Our Team

Matthew David Disney

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

Positions:

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

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:

  • Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry (with Dr. Alicia Angelbello). American Chemical Society, 2021
  • Research Program Award, National Institute of Neurological Disorder & Stroke (NINDS), 2020-2028
  • 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

Patrick Zanon
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Technical University of Munich, Germany
Dr. rer. nat., Chemoproteomics: 2021
M.Sc., Chemistry: 2017
B.Sc., Chemistry: 2014

Tenghui Wang
Graduate Student 
Department of Chemistry

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

Peking University, Beijing, China
B.S., Chemical Biology: 2020

Ni Li
Research Assistant IV
Department of Chemistry

Education:
B.S., Chemistry; Ningbo University; 2005
M.S., Molecular Biology and Biochemistry; Wuhan Institute of Virology, Chinese Academy of Sciences: 2008

Jared Baisden
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ph.D., Biochemistry: 2020

Ashland University
B.S., Biology & Biochemistry: 2013

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


Yeongju Lee

Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Pohang University of Science and Technology (POSTECH)
Ph.D., Chemistry: 2019
B.S., Chemistry: 2014


Xiyuan Yao

Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
Ph.D., Chemistry: 2020

Tianjin Medical Unviersity, Tianjin, China
B.S., Pharmaceutical Sciences: 2014


Amirhossein Taghavi
Postdoctoral Associate
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Luxembourg University, Luxembourg
Ph.D., Physics and Material Science: 2018

Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran
MS., Molecular Biophysics: 2005

Shahid Beheshti University , Tehran, Iran
MS.,  Biology: 2002


Nicolas Torrents

Lab Assistant III
Department of Chemistry

Education:
St. John’s University, Queens, NY
Masters., Medicinal Chemistry: 2020

Hofstra University, Long Island, NY
B.S., Biochemistry: 2015

Phillip Yesley
Lab Assistant I
Department of Chemistry

Education:
The University Of Groningen, The Netherlands
B.S Chemistry: 2018

Masters Chemistry: In-progress


Zainab Alshakarchi

Research Technician
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
Masters, Biology: 2021

Florida Atlantic University, Boca Raton, FL
B.S., Biology: 2019


Jessica (“Jess”) 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


Quentin Gibaut
Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

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

University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK
M.Sc., Chemistry and Biochemistry: 2020

Sigma Clermont, Clermont-Ferrand, France
M.Sc. (Diplôme d’Ingénieur), Chemistry: 2020

IUT Lyon 1, Université Claude Bernard, Lyon, France
A.S. (D.U.T.), Chemistry: 2017


Samantha (“Sam”) Meyer

Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

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

University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire
B.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology: 2019

Blessy 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


Yuquan (“Hamish”) Tong

Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

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

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL
B.S., Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering: 2019

Noah Springer
Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

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

University of Notre Dame
B.S., Biochemistry: 2021


Xueyi (“Sherry”) Yang
Graduate Student
Department of Chemistry

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

Mount Holyoke College, South Hadley, MA
B.S., Biochemistry: 2020


Elizabeth (“Liz”) Lekah

Research Intern
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
Major To-Be-Determined: 2024

Martina Pedrini
Department of Chemistry

Education:
Currently visiting Ph.D. Candidate
Ph.D. Candidate, University of Milan, Italy

Wataru Itano
Professional Scientific Collaborator
Department of Chemistry

Current Position:
Neurology Tsukuba Research Department
Discovery, Medicine Creation, Neurology Business Group
Eisai Co., Ltd.

Education:
University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
Ph.D., Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences: 2009
M.S., Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences: 2006