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Meet the team! Read a brief description of each of our group members, and also check out our group alumni section. See also our past 10 years of fun and work in the Gallery.

The Team


Efrain E. Rodriguez

Principal Investigator

Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Originally from West Texas, Efrain received his degrees from MIT and UC Santa Barbara.  More on Efrain from the faculty page profile. For full CV click here, for short CV click here.

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Ryan Stadel

Postdoctoral Researcher

Ryan received his doctorate in 2021 at Northern Illinois University. His dissertation topic was magnetic orders in the iron-pnictide superconductors, which he studied as part of the neutron and x-ray scattering group at Argonne National Laboratory. For CV, click here.


Marcus Carter

Postdoctoral Researcher

Marcus got his B.S. from Frostburg State University and furthered his education to get a PhD in Chemistry at the University of Maryland where he was an NSF Graduate Fellow. He is currently a postdoc at NIST where he partners with Dr. Rodriguez's group at UMD. His research focus on fabrication of polymers, inorganic, and composite materials for energy applications.


Stephanie Gnewuch

PhD Candidate

Stephanie fell in love with crystallography during her undergraduate program at Otterbein University in Westerville, OH.  At Maryland she has enjoyed taking her understanding of crystallography to another dimension learning magnetic crystallography to study the symmetry of ferrotoroidic materials.  She plays the violin and is learning the mandolin and viola.

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Tianyu Li

PhD Candidate

Tianyu is from a mountainous area of southwest China. He received his bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Nankai University in 2017. Tianyu loves nature and mountains. He travels a lot for hiking.  CV

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Timothy Diethrich

PhD Candidate

Tim was born and raised in Maryland. He got his Bachelor's in Chemistry at Hood College in Frederick, MD in 2017. He enjoys traveling and anything that keeps him active. His research is focused magneto-electric materials that can be applied to ferrotoroidicity with specialties in synthesis, crystal growth, and instrumentation. linkedin

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Huafei Zheng (郑华飞)

PhD Candidate

Huafei is from Wuhan,China. He got his Bachelor's in Chemistry at University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) in 2015. His reseach is focused on the synthesis of transiton metal chalcogenides which have intriguing quantum properties. When he is not in the lab, he enjoys photography and travel.

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Matthew Leonard

PhD Candidate

Matt got his Bachelor's in Chemistry at Florida Southern College in Lakeland, FL. He then joined the Army Corp as an Engineer Officer in 2013 where he served for five years. He joined our group and is now focused on synthesis and characterization of porous metal oxides for toxic gas adsorption and degradation.

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Lahari Balisetty

PhD Candidate

Lahari is from Hyderabad, a city in South India. She received her Masters in Chemistry from Pondicherry University, India. Her research is focused on synthesis and structure determination of heterolayered Iron based chalcogenides. Outside lab, she enjoys spending time outdoors in nature with friends. 

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Mario Lopez

PhD Candidate

Mario received his B.S in chemistry at the University of Illinois, Chicago in 2018. Currently, he is interested in the magnetic properties of thiophosphate compounds and the teaching of chemistry to a general audience.. When not in the lab, Mario is an avid follower of running, history, & investments.


H. Cein Mandujano

Graduate Researcher

Cein is from Chihuahua, MX, and got his bachelor's at Universidad de las Americas, Puebla, and later an M.S. in Physics at the University of Texas.


Stephanie J.

Graduate Researcher

Stephanie Hong graduated from Emory University with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Mathematics. Her current research involves the synthesis and characterization of oxygen storage materials. In her free time, she enjoys swimming and playing tennis.

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Akil Mondie

Graduate Researcher

Akil is from Washington DC with a bachelors degree received from the University of the District of Columbia


Dr. Brandon Wilfong

Current position:

Postdoc-Johns Hopkins University

Personal Website


Dr. Austin Virtue


Dr. Rishvi Jayathilake

Current position:

Intel Corporation


​Dr. Xiuquan Zhou(周秀全)

Current position:

Postdoc-Argonne National Laboratory

Google Scholar Page


Dr. Amber Larson

Group Alumni - Graduate Students


Dr. Daniel Taylor

Current position:

Data Science Supervisor-Ford Motor Compay


Justin Yu

Current position:

Product Owner - Stride, Inc.


Chris Borg

Current position:

Citrine Informatics


Dr. Jacob Tosado

Current position:

Oak Ridge National Laboratory


Dr. Pouya

Current position:

Research Scientist - NASA Goddard Space and Flight Center


Dr. Tim E.

Current position:

Data Scientist - Uptake

Group Alumni - Post Docs


Kaitlyn Dold

Current position:

Graduate Student - UC Irvine, Fall 2022


Vince Wedekind

Current position:

Graduate Student - UMD, College Park, Fall 2022


Noah Katz


Navneeth Babra

Current position:

Software Enginner - MircroStrategy 


Noah Bender

Current position:

Graduate Student- University Illinois Urbana- Champaign 

Group Alumni - Undergraduate Students



Current position:

Graduate Student - Johns Hopkins University, Fall 2020


Hector Vivanco

Following position:

Graduate Student - Johns Hopkins University, Fall 2017


Ben Levitas

Following position:

Graduate student - Boston University, Fall 2017


Natalia Schoch-Lopez

Following position:

Biochemist - Lancaster Laboratories


Brenna Hodges

Following position:

Graduate Student - Yale University, Fall 2016


Nathaniel Shreiber

Following position:

Graduate Student - Cornell University, Fall 2016

Gallery of past photos (fun+work)

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