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Current Members

Postdoctoral Researchers


Mamta Bhandari

Ph.D. Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (2022)
M.Sc. Chemistry, Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (2017)
B.Sc. Chemistry, Daulat Ram Collage, Delhi University (2014)

Mamta earned her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry with honors from Delhi University, India. Afterward, she joined IISER (Indian Institute for science education and research), Mohali, for an integrated MS-PhD degree. She became a part of Prof. Sanjay Singh’s group for her master’s project, where she developed a keen interest in the cationic chemistry of main group elements (B and Al). Subsequently, she continued her Ph.D in the same lab. Her Ph.D. dissertation focused on synthesizing the highly Lewis acidic cationic aluminum complexes and studying their reactivity and catalytic applications in reduction chemistry. Apart from synthesizing new molecules in lab and discovering some chemistry, she enjoys trekking, playing tennis, and reading.

Graduate Students

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Kaitlyn Birkhoff (she/her)

B.S. Chemistry/minor Public Health, University of Southern Mississippi (2021)

Kaitlyn is from Slidell, LA and started her undergraduate career at the University of Southern Mississippi in 2018. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Public Health in December 2021. While there, she conducted research under Dr. Matthew Donahue, focusing on the synthesis and characterization of nitrogen heterocycles. In Fall 2022, Kaitlyn began her graduate studies at Rice. Outside of the lab, Kaitlyn enjoys reading, cooking, and spending time with her cat and dog, Ivy and Willow

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Dinora Rodriguez

B.S. Chemistry/ B.S. Physics, University of St. Thomas (2022)

Dinora is a native Houstonian and went to the University of St. Thomas where she earned her B.S. in Chemistry and Physics. In her undergraduate studies, she worked with Dr. Javoris Hollingsworth to synthesize gold nanoparticles for cancer therapy. In the summer of 2021, she worked in Dr. Julian West's lab at Rice University where she worked on a remote functionalization for small molecules via metal chain walking. Dinora started at Rice in fall 2022 to pursue her Ph.D. in Chemistry. In her free time, she enjoys playing on her Nintendo Switch, especially Legend of Zelda and Animal Crossing, and doing anything fun with her friends.

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Macallister L. Davis

B.S. Chemistry/minors in French & Biology, Louisiana State University (2023)

Macallister is a hybrid Chicagoan/ New Orleanian and started her undergraduate career at Louisiana State University (LSU) in 2019. While there, she majored in chemistry with a concentration in biological chemistry and minored in French and biology. During her tenure, she started research in the lab of Víctor García-López where she synthesized artificial molecular machines. In Summer 2023 Macallister started her graduate career and looks forward to growing as a researcher! Outside of school, Macallister enjoys traveling, reading, and exploring the outdoors.


Kimberly Fair (she/her)

B.S. Chemistry, The University of Texas at Austin (2022)

Kimberly is from Houston, Texas and earned her B.S. in Chemistry in December of 2022 from UT Austin. During her time there she participated in the FRI program throughout her degree in the lab of Dr. Anthony Dylla. Kimberly did work with dendrimer encapsulated nanoparticles and photo-polymerization of dyes with a focus in spectroscopy.  She started at Rice in Fall 2023 and is excited to be back in Houston! Outside of the lab, Kimberly enjoys crafting, reading, wedding planning, and spending time with her fiancée and puppy.


Kyle Francis (he/him)

B.S. Chemistry, California State University Channel Islands (2023)

Kyle is from the beach town of Ventura California, and received his B.S in chemistry at California State University Channel Islands. In his undergraduate studies, he worked on Zinc Oxide nanoparticles as well as synthesis of modified nucleosides. Outside of his home institution, he worked on epitaxially grown heterointerfaces of Lanthanum Aluminate on Strontium Titanate  at UW-Madison during 2022 REU. For the Summer of 2023, he worked the fabrication GeSn photodetectors in the MIR range at Brookhaven National Laboratory in the SULI program. Kyle enjoys resistance training and baking outside of the lab.

Undergraduate Students


Christopher Rodriguez (he/him)

Sophomore Undergraduate

Christopher Rodriguez IV hails from Rockwall, Texas. Some of his interests include Yu-Gi-Oh! and science fiction.


Ian Lin (he/him)

Sophomore Undergraduate

Ian is from Dallas, Texas. He enjoys rowing and Pokemon Go.


Kayla Bui (she/her)

Sophomore Undergraduate

Kayla is from Houston, Texas. During her free time, she enjoys crocheting, reading, and watching Criminal Minds.


Alexander Dua(he/him)

Freshman Undergraduate

Alexander is from Toronto, Canada. His interests include playing the piano, reading, and film photography

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