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The Team

Postdoctoral fellows

Maxime Boudjelel, Ph. D.





Postdoctoral Fellow (joined March 2022)


Postdoctoral scholar, UC Riverside, 2020-2022 (with Professor Richard Schrock)


Ph.D. Molecular Chemistry, Université Paul Sabatier, 2019

(with Professors Didier Bourissou and Ghenwa Bouhadir)

M.S. Nanotechnology, Université Paul Sabatier, 2016

B.S. Chemistry, Université Paul Sabatier, 2014

Maxime is an Algerian-French organometallic chemist. Max was born in Lyon, France and raised in Toulouse, France. He received his B. Sc. in Chemistry at the University Paul Sabatier in Toulouse. During his senior year in 2015, Maxime discovered America by participating in an exchange program at UNC-Chapel Hill. In 2016, he received his M.Sc. in Nanotechnology, but decided to expand his knowledge by pursuing a Ph. D. in Main Group/Organometallic Chemistry at Université Paul Sabatier under the supervision of Dr. Bourissou and Dr. Bouhadir. In 2020, Maxime joined Prof. Schrock's lab at UC Riverside researching new ways to form alkylidenes. He joined the lab of Prof. Malapit in 2022 where he researches new catalytic transformations. Outside of the lab, he enjoys discovering new cuisines, playing squash, and being a cat dad.

Eva Maria Alvarez-Pari, Ph. D.

Postdoctoral Fellow (joined August 2022)


Ph.D. Chemistry, Max Planck Institute, 2022

(with Professor Tobias Ritter)

M.S. Chemistry, University of Oxford (with Professor Michael Willis)

and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität (with Professor Markus Heinrich)

I was born in Bolivia and I am interested in the discovery of new synthetic methodologies to tackle current issues in organic synthesis for the development of valuable building blocks for drug discovery. I am a Lindau Alumni who has selected to participate in 2017 for the Nobel Laurate Meeting in Chemistry. Through an ERASMUS fellowship, I moved to Europe to pursue my Masters degree in chemistry where I conducted research in the laboratories of Prof. Willis at the University of Oxford and Prof. Heinrich at the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität. I then moved to the Max Planck Institute for Organic Synthesis where I obtained my PhD under the mentorship of Prof. Ritter. I joined the Malapit group to work at the interface of organometallic chemistry and electrocatalysis for the discovery of novel organic reactions. Outside the lab, I am interested in hiking and outdoor activities or traveling.

Graduate students (PhD in Chemistry)



Stella Fors

Graduate student (joined Fall 2021)

2024 Mirzayan Fellow, National Academy of Sciences

2024 ACS CIBA Award in Green Chemistry

NSF GRFP, Honorable mention, 2021

B.S. Chemistry, 2020

University of California Los Angeles (UCLA)

Research with Prof. Hosea Nelson

Stella grew up near San Francisco and escaped the Bay Area gloom by moving to Los Angeles to pursue her undergraduate degree at UCLA. While at UCLA, she researched Au-mediated catalysis under Professor Hosea Nelson. After graduating in 2020, Stella worked as a polymer chemist at HRL Laboratories in Malibu. In 2021, she started her PhD at Northwestern. When she's not in lab, you can find her trail running, practicing yoga, spending time with her cat, and getting together with friends.





An Kitamura

Graduate student (joined Fall 2021)

Quad Fellow by Schmidt Futures, 2023

B.S. Chemistry, 2021

Carleton College

Research with Prof. Deborah Gross

I'm from Kanagawa, Japan. My research interests are in organic and electrochemistry. In the Malapit group at Northwestern, I'm currently working on the design and synthesis of redox-active organic molecules for potential application energy storage technology. Outside of research, I enjoy photography and ice skating.

Emily Mahoney

Graduate student (joined Fall 2021)

NSF GRFP Fellow 2022-2025

2024 ACS ENFL Research Award, Gold Prize

B.S. Chemistry, 2021

Rochester Institute of Technology

Research with Prof. Hans Schmitthenner

Emily is from Cazenovia, a small town in upstate New York that is centered around an even smaller lake. When she is home she loves to swim, hike, climb and take her dog on walks. Emily attended Rochester Institute of Technology where she earned her bachelors degree in chemistry in 2021. At RIT, she focused on the synthesis of dyes utilized as cancer imaging agents. After taking a summer to travel and scuba dive, she came to Northwestern to begin her PhD. In the Malapit group, Emily is working on organic redox flow batteries and is very excited to be doing something that contributes to sustainable energy use in the future.



Griffin Stewart

Graduate student (joined Fall 2022)

NSF GRFP Fellow 2024-2027

B.S. Chemistry, 2021

Georgia Institute of Technology

Research with Prof. Seth Marder

I am a small town Southerner-turned-city person. My interest in chemistry ignited late in my high school days at the Mississippi School for Math and Science, and I have gained a special interest in sustainability, watching what pollution and climate change driven catastrophes have done to my home region in the deep south/Gulf of Mexico. In my free time, I enjoy cooking, brewing mead, painting my place with my high school sweetheart, and playing bridge.





Mohammed (Mo) Ullah

Graduate student (joined Fall 2022)

B.A. Chemistry, 2022

Wesleyan University

Research with Prof. Erika A. Taylor

Mohammed is from Brooklyn, NY. At Wesleyan University, he worked on the synthesis of a dimeric lignin probe under the mentorship of Dr. Erika A. Taylor. He was also a McNair Fellow during his time at Wesleyan. Mohammed looks forward to working in the Malapit group at Northwestern, specifically in reaction discovery through electrochemical methods. Outside of science, he enjoys binge-watching shows, drawing, painting, trying new food, and attempting to do pottery.

Jessica Zhong

Graduate student (joined Fall 2022)

B.A. Chemistry, 2022

Colgate University

Research with Prof. Ernest Nolen

Jessica spent her childhood in Chengdu, Hong Kong, and Charlotte, NC. She earned her bachelor's in Chemistry at Colgate University, where she focused on the synthesis of Tn antigen mimics for glycoconjugate cancer vaccine development. Beginning a new chapter of her life at Northwestern, Jessica is excited to be working on reaction discovery using the powerful tools of organometallic chemistry, organic synthesis, and electrocatalysis. Besides chemistry, Jessica is also passionate about ballet, ice skating, and late night karaoke.



Jia Yap

Masters student (joined Winter 2022)

BS/MS in Chemistry (class of 2024)

Northwestern University

PETRONAS Scholar, 2021–2024

R. K. Summerbell Scholar, 2024

SURG Fellow, 2022

Hi I'm Jia and I'm from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I'm interested in synthetic chemistry and enjoy doing interesting experiments in Prof. Malapit's laboratory. In the summer of 2023, I got to work as an intern at Novartis and the experience was very fulfilling. I hope that my future career will provide me a platform to apply Chemistry in discoveries that may transform the lives of people such as drug discovery or development. Outside of school, I enjoy swimming, watching shows, and taking a walk by the lakefill!

Visiting research scholars



Lorenzo Ballerini

ERASMUS Visiting scholar (joined January 2023)

ERASMUS+ Fellow 2023


M.S. Organic Chemistry, University of Pisa, Italy, 2022

(with Professor Fabio Bellina)

B.S. Chemistry, University of Pisa, Italy, 2020

(with Professor Marco Lessi)

I was born in Carrara, a small town in Italy. I received my BS and MS degrees at the University of Pisa working on Pd-catalyzed direct arylation and cross-coupling reactions. In 2023 I joined Professor Malapit's group as a visiting scholar to work on reaction discovery through electrochemical methods. In my free time, I enjoy travelling and hiking, but I am also interested in history and geography.



Jinxiao Li

Visiting undergraduate scholar (joined July 2023)

B.S. Chemistry, USTC - University of Science and Technology of China (class of 2024)

(with Professor Xishen Wang)

I come from Tianjin, China. I am interested in organic chemistry. I am currently under the supervision of Prof. Xisheng Wang at USTC (University of Science and Technology of China) and Prof. Christian Malapit at Northwestern University. I my free time, I love to cook and listen to music.

Undergraduate students


Rossul Aldhufari

Undergraduate researcher (joined Winter 2022)

BS in Chemistry (class of 2025)

Northwestern University

Arch Scholar and Posner Fellow, 2022

SURG Fellow, 2023


Chris Rapala

Undergraduate researcher (joined Summer 2023)

BS in Chemistry (class of 2026)

Northwestern University

Baker Research Scholar, 2023

I'm a Northwestern undergraduate from West Dundee, a small town in the Chicago suburbs, so Evanston and nearby Chicago is familiar but much more accessible, which is exciting. I've always known I would be in chemistry since the early days of baking soda and vinegar volcanoes; furthering my exploration of the field has proven extremely valuable. Seeing the application of the chemical techniques in solving real-world problems is definitely one of my favorite parts of chemistry, especially organic chemistry. Hands-on, precise work like this is also what I love to do in my time off--I dabble in baking and gardening, but I also enjoy being an actor and audience member for Northwestern theatre.


Henry Shavel

Undergraduate researcher (joined Winter 2022)


BS in Chemistry (class of 2024)

Northwestern University

Baker Research Scholar, 2022


Ian Vanswearingen

Undergraduate researcher (joined Winter 2022)


BS in Chemistry; BS in Physics (class of 2025)

University of Illinois at Chicago

REU Fellowship, International Institute for Nanotechnology

Come join us!
We are looking for talented graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and undergraduate researchers. We are located along the shore of Lake Michigan and about 10 miles north of downtown Chicago. Interested postdoctoral applicants should send an email to Christian with a cover letter and CV with contact information of at least two references. Prospective graduate students should apply to the PhD program in Chemistry at Northwestern. Graduate students who are accepted to the PhD in Chemistry program at Northwestern may email Christian to set up a meeting and/or tour of the lab. Undergraduate students looking for a research experience should email Christian with their resume.

Former members


Dr. Yanqin He

Visiting Scholar (Feb 2022 - April 2023)


Current: Lecturer

Liaocheng University, China


Daniel Thomas

Current: BS in Chemistry & Integrated Science Program

(class of 2025)

Northwestern University

Baker Research Scholar and SURG Fellow


Robert (Min) Reynolds

Research Assistant (Summer 2022)


Current: Graduate Student

Kanatzidis Group

Northwestern University


Stephonda Lewis

NIH MARC Fellow, Visiting Scholar (Summer 2022)


Current: BS Biomedical Sciences and Chemistry (senior)

Old Dominion University

Research with Professor Kyle Lambert


Mira Goldstein

High school research intern (Summer 2022)

from North Shore Country Day


Current: BS Chemistry student

Rice University

Research with Professor Raul Hernandez Sanchez


Izzy Huang

Undergraduate researcher (Jan to June 2022)


Current: BS in Chemical Engineering (class of 2025)

Northwestern University

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