Our Members

Leadership


Scientific Director, Floyd D. Gottwald Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering

B. Frank Gupton, Ph.D., is the Floyd D. Gottwald Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Engineering. His thirty year industrial career has centered on the development and commercialization of chemical processes for pharmaceutical and agricultural applications. As Executive Director of Chemical Process Development at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals he led the development and commercialization of the chemical process for the production of Nevirapine, a widely-prescribed antiviral medication for the treatment of AIDS. Gupton holds a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Richmond, an M. S. in biochemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from VCU.

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Eugene Choi, Ph.D.

Executive Director

Eugene Choi, Ph.D., defines and leads the strategic direction of the Medicines for All Institute, including defining organizational priorities, overseeing programs, and developing strategic partnerships. Previously, Choi was the chief engineer at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for the Pharmacy on Demand and Biologically-derived Medicines on Demand programs. These initiatives developed flexible pharmaceuticals and biologics manufacturing platforms capable of producing multiple drugs. Choi has also designed and managed multiple technology development projects for Strategic Analysis, Inc., enabling capabilities for the Department of Defense. He also served as a researcher in materials science and biomedical engineering at the National Academies and the National Institutes of Health. He holds a B.S. in biology from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in polymer science from the University of Akron.

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Thomas Roper, Ph.D.

Director of Pharmaceutical Engineering & Principal

Thomas D. Roper, Ph.D., joined VCU in 2016 after a 22-year career at GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals. He held senior positions in the Pharmaceutical Development Division of GSK, including responsibilities for process R&D and analytical development for active pharmaceutical ingredients for the US, and most recently was the global head of exploratory development sciences for GSK. Roper specializes in efforts to bring engineering and science closer to patients via novel medicinal technologies. He holds a B.S. in chemistry from VCU and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Virginia. He was a postdoctoral associate in organic chemistry at Harvard University.

Tyler McQuad, Ph.D. profile picture

Tyler McQuade, Ph.D.

Professor and Principal Investigator

Dr. McQuade studied organic chemistry at UC Irvine, UW Madison and MIT. He added knowledge of chemical engineering during his 14 years in academics and as a program manager and member of the leadership team at DARPA. Dr. McQuade is now a professor and principal in the Medicines for All Institute, an organization he founded with Dr. Gupton in 2009.

Rodger Stringham, Ph.D.

Principal Analytical Chemist

Dr. Stringham is responsible for the development of analytical chemistry to support process development at the Medicines for All Institute. He is also responsible for market intelligence, technology transfer and relationship-building with manufacturers and Global Health partners. Prior to joining the institute Dr. Stringham spent 11 years as the head of the process chemistry team at the Clinton Health Access Initiative. This was preceded by 18 years working as an analytical chemist in technology companies and in the pharmaceutical industry. He holds both B.S. and M.S. degrees from Virginia Tech as well as a Ph.D. from Purdue University.

Faculty & Research Staff


David Snead, Ph.D.

Director of Research

David Snead, Ph.D., is the Director of Research at Medicines for All. He uses his expertise in process development to address problems in the pharmaceutical and commodity chemical industries. He comes to VCU from Merck where he applied continuous flow technology to solve complex problems in API process development. David developed his skills in continuous synthesis as a postdoc at MIT in the early days of the Pharmacy on Demand project. Prior to joining Merck, he worked in front-end innovation to identify and develop new business opportunities for GP Chemicals resulting in executive level sponsorship for commercialization of two projects. He holds a B.S. in chemistry from UNC-CH and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Florida.

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Saeed Ahmad, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

Saeed Ahmad, Ph.D., specializes in the development of using small molecules, peptides and proteins. He also works in development of new and existing active pharmaceutical ingredients, as well as development of efficient and cost-effective processes using continuous synthesis and flow chemistry. Ahmad holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Allahabad, India. He was previously a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia.

Research Assistant Professor

Abu Zayed Md Badruddoza, Ph.D., is a Research Assistant Professor in the Pharmaceutical Engineering Labs at VCU CLSE Department. He holds a B.Sc. and a Ph.D. both in Chemical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology and National University of Singapore (NUS), respectively. Prior joining to VCU, he performed postdoctoral research in several institutions including the MIT- Novartis Center for Continuous Manufacturing at MIT, NSF Water and Environment Technology (WET) Center at Temple University and also Khan’s Microfluidics lab at NUS. Dr. Badruddoza’s research activities focus on soft matter pharmaceutical manufacturing, microfluidics crystallization of pharmaceutical compounds, formulation and process development, fast and controlled release, nano-colloids and emulsion science, responsive soft and biomaterials. His current research at VCU in collaboration with Professors Roper and Ferri is on the development of scalable and robust methods for formulating and manufacturing of (bio)pharmaceutical drugs exploiting microfluidics emulsion based platform.

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Katherine Belecki, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor in Chemistry

Katherine Belecki, Ph.D., is a Co-Investigator with Medicines 4 All and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at VCU. Belecki leverages her expertise in organic synthesis, natural product biosynthesis, process engineering, and biocatalysis by exploiting both “traditional” process intensification activities and also strategies and tools from Nature to advance chemical synthesis efforts. As a member of the M4All team since its inception, she served as Project Manager for the process optimization of nevirapine and has been a key player in all early M4All activities. She earned her Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University and previously worked as a process chemist at Pfizer, Inc.

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Bimbisar K. Desai, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

Bimbisar "Bobby" K. Desai, Ph.D., is a research assistant professor in VCU’s pharmaceutical engineering labs. He brings a strong background in synthetic organic and medicinal chemistry gained in academic and industry settings. His research focuses on the integration of new synthetic chemistry technologies including flow chemistry for the delivery of active pharmaceutical ingredients and molecules of medicinal value. He holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Surrey, England.

Assistant Professor

 

Assistant Professor

Mo Jiang, Ph.D., is a Co-Investigator with Medicines for All and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering at VCU. With M4ALL, Jiang focuses on process intensification for advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing, such as designing novel processes and platforms of continuous crystallization and/or evaporation. Jiang holds a B.S. in biology from Tsinghua University, an M.S. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Assistant Professor in Chemistry

Christopher Kelly, Ph.D. is a Co-Investigator with Medicines for All and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at VCU he received a B.S. in Biochemistry from Stonehill College and Ph.D. in organic chemistry from University of Connecticut. During his time at UConn, he developed new synthetic methods in organofluorine and oxoammonium salt chemistry and transitioned some of these methods to continuous flow processing. After earning his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2015, he joined Prof. Gary Molander’s group at the University of Pennsylvania (UPenn) as a National Institutes of Health postdoctoral fellow. At UPenn, he used visible light activated photocatalysts to discover new radical feedstocks and enable new C-C bond forming processes. In 2018, Dr. Kelly began his independent career at VCU as part of the Medicines for All Institute.

Research Assistant Professor

Eliseu De Oliveira, Ph.D., is an assistant professor in VCU’s Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering. He researches novel chemical processes for cleaner and more economical routes of synthesis for drugs needed in developing countries. De Oliveira holds an M.S. in organic chemistry and a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

Assistant Professor in Chemistry

Joshua Sieber, Ph.D., is a Co-Investigator with Medicines for All and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry at VCU. He joined VCU in 2018 after a 7-year stent in industry in the process chemistry group at Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. where he gained expertise in developing synthetic processes for the large-scale synthesis of new APIs and the application of catalysis to large-scale processes. He obtained a Ph.D. from Boston College in 2008 followed by an American Cancer Society postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University where he gained experience in catalysis development and the total synthesis of natural products. His research interests focus on applying his background in catalysis, total synthesis, and process chemistry to develop new catalysts and catalytic reactions that target industrial-scale applications.

Research Assistant Professor

Nakul S. Telang, Ph.D, is an expert in medicinal chemistry and has broad experience in synthetic organic chemistry. He brings seven years of strong postdoctoral research experience with research focus on design and synthesis of novel chemical entities (NCEs) for cure of life threatening diseases. Telang also had the opportunity to collaborate on externally funded projects with renowned experts from the pharmaceutical industry. At the Medicines for All Institute, he conducts research in the development of novel chemical synthetic routes of therapeutic drugs through flow chemistry.

Postdoctoral Research Associate


Postdoctoral Research Associate

Originally from Brussels, Mateo Berton, Ph.D., received his bachelor’s (2010), master’s (2012) and doctoral (2016) degrees in chemistry from the University of Valencia (Spain) where he studied the reactivity of carbon dioxide and explored its synthetic applications. In his postdoctoral position at Johnson & Johnson in the department of continuous flow chemistry under the direction of Jesús Alcázar he gained expertise applying this methodology in drug discovery. In 2017, he moved to the US to work for Paul G. Williard as a postdoctoral research associate at Brown University studying solid state and solvent free aldol and hydride transfer reactions. Mateo is currently a postdoctoral research fellow in Dr. McQuade’s laboratory. His research focuses on the design of flow system for the synthesis of on-demand organometallic reagents.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Daniel W. Cook, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow working under Thomas D. Roper, Ph.D. In this role he serves as the primary analytical chemist for research efforts of Roper and B. Frank Gupton, Ph.D. He received his B.S. in chemistry from Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia in 2011. He received his Ph.D. in chemistry from VCU in 2016. His research interests primarily lie in the fields of separations as well as the application of advanced data analysis (chemometrics) to existing instrumental methods.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Brenden P. Derstine, Ph.D., received his B.S. in chemistry from the University of Hartford in 2012. He completed his Ph.D. in 2018 under the guidance of Dr. Scott McN. Sieburth at Temple University where he focused on [4 + 4] photocycloadditions and titanium (II) mediated methodologies. In 2018, he joined the Gupton Lab and the Medicines for All Institute at Virginia Commonwealth University. His current research is focused on improving the synthetic route to access active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) through process intensification and continuous processing.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Narendar R. Gade, Ph.D., holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Hyderabad in India. After finishing his doctoral research he was a research associate with GVK BIO in Hyderabad before moving to California for postdoctoral research. He works with Thomas Roper, Ph.D., on research related to active pharmaceutical ingredient synthesis and multi component approaches for organic synthesis.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Mariam Ibrahim, Ph.D., is a formulation scientist with 10 years experience in development of formulation strategies for dosage forms including dry powder aerosols, modified release tablets, capsules, suppositories, suspensions and emulsions. Her main research interests are advanced drug delivery systems for oral and pulmonary delivery, additive manufacturing of pharmaceuticals, novel particle engineering and solubility enhancement technologies. Ibrahim received her bachelor's and master's degrees in pharmaceutical sciences from Suez Canal University in Egypt. In 2012, she received a Fulbright scholarship to pursue her Ph.D. degree at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Upon her graduation in 2017, she joined the Roper Laboratory at VCU as a postdoctoral fellow. She is currently working on the "Pharmacy on Demand" project for the production of continuously manufactured Ciprofloxacin tablets.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Jo-Ann Jee, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow in VCU’s Roper group. She holds a B.S. in biochemistry from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and a Ph.D. in chemistry from Stony Brook University, New York. Her doctoral work focused on the synthesis of multivalent and multimodal dendrimers via isocyanide multicomponent reactions. As a postdoctoral researcher at the Infectious Disease Research Institute in Seattle, she designed and synthesized potential drug candidates for the treatment of tuberculosis. Her current research at VCU is focused on development of new and cost effective strategies for the synthesis of dolutegravir, a drug for the treatment of HIV. Her research on dolutegravir incorporates both batch chemistry and continuous flow chemistry.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Hari R. Mangunuru, Ph.D. received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Old Dominion University in 2014. He was a research associate with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, where his work was focused on asymmetric catalysis, ligand design and optimization. He joined Medicines for all in May 2017. His current research interests include in flow chemistry, multicomponent synthesis, active pharmaceutical ingredient synthesis and asymmetric catalysis. His current research is on the process optimization of the HIV drug tenofavir disoproxil fumarate.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Cheryl L. Peck, Ph.D., is a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Gupton’s laboratory and Medicines for All. She holds a B.S. in chemistry with a minor in biology from Longwood University and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. Her doctoral work with Dr. Webster Santos focused on the development and optimization of novel synthetic methods for the formation of carbon-boron bonds utilizing inexpensive reagents and environmentally friendly reaction conditions. Her current research at VCU is centered around the development of cost effective strategies for the synthesis of the HIV drug Emtricitabine.

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Sarah Smith, Ph.D., received her B.S. in chemistry in 2012 from the University of Mary Washington. She completed her Ph.D. in chemistry in 2017 from Virginia Commonwealth University under the direction of Dr. Everett Carpenter, where she designed flow reactors for the synthesis of metallic nanoparticles. She joined the Gupton lab as a postdoctoral fellow in 2017. Her research focuses on the rational synthesis of new heterogeneous catalysts in connection with VCU’s Center for Rational Catalysis Synthesis (CeRCaS). Currently, she is researching the design and synthesis of polymer monolith systems.

Adjunct & Visiting Scholars, Advisers


Visiting Research Associate

Raymond N. Dominey, Ph.D., is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering. He studied chemistry at the University of West Florida (B.S.), MIT (Ph.D. Advisor: Mark S. Wrighton), and UNC-Chapel Hill (Post-Doc Advisor: David Whitten). He is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at the University of Richmond where he works with undergraduate students on research projects focused in two main areas: 1) the interface of physical, analytical, and synthetic Chemistry, particularly as it applies to developing flow chemistry methods for synthesis of important API’s, and 2) energy research, in particular CO2 reduction. His work at Medicines for all focuses on developing Electrosonic Spray Ionization (ESSI) as a flow chemistry method for accelerating organic reactions and using NMR to elucidate synthesis pathways for optimizing flow syntheses of API’s, e.g. fluconazole.

Visiting Research Associate

Stan Gilliland, Ph.D., joined VCU as a postdoctoral fellow in 2015. His main research focus is rational development and production of heterogeneous metal catalysts, specifically palladium nanoparticles supported on graphene materials. In collaboration with researchers at University of South Carolina and VCU’s Center for Rational Catalyst Synthesis (CeRCaS), he continues to research precise catalyst site synthesis using strong electrostatic adsorption and microwave reduction methods for specific carbon-carbon bond formation and carbon-hydrogen activation.

Senior Technical Adviser

Anton A. Toutov, Ph.D., is the Co-Founder and Chief Science Officer of Los Angeles-based start-up, Fuzionaire, which spun out of Caltech in 2016. His work involves developing alternatives to precious metal catalysts for known and novel organic reactions, such as employing sodium and potassium salts to catalyze a variety of cross-coupling chemistries. Dr. Toutov holds a B.S. in chemistry from Queen's University and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Caltech, working in the laboratory of Prof. Robert H. Grubbs, where he held Dow–Resnick, NSERC, and Bristol–Myers Squibb fellowships.

Students


Graduate Student

Somi Amir received her B.S. in chemistry in 2015 from Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently a graduate student in the Chemistry Department and is working on the continuous synthesis of Fluconazole.

Graduate Student

Cameron Armstrong is masters student in VCU's Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering. His current research focus is in the flow chemistry development for the synthesis of active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Graduate Student

Michael Burkholder is a graduate student in VCU’s Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering and works in VCU’s Catalysis Lab. He received his B.S. in chemical engineering and chemistry at VCU in 2014 and has been a part of the Gupton group since 2013. His research focus includes the development and characterization of novel metal catalysts supported on carbon and design of process systems. Currently, he is collaborating with the University of South Carolina to develop a process for a continuous oxidation of alcohols.

Graduate Student

Kevin Burns graduated from James Madison University with a B.S. in chemistry in 2016. After working in a medical laboratory for two years, he decided to return to academics and further his education. Kevin is now pursuing a PhD as a graduate student in VCU's Department of Chemistry.

Graduate Student

Edward Chandler received his B.A. in chemistry from the University of Richmond, where he worked with Raymond Dominey, Ph.D., on developing flow syntheses of precursors to poly-heterocycles for future use in pharmaceutical manufacturing. He joined the Gupton Lab as a Ph.D. student in 2017. His current research focus is on the rational synthesis of heterogeneous 1st row transition metal catalysts.

Graduate Student

Brian Clark graduated from Virginia Tech in 2015 with a B.S. in chemical engineering. He is currently a Ph.D. student in VCU’s Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering.

Graduate Student

Sajjad Ghobadi received his B.S. in polymer engineering in 2013 from the Amirkabir University of Technology, Iran; and his M.Sc. in materials science and engineering in 2015 from Sabanci University, Turkey. His research was focus on preparation of graphene-based heterogeneous catalysts for renewable energy applications. He joined the Gupton lab as a Ph.D. student in 2017. His research focus is on the rational synthesis of new monolithic catalysts for flow chemistry in connection with CeRCaS.

Graduate Student

Samantha Ginter is a graduate student in VCU's Department of Chemistry. She received her B.S. in chemistry from Washington State University, Pullman in 2018. Samantha joined the Sieber lab in 2018 and is excited for her future work with the Medicines for All Institute.

Graduate Student

Jacqueline Gross holds a B.S. in biology and an M.S. in chemistry from the University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is currently a Ph.D. student in VCU's Department of Medicinal Chemistry and has been a part of the Ellis group since 2017. Her current research focus is in small molecule synthesis of anti-cancer agents.

Graduate Student

Caleb Kong holds a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Virginia. He worked in polymer chemistry at Evonik Industries before coming to VCU to begin his Ph.D. in chemistry. He currently works with the Gupton group, and his current research interests include flow methodology, active pharmaceutical ingredient synthesis and catalysis.

Graduate Student

Anthony moved to Richmond in 2014 to pursue his undergraduate degree at VCU. With his interest in medicine, Anthony pursued many possible career paths related to medicine. The catalyst for his passion for chemistry was when he studied organic chemistry and did his undergraduate research in the development of a Pt-drug specific for Zn Finger HIV-1 binding with Dr. Nicholas Farrell (VCU). In 2018, Anthony was awarded the ACS outstanding chemistry award at VCU when he finished his degree. Outside of chemistry, Anthony was heavily involved in Catholic Campus Ministries where he took on leadership roles and was involved in Camp Kesem by attending camp as a counselor for kids who have witnessed their parents going through cancer. Anthony’s interest in chemistry led him to graduate school at VCU because he wants to learn more how he can get involved with medicine through chemistry. Anthony joined the Kelly group in 2018 where he is excited to be part of the Medicines for All initative as this relates chemistry to real life problems.

Graduate Student

Adam Luxon is a graduate student in VCU’s Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering and works in Dr. McQuade’s group. His research is focused on supplying reactive organometallic reagents in a safe and reliable fashion. He received his B.S. in chemistry in 2017 from the University of Richmond where he did computational chemistry research under the supervision of Dr. Carol Parish. Before joining Dr. McQuade’s group, he worked on heterogeneous catalysis in Dr. Gupton’s group as a technician.

Graduate Student

Yuma Miyai graduated from the University of Utah in 2015 with a B.S. in chemical engineering. While at the University of Utah, his research focused on molecular biology and medicinal chemistry. He is currently a graduate student in VCU’s Chemical and Life Sciences Engineering Department working on crystallization with the Roper group.

Graduate Student

Jeffrey Noble is a graduate student in VCU’s Chemistry Department. He attended the University of Richmond where he received a B.S. in biochemistry and molecular biology. Jeffrey currently works with the Roper lab.

Graduate Student

Juliana Souza received her B.S. in chemistry in 2013 from Universidade Federal de São Carlos (UFSCar), Brazil, and has master's degree in organic chemistry, specifically on porphyrin synthesis by the same university (2014-2015). Currently, she is a graduate student at UFSCar and Virginia Commonwealth University and works with photochemical reactions in continuous flow conditions.

Graduate Student

Yuan Yang is a doctoral student in VCU’s Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering. His current research focuses on developing carbon-based metal nanoparticle heterogeneous catalyst for reactions via theoretical and experimental methodologies.

Administration


Program Coordinator

Margaret Edwards serves as the Program Coordinator for the Medicines for All Institute.

Instructor

Rudy Krack is a chemical engineer with 30+ years experience in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry. He provides raw material cost estimates for new processes for the Gupton research group. Now in the ninth year of an "encore career" in academia, Krack also teaches undergraduate lab courses, manages instructional laboratories, maintains equipment and instrumentation, promotes lab safety and assists with capstone design projects.

Laboratory Manager

Amy Miner graduated from Taylor University with a B.A. in biology. She previously worked at VCU's School of Medicine in a smooth muscle physiology and biochemistry lab before joining Medicines for All in 2017. She brings over fifteen years of bench and lab management experience.

Office Manager

Chuky Spivey serves as the Office Manager for the Medicines for All Institute and Department of Chemical and Life Science Engineering at Biotech Eight.

Senior Advisor

Bruce Thomas is a recognized expert in the areas of medication adherence and access, with experience leading efforts to address these issues at scale to improve patients’ lives. As a consultant and grantee to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation since 2014, he leads the development, testing and scale-up of new approaches to improve differentiated care for TB and HIV patients in China, India, and Sub-Saharan Africa. In his work with VCU’s Medicines For All Institute, he works to ensure that the global health community capitalizes fully on the institute’s innovative approaches to improve access to lifesaving treatments. He previously served as president of MeadWestvaco Healthcare, establishing a proprietary manufacturing system and supply chain in India to bring generic pharmaceutical products to North America in ready-to-dispense, adherence-enhancing packaging for Walmart’s breakthrough $4 generic program.

Project Manager

Perrer Tosso, Ph.D., is a chemist with extensive experience in drug discovery and development. He holds a Ph.D. in medicinal chemistry from the Georgetown University School of Medicine. His research interests include active pharmaceutical ingredient synthesis and flow methodologies. Perrer currently works as a project manager for the Medicines for All Institute.