Our Team

Matthew David Disney

Professor
Department of Chemistry
Graduate Program Faculty Member, Kellogg School of Science and Engineering
Email: Disney@scripps.edu

Positions:

-Regional Editor for the Americas, Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters
-Scientific Advisory Board, The University at Albany The RNA Institute

Education:

Grade 1-8, Saint Ursula School, Baltimore, Maryland
Grade 9-12, Calvert Hall College, Towson, Maryland
B.S., Chemistry, The University of Maryland, College Park, 1997
M.S., Physical Chemistry, The University of Rochester, 1999
Ph.D., Chemistry, The University of Rochester, 2003
Post Doctoral Fellow: The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and ETH Zürich – Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, 2002-2004

Awards and Honors:

  • The Barry Cohen Prize, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries, 2018
  • Scripps Florida Outstanding Mentor, 2017
  • NIH Director’s Pionneer Award, 2016
  • Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry, 2016
  • Blavatnik Young Scientists Award Finalist, 2015
  • David W. Robertson Award in Medicinal Chemistry.  Awarded by the American Chemical Society’s Division of Medicinal Chemistry for having a primary role in the discovery of a novel therapeutic agents, targets, theoretical concepts in medicinal chemistry or drug discovery, and making a significant scientific discovery that enhances the field of medicinal chemistry. 2014
  • Excellence Award in the field of Research in Science and Technology.  India-US Chamber of Commerce, Inc., South Florida.  2013
  • Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry.  Awarded by the American Chemical Society’s Biological Chemistry Division for outstanding research in biological chemistry of unusual merit and independence of thought and originality.  2013
  • The American Chemical Society Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry David Y. Gin Award. 2011
  • University at Buffalo, Exceptional Scholar – Young Investigator Award. June 2011
  • Camille & Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award. August 2010 – July 2015
  • Research Corporation Cottrell Scholar Award. July 2008 – June 2011
  • NYSTAR JD Watson Young Investigator Award. July 2007 – June 2009
  • Camille & Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award. September 2005 – August 2010
  • Second Year Roche Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH, Zürich). June 2005 January 2005
  • Roche Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship; Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH, Zürich). June 2003 – May 2004
  • Arnold Weissberger Memorial Fellow; University of Rochester. 2001 – 2002
  • Elon Huntington Hooker Memorial Fellow; University of Rochester. 2000 – 2001
  • Sherman-Clark Memorial Fellow; University of Rochester. 1997 – 1999
  • Eric A. Batista Award; University of Maryland, College Park. Award for most outstanding undergraduate research. 1997
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Research Fellow; University of Maryland, College Park. 1995 – 1997

Current Group Members

Jessica Childs-Disney
Senior Staff Scientist
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zürich, Switzerland
Post Doctoral, Carbohydrates: August ’03 – March ’05

University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Ph,D., Biophysical Chemistry: May ’03

Chemistry, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
M.S., Chemistry: May ’00

Messiah College, Grantham, PA
B.S., Chemistry: May ’98

Sai Velagapudi
Staff Scientist
Department of Chemistry

Education:
State University of New York (SUNY) @ Buffalo, Buffalo, NY / The Scripps Research Institute, Jupiter, FL
Ph.D., Chemistry: August ’14

Andhra University, India
B.S., Pharmaceutical Sciences: May ’06

Suzanne Rzuczek
Staff Scientist
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Rutgers University, Ernest Mario School of Pharmacy, New Brunswick, NJ
PharmD., 2005

Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ
Ph.D.: Medicinal Chemistry, 2011

Jonathan Chen
Research Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
Ph.D., Chemistry: 2015

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA
M.S., Chemistry: 2008

University of Rochester, Rochester, NY
B.S., Optics (with distinction): 2006

Andrei Ursu
Research Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, Germany
Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemistry: 2016

International Max Planck Research School in Chemical and Molecular Biology (IMPRS-CMB)
Ph.D., Chemistry: 2011

Technical University Munich, Munich, Germany
M.S., Chemistry: 2008

University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania
B.S., Chemistry (First-Class Honors): 2004


Hafeez Haniff
Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

Education:
The Scripps Research Institute, Jupiter, FL
Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical and Biological Sciences, Disney Lab

University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL
B.S., Chemistry (Magna Cum Laude): 2014


Matthew Costales

Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

Education:
The Scripps Research Institute, Jupiter, FL
Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical and Biological Sciences, Disney Lab

University of Maryland, College Park, MD
B.S., Chemistry (with Honors) & Minor, Neuroscience: 2012


Alicia Angelbello

Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

Education:
The Scripps Research Institute, Jupiter, FL
Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical and Biological Sciences, Disney Lab

Villanova University, Villanova, PA
B.S., Chemistry: 2015

Zi-Fu Wang
Research Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan
Postdoctoral Researcher: 2013-Present 

National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
Ph.D., Chemistry: 2013

National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
M.S., Chemistry: 2008

National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan
B.S., Chemistry: 2007 

 


Peiyuan Zhang
Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

Education:
The Scripps Research Institute, Jupiter, FL
Ph.D. Candidate in Chemical and Biological Sciences, Disney Lab

Nanjing University, China
B.S., Chemistry: 2016


Anthony Vargas
Lab Helper
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Palm Beach State College, Palm Beach Gardens, FL
Pursuing degree, 2012-present