Group Members

Principal Investigator


Prof. Karah E. Knope


Postdoctoral Researchers

IMG_1090Dr. Rami Batrice.

Graduate Students

IMG_3505xAlyssa Adcock was born in California, raised in Texas, and received her B.S. in Chemistry from Jacobs University in Germany. Originally a geochemistry major, she switched during her third semester after falling in love with the more synthetic side of chemistry, and furthered this interest by writing her undergraduate thesis on polyoxotungstate synthesis. In her spare time, she enjoys playing basically any type of sport (from volleyball to basketball to baseball), wistfully hoping to adopt a cat, and travelling around the world, when her wallet can afford it.

Nicole Vanagas

Nicole Vanagas comes from Elkridge, MD. She graduated with a B.S. in Chemistry from Mount Saint Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD and minored in math. She knew that she wanted to study chemistry since her high school AP chemistry course. Her undergraduate research with Dr. Chris Bradley helped her to find her passion for inorganic chemistry and after visiting Georgetown University and learning about Dr. Knope’s research in actinide chemistry, she knew she wanted to come to Georgetown. In her free time she enjoys reading and taking long runs.

IMG_1081Lee Ayscue was born and raised in Lynchburg, Va. He received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Hampden-Sydney College, where he also captained their varsity swimming program and received the national Goldwater Scholarship. His father’s profession as a hazardous materials first responder inspired Lee to pursue chemistry with focuses in radioactive materials and detection technologies. He has participated in several research programs including a NSF-REU at University of Tennessee and a DHS-STEM at the Naval Research Lab in Washington DC. Lee’s enjoys include a large variety of sports and music, hiking, target shooting, atv riding, skiing, and playing with Echo (pictured).


Jennifer Wacker is a Colorado native. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Redlands in Southern California. There, she fell in love with inorganic chemistry through her research with Dr. Henry Acquaye. Continuing her passion for science, Jen knew she would find a home in Dr. Knope’s research group investigating actinide chemistry. In her free time, she enjoys traveling to new places, being in the outdoors, and running.

Undergraduate Students


Benjamin Sullivan (GU ’19)

Sae Young (Jennifer) Han (GU ’19)

Chloe Verwiel (GU ’19)


Christopher Rom (GU ’16) Chris wrote an honors thesis titled “Structural Chemistry of Th(IV) and U(IV) – hydroxybenzoic acid complexes” and has plans to pursue a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at Colorado State University.

Matthew Ahern (GU ’16)

Bradley Gibbons (NSF REU student, Westminster College ’16). Brad is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in chemistry at Virginia Tech.

Jonathan Calvello (Carnegie Mellon ’18)

Former group members


Paula M. Cantos (postdoctoral researcher; currently at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing)