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 Raymond & Beverly Sackler International Prize in the Physical Sciences, Chemical Biology, 2019
  • BioFlorida’s Weaver H. Gaines Entrepreneur of the Year Award, 2018
  • 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

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

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

Masahito Abe
Staff Scientist
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
Ph.D., Advanced Science and Engineering, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry: 2010

Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
M.S., Science and Engineering, Dept. of Chemistry and Biochemistry: 2007

Waseda University, Tokyo, Japan
B.S., Science and Engineering, Dept. of Chemistry: 2005

Haruo Aikawa
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
Ph.D., Chemistry: 2009

Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
M.S., Chemistry: 2006

Tohoku University, Sendai, Japan
B.S., Chemistry: 2004

Raphael Benhamou
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
Ph.D., Chemistry: 2018

Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel
B.S., Chemistry & Biology: 2013

Jonathan Chen
Postdoctoral 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

Shruti Choudhary
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA
Ph.D., Medicinal Chemistry: 2017

University of Delhi, New Delhi, India
B.S., Pharmacy: 2009

Deepak Jadhav
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
National Chemical Laboratory / Savitribai Phule Pune University, Pune, Maharashtra, India
Ph.D., Chemistry: 2014

Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded, Maharashtra, India
M.S., Organic Chemistry: 2003

Swami Ramanand Teerth Marathwada University, Nanded, Maharashtra, India
B.S., Science: 2001

Yue Li
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Kyoto University, Kyoto, Japan
Ph.D., Chemical Biology: 2016

Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China
M.A., Medicinal & Organic Chemistry: 2011

Heifei University of Technology, Anhui Sheng, China
B.E., Pharmaceutical Engineering: 2008

Xiaohui Liu
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Tianjin University, Tianjin, China (joint doctoral at Peking University, Beijing, China)
Ph.D., Applied Chemistry: 2017

Tianjin University, Tianjin, China
B.S., Pharmacy: 2012

Andrei Ursu
Postdoctoral 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

Simon Vézina-Dawod
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Sciences: 2017

Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
M.S., Pharmaceutical Sciences: 2014

Université Laval, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
B.S., Chemistry: 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


Jessica Bush

Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

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

Albion College, Albion, MI
B.A., Biology & Biochemistry: 2018


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


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

Blessy Mangalathil Suresh
Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

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

National Institute of Science Education and Research, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India
Five-year M.S., Chemistry: 2017


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

Tanya Khan
Research Technician
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Oxford High School
Diploma: 2004

Certifications & Courses:
Short Course, Charles River Laboratories: 2008
Assistant Laboratory Animal Technician, American Association for Laboratory Animal Science: 2007

Kamalakannan Vishnu
Research Technician
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY
M.S., Material Science and Chemical Engineering: 2017

Anna University, Chennai, India
B.E., Electronics and Communications: 2014

Sarah Wagner
Research Technician
Department of Chemistry

Education:
University College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland
M.S., Biotechnology: 2018

Palm Beach Atlantic University, West Palm Beach, FL
B.S., Molecular Biology: 2016

Christy LaFlamme
BLEU Student
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Florida Atlantic University, Harriet L. Wilkes Honors College
B.S., Biological Chemistry (major), Mathematics (minor): in progress

Internships:
FAU REU Summer Fellow (Disney Lab): 2019
Scripps Research REU Summer Fellow (Disney Lab): 2018

 

Kathleen O’Brien
Laboratory Administrative Assistant
Department of Chemistry

Education:
The College of William & Mary, Williamsburg, VA
BA: English Language & Literature: 2011