Enver Cagri Izgu (Enver Çağrı İzgü)

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Full Member of Cancer Pharmacology Program, Cancer Institute of New Jersey

Faculty Member of Center for Lipid Research, Rutgers University, New Brunswick

Postdoc, Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital

Research: Replication of genetic information / Systems chemistry of protocells

Advisor: Dr. Jack W. Szostak

Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Research: Total synthesis of plant alkaloids / Synthetic method development / NMR spectroscopy

Advisor: Dr. Thomas R. Hoye


Research: Asymmetric Catalysis

Advisor: Dr. Ozdemir Dogan 

Zhaojun (John) Jia

Postdoctoral Researcher

RU I-Corps Technical Lead


Ph.D., Peking University

M.E., Peking University

B.E., Sichuan University 

John received his B.E. degree in Biomedical Engineering from Sichuan University, and his Ph.D. degree in Biomechanics and Medical Engineering from Peking University, China. He was trained in the areas of biomaterials science and engineering, bioimaging, surface chemistry, pathogenic and non-pathogenic cells, and small animal models.

John has a special talent in artistic rendering and graphical design. And he loves kites.

Huseyin Erguven

Postdoctoral Researcher

RU I-Corps Entrepreneurial Lead


Ph.D., McGill University

B.Sc., Bilkent University


Huseyin received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Bilkent University, Turkey. He successfully represented his national team in the International Chemistry Olympiads in London and Budapest. He then earned his Ph.D. degree in Organic Chemistry from McGill University, Canada, where he built a strong skill-set in the chemistry of 1,3-dipoles, heterocyclic small molecules, and amide-containing macrocycles.

Rhia Stone

Postdoctoral Researcher


Ph.D., The University of Queensland

M.Sc., Victoria University of Wellington

B.Sc., Victoria University of Wellington


Rhia received her BSc and MSc degrees in Chemistry from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. She then moved to Australia for her PhD at the Institute for Molecular Biosciences, the University of Queensland, during which she developed her skills in synthetic chemistry, microbiology, microscopy, and chemical biology.


Rhia enjoys knitting, crochet, cooking, and trying to pat all the animals.

Tushar Aggarwal

Graduate Researcher


M.Sc., IIT, Bombay

B.Sc., University of Delhi


Tushar earned his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from University of Delhi and Master’s degree from Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, India. At IIT-Bombay, he was trained in chemical biology and acquired substantial theoretical knowledge in biopolymers and mechanisms of in vitro transcription and reverse transcription.

In addition to his multidisciplinary Ph.D. studies, Tushar serves in the CCB Graduate Student Organization board.

Bryan Gutierrez

Graduate Researcher


B.Sc., Pacific Lutheran University 

Bryan earned his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Pacific Lutheran University. He participated in the RISE program at Rutgers and was awarded a SUPER-Grad Fellowship, reserved for top RISE students who return to Rutgers.

Bryan loves helping out people and he is the go-to person in the group. He has a special skill of walking long distances while only focusing on his cell phone. 

Kern Hast

Graduate Researcher


B.E., University of Florida


Kern obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Florida. He specialized in biomaterials, cell biology, and materials chemistry in his undergraduate research and then worked in industry as an engineer.

Kern is a professional fencer, teaching fencing to youngsters. He fearlessly dives into complex problems in biotechnology and comes up with ideas to solve them. When the idea makes sense, he occasionally performs a sudden fencing move. 

Melih Baci

Graduate Researcher


M.Sc., Texas A & M University

B.Sc., Bilkent University

Melih obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Bilkent University, Turkey. In his first year of undergrad, he successfully competed in the International Chemistry Olympiad in London. He then moved to Texas A&M University and earned his Master's degree by studying metal-organic frameworks for capture and degradation of organic pollutants.

Liming Wang

Graduate Researcher


B.Sc., Peking University


Liming received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from Peking University. He worked on allosteric inhibitor development and gained major skills in organic synthesis and in vitro enzyme kinetics.

Jonathan Hong

Research Technician


B.A., Rutgers University


Jon obtained his Bachelor’s degree in Cell Biology and Neuroscience from Rutgers University. He conducted undergraduate research in the Izgu Lab, focusing mainly on the synthesis of unnatural nucleic acids and protein engineering. He is now working as a research technician while getting ready to go to medical school.

Jon loves contributing to society at large: He has worked as a learning assistant during his undergraduate education and actively participates in public outreach activities. He loves to dance, but he needs to work on his dance moves.

Caitlin Yeung

Undergraduate Researcher


Biochemistry of Microbial Systems

Rutgers University


Caitlin is currently pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry of Microbial Systems at the Rutgers School of Environmental and Biological Sciences. She has interests in infectious diseases, virology, and immunology and hopes to work in industry in the future. She enjoys learning about new concepts and is determined to gain a new perspective on the applications of chemistry.

She also draws portraits in her spare time. And friends describe her as being like a cat.

Camden De Sanctis

Undergraduate Researcher


Biological Sciences

Rutgers University


Camden is currently pursing a Bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences at the Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. She has interests in pharmacology, applied biochemistry, and physiology. It is her plan to attend medical school following graduation, and she is excited to learn more about the interdisciplinary applications of organic chemistry during her time in the Izgu Lab.

Camden enjoys being civically engaged and she currently serves as the Health and Wellness Chair of the Rutgers University Student Assembly. Beyond that, she loves taking her two dogs, Kaia and Lani, paddle boarding and hiking!



Thaybeth I. Malavé Méndez

Visiting Researcher (Summer 2018)

RISE Fellow at Rutgers University

Undergraduate Chemistry Student at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras



Anton Krotenok

High School Student (Summer 2018)

ACS Project SEED

Woodbridge Academy for Allied Health and Biomedical Sciences


Jiayu Zhang

Undergraduate Researcher (2017-2019)

Rutgers, Chemistry and Chemical Biology



Dylan Schroeder

Undergraduate Researcher (2017-2019)

Rutgers, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences


Muhammad Sharaf

High School Student (Summer 2019)

ACS Project SEED



Ruchi Yadav

Graduate Researcher (2018-2019)

Rutgers, Chemistry and Chemical Biology



Emmanuel F. Rivera Iglesias

Visiting Researcher (Summer 2019)

RISE Fellow at Rutgers University

Undergraduate Chemistry Student at

the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras


Bhavya Shah

Undergraduate Researcher (2017-2019)

Rutgers, School of Environmental and Biological Sciences


Aisha Mansoor

High School Student (Summer 2019)

ACS Project SEED


Kyle White

Undergraduate Researcher (2018-2019)

Rutgers, School of Environmental

and Biological Sciences


George Guanga (2019-2020)

Undergraduate Researcher

Rutgers, Chemical and Biochemical Engineering


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