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Meet the Team

Postdoctoral Scholars


jbeard [at]

Jessica Beard
Ph.D. in Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2023 (with Prof. Tim Swager)
B.A. in Chemistry, Northwestern University, 2017

Jessica grew up in Rockford, IL, located near the IL/WI border and not at all a suburb of Chicago. She earned her B.A. in Chemistry in 2017 from Northwestern University, where she worked on DNA-peptide conjugates under Prof. SonBinh Nguyen after a brief stint in the lab of Prof. Jim Ibers working on uranium and thorium chalcogenide complexes. Afterwards, Jessica moved to the Boston area to pursue her PhD in Chemistry at MIT with Prof. Tim Swager. In the Swager group, her research focused on the development of optically responsive small molecule indicators for aqueous nitrosamines, as well as the synthesis of novel hemi-iptycene monomers. After completing her PhD in the fall of 2023, she moved ~3000 miles (with her cat) to join the Robb lab at Caltech as a postdoc. When not in lab, Jessica enjoys reading, playing with her cat, trying new breweries, and keeping her Duolingo streak alive (nearly 8 years).

Graduate Students

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tzeng [at]

Tian (May) Zeng
B.S. in Chemistry, University of California, San Diego, 2018


May grew up in Wuhan, Hubei, China, before flying over the Pacific Ocean to earn her B.S. in Chemistry from UCSD.  While there, she spent two years in Prof. Keary Engle’s lab at the Scripps Research Institute (TSRI), just 30 mins away.  At TSRI she studied directed Pd-catalyzed alkene difunctionalization reations, while catching sunsets on the ocean across the Torrey Pines golf course.  After graduation, she spent a summer working as an intern for the Discovery Chemistry department at Genentech, South San Francisco, before heading back to the warm embrace of southern California.  Outside of lab, May likes to travel, dance, cook, watch TV shows, and attempt to learn painting.


Meng (Stella) Luo
B.A. in Chemistry, Macalester College, 2020


Stella grew up in Beijing, China. She earned her BA in Chemistry at Macalester College in Minnesota. During her undergrad, Stella worked with Professor Dennis Cao on molecular organic semiconductor materials. She decided to move to Southern California for the sunshine and the food after 4 years spent in the snow. In her free time, Stella enjoys singing and searching for good Asian food, or both at the same time. She also makes constant attempts to play video games, cook, and watch TV dramas.

mlluo [at]


sosler [at]

Skylar Osler
B.S. in Chemistry, University of California, Davis, 2017
Institute Fellow


Skylar grew up in Tacoma, Washington. She earned her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis, where she worked on the synthesis of novel two-coordinate transition metal complexes in the laboratory of Philip Power. After graduation, Skylar joined the Discovery Chemistry department at Merck in South San Francisco. Despite her love of sourdough bread and Golden Gate Park, she was excited to move down to Pasadena and learn more about physical organic chemistry in the Robb group! In her free time, Skylar enjoys biking around the Rose Bowl, playing the banjo, and perfecting her banana bread recipe.

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ytseng [at]

Yu-Ling (Debbie) Tseng
M.S. in Chemistry, National Taiwan University, Taiwan 2020 (with Prof. Jim-Min Fang)
B.S. in Chemistry, National Central University, Taiwan 2018
J. Yang Scholar

Debbie grew up in Taichung, Taiwan. She earned her B.S. in Chemistry from National Central University, where she developed a novel drug candidate against non-small cell lung cancer under the direction of Prof. Duen-Ren Hou. Thereafter, she attended National Taiwan University for her Master degree. While there, she worked under Prof. Jim-Min Fang developing a PROTAC to degrade TDP-43 aggregates and oligomers. After graduation, she decided to fly over the Pacific Ocean to pursue her Ph.D. at Caltech. In her free time, Debbie enjoys cooking, hiking, window shopping, and searching for the best milk tea in LA.

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ysun3 [at]

Yan Sun
B.S. in Chemistry, Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech), China 2020

Yan grew up in Baoding, China. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from Southern University of Science and Technology (SUSTech) in Shenzhen in 2020, under the supervision of Prof. Xin-Yuan Liu. After his graduation, Yan moved to Shanghai and spent one year working in Chinese Academy of Sciences, developing room temperature phosphorescence materials in Prof. Kaka Zhang's lab. He was very excited about moving to Pasadena and joining the Robb group to learn polymer mechanochemistry! In his free time, Yan loves playing the guitar and wants to be a fingerstyle guitar player someday.


Analiese Wiedenbeck
B.S. in Chemistry, Colorado State University, 2023


Analiese graduated high school in Lincoln, Nebraska. She earned her B.S. in chemistry from Colorado State University in 2023. At CSU, she worked for Professor Garret Miyake on the development of chemically recyclable polymers. Upon graduation, she was excited to pursue a career in research and do her graduate studies in Pasadena. Analiese spends her free time hanging out with her cat, playing tennis, and skiing. 

awiedenb [at]

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Nathan Ballinger
B.S. in Chemistry, University of Washington, 2023

Nathan grew up in Bellevue, Washington. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry at the University of Washington, where he worked on the synthesis and design of stimuli-responsive 3D-printed hydrogels and ionogels. Looking to expand outside the world of 3D-printing, he moved to Pasadena to study mechanochemistry in the Robb Group. In his free time, Nathan enjoys listening to music, playing video games, cooking, and playing soccer and basketball.

nballing [at]


Liam Ordner
B.S. in Chemistry, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2023

Liam grew up in Niceville, Florida. He earned his B.S. in Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he investigated radical ring-opening polymerizations of thionolactones under the mentorship of Prof. Will Gutekunst. During his undergraduate career, he also spent a summer working in the Robb group as an Amgen Scholar. Outside of the lab, Liam likes to cook, play various musical instruments, sail, and watch old movies.

lordner [at]

Undergraduate Students


Wendy Granados Razo
Chemical Engineering, Caltech (Class of 2025)

Wendy grew up in Baldwin Park, California and attended Bassett High School where she was able to develop her interests in chemistry, music, and community outreach through participating in after-school clubs. After high school, she decided to stay close to home and attend Caltech to further pursue her interest in chemistry/chemical engineering. In her free time, she loves going rollerskating, bouldering, playing the drums, and helping plan events for Caltech’s Hispanic and Latino Association.

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