Krishna Kumar, Ph.D.

Krishna Kumar, Ph.D.

Principal Investigator

Prof. Kumar is Robinson Professor of Chemistry, Chairman of the Chemistry Department (2006-2009 and 2012-present); Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Tufts University and a Member of the Cancer Center of the Tufts Medical Center. His research is at the interface of Chemistry, Biology and Medicine. His research group uses chemical and biological methods to create novel and functional molecules that allow understanding the mechanism of, and/or control biological processes. The group has diverse interests spanning organic chemistry, biophysics, cell biology, imaging and medicinal chemistry. Current areas of interest span the origin of life, therapeutic molecule design for Type 2 diabetes, cancer, NASH, Alzheimer’s & Parkinson’s disease, smoking cessation; penetration of peptide molecules through the gut and the Blood-Brain-Barrier (BBB) and in the development of novel antibiotics.

Vittorio Montanari, Ph.D.

Vittorio Montanari, Ph.D.

Research Assistant Professor

Dr. Vittorio Montanari is a Visiting Scholar at Tufts University. He oversees many projects in collaboration with the Kumar lab relating to peptide hormones that have the potential to ameliorate a large number of human conditions, including diabetes, obesity, and potentially Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. Before Tufts, Vittorio earned a Ph.D. in organic and fluorine chemistry. He has extensive industrial organic synthesis experience. He is the cofounder of a company commercializing Tufts-patented technology, was a 2013 Mass Challenge finalist and served as the Chief Technology Officer for four years. He regularly runs marathons and hopes to qualify for the Boston Marathon some day.

Kathleen Sicinski

Kathleen Sicinski

Graduate Student (B.S., Moravian College)

Katie grew up in the greater Philadelphia area and received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Moravian College. She has 4 sisters and 7 nieces/nephews (with another on the way!). She is also a classically trained ballerina and retired competitive Irish step dancer. When not slaving away in lab, you can find her at the yoga studio in salamba sirsasana.

John Paul Issa

John Paul Issa

Graduate Student (B.S., UC Irvine)

John Paul was born and raised in Riverside, CA and grew up as the youngest of three children. He attended the University of California, Irvine (Go Anteaters!) and earned his B.S. in Chemistry in 2010, working under Scott Rychnovsky. He joined Tufts in 2011, and has since worked in synthetic organic chemistry and biochemistry in our lab. While science is near and dear to his heart, he’s also an avid singer, video gamer, basketball and table tennis player, as well as a deep house enthusiast. When not in the lab, you might find him on the dance floor at Output or Verboten in NYC listening to some awesome overnight DJ sets!

Emel Adaligil, Ph.D.

Emel Adaligil, Ph.D.

Visiting Scholar

Emel got her B.S. from Bogaziçi University in Istanbul, and a Master’s degree in Surface Chemistry from California State University in Long Beach. She recently received her Ph.D. from Tufts in May and works on mirror image phage display and discovery of novel antibiotics.

Jasper Du

Jasper Du

Undergraduate Student, Tufts University

Jasper is currently a senior from Jericho, NY majoring in Biochemistry. Here at Tufts, Jasper is on the swimming and diving team, and co-President of the Tufts American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology club. Outside the lab, you can find him trying out new recipes in the kitchen, or playing the ukulele.

Amy (Xinruo) Guo

Amy (Xinruo) Guo

Undergraduate Student, Tufts University

Amy was born and raised in metropolitan Beijing, China and is studying Biochemistry at Tufts. Her favorite city is Tokyo, Japan. She is fluent in Chinese and English, and can speak some Japanese. As a premed student, she spends her spare time volunteering, working her part-time job at the hospital, studying, and spending time with her identical twin, Tracy.

Angela Gehrckens

Angela Gehrckens

Undergraduate Researcher, Student at Georg-August University

Angela grew up in the northern Germany as the oldest of three children and is now doing an internship in between her bachelors of science and masters degrees. She is currently a student at Georg-August University in Göttingen, Germany with a major in biochemistry. When she isn't traveling or studying she likes acting, singing and aero gliding! Angela is excited to be in America and to be living in Boston.

Julia Phillips

Julia Phillips

Junior Research Assistant

Julia is a high school student from Acton, MA. She started shadowing in the Kumar laboratory in Summer '16. Her main goal was to gain research experience and exposure to chemistry before attending Oxford University in the fall. She is excited to make the journey across the pond but will miss her family and cat, Zepi, the most.

Javier Licardie

Javier Licardie

Undergraduate Researcher

Javier is from Cupertino, CA, and is now a sophomore majoring in Biochemistry at Tufts. Javier is also on the Tufts Quidditch team, and is Co-Fundraising Chair for the Tufts Chapter of Engineers Without Borders. He spends most of his free time reading, or listening to podcasts or audiobooks.

Matthew Crawford

Matthew Crawford

Undergraduate Researcher

Matt is from West Newbury, MA and came to Tufts in the Fall of 2015. He is studying biochemistry and plays for the Tufts Rugby team, which recently competed in the national championship. Matt has one brother and one sister, and a large extended family. His interests include fishing, scuba diving, hiking, and video games. He is a certified rescue diver and plans on continuing his dive training alongside his studies at Tufts.

Muhammadaha Areeb Shaukat Khichi

Muhammadaha Areeb Shaukat Khichi

Undergraduate Researcher

Areeb grew up in Lahore, Pakistan as the oldest of three children and is now doing her undergraduate from Mount Holyoke College. She is a rising senior double majoring in biochemistry and mathematics. She can speak English, Urdu and some Punjabi too. Before this, she was working in the Rotello Lab at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She likes to travel and explore new places.

Varahunan Mathiyalakan

Varahunan Mathiyalakan

High School Researcher

Vara is a high school senior from Winchester, MA. He has started interning since Summer 2017 with the goal of gaining hands-on research experience before heading off to college. As captain of the Science Olympiad and Chemistry Olympiad team, Vara aspires to become a chemical engineer. In addition, he also plays percussion and is VP of the Model UN club.

Alex Levy

Alex Levy

High School Researcher

Alex is a 12th grade student from California who is spending his second summer working in the lab with the Kumar group. Alex has a great love and interest for chemistry and hopes to become a chemist. He also love to go on long hikes and play the piano in his free time.