undergraduate Student

Adam Thompson is currently a senior undergraduate at Miami University, and is studying Chemical Engineering. He began research in Spring of 2016. His current research investigates the polymerization of complex molecules using light as a stimulus.

Jafer Vakil - Undergraduate Student

Jafer is a sophomore undergraduate student at Miami, hailing from Cambridge, Massachusetts. Majoring in English Literature and Biochemistry with a minor in Russian Language, he is currently working on undergraduate research centered around self-healing polymers.

Kyle Weaver - Undergraduate Student

Kyle Weaver is currently an undergraduate student at Miami University, with majors in Biochemistry and Mechanical Engineering. Kyle began research with the Konkolewicz group in fall 2016, and his research focus is combining catalysis and polymers.

Collaborators

Dr Saadyah Averick - Allegheny Singer Research Institute- Allegheny General Hospital

Dr Jason A. Berberich - Chemical, Paper and Biomedical Engineering - Miami University

Dr Jessica Sparks - Chemical, Paper and Biomedical Engineering - Miami University

Dr Rick Page - Chemistry and Biochemistry - Miami University

Dr Jon Pokorski - Polymer Science and Engineering - Case Western Reserve University

Dr YT Cheng -Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering- University of Kentucky

Alumni

Former Group Members