Our Team

Nicholas H. Oberlies, Ph.D.

Professor

Phone:  336.334.5474
Fax:  336.334.5402
nicholas_oberlies@uncg.edu

Nicholas Oberlies received his B.S. in Chemistry from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) in 1992 and his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy from Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana) in 1997, where he studied under Professor Jerry L. McLaughlin. He then spent a year as a postdoctoral chemist at American Cyanamid (Princeton, New Jersey), where he investigated leads with insecticidal, herbicidal, and fungicidal properties from natural sources. In 1998, he joined the Natural Products Laboratory at Research Triangle Institute (RTI) in North Carolina, specifically to be mentored by Dr. Mansukh C. Wani and the now late, Dr. Monroe E. Wall, who are most well known as the co-discoverers of taxol and camptothecin. He rose progressively through the ranks of RTI and eventually directed the Natural Products Laboratory. In 2009, he moved his research group to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has received several awards that speak to his accomplishments, including the Matt Suffness Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Pharmacognosy, the 40 under 40 Leadership Award from the Triangle Business Journal, and the North Carolina Distinguished Speaker Award from the NC Section of the American Chemical Society.


Staff/Postdoctoral Fellows

Tyler Graf

Research Scientist
tngraf@uncg.edu

Tyler received his M.S. in Biochemistry from Duke University in 2000. He obtained his B.S. in Chemistry from Emory University in 1995. He started working with Dr. Oberlies in 2000 and moved with him to UNCG from the Research Triangle Institute.

Dr. Huzefa Raja

Research Scientist
haraja@uncg.edu

Huzefa received his Ph.D. in Plant Biology (Mycology) from the University of Illinois at Urbana- Champaign in 2007. He obtained his M.Phil. in Botany (with specialization in Mycology) from the University of Madras, India in 1999.

Dr. Jose Alberto Rivera-Chavez (Pepe)

Postdoctoral Fellow
jarivera@uncg.edu

Pepe received his B.S. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico(UNAM) in 2009. Then he earned a M.S. and a Ph. D. in Natural Products Research from UNAM in 2011 and 2015, respectively.

Graduate Students

Sonja Knowles

Ph.D

Sonja received her B.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences from the University of Rhode Island in 2016.

Olalekan Oyekunle

M.S.

Olalekan is from Nigeria and is pursuing a Master’s degree in Chemistry with a concentration in Biochemistry.

Noemi Paguigan

Medicinal Biochemistry Ph.D.
ndpaguig@uncg.edu

Noemi received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of the Philippines-Diliman in 2006.

Diana Kao

Medicinal Biochemistry, Ph.D.
d_kao@uncg.edu

Diana received a B.S. in Chemistry from Gettysburg College in 2013.

Chiraz (Soumia) Amrine

Medicinal Biochemistry, Ph.D.
c_amrine@uncg.edu

Soumaya received a M.S. in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy from Jordan University of Science and Technology (JUST) in Jordan in 2012 and a B.A. in Pharmacy from Blida University in Algeria in 2009.

Franklin Turner

Biochemistry M.S.
flturner@uncg.edu

Franklin received a BS in Biochemistry from Elon University in 2015.

Undergraduate Students

Jeff Wettengel

Jeff is from Belpre, Ohio pursuing degrees in Biology and Chemistry. After graduation Jeff plans to attend dental school, while applying to NASA’s astronaut program.

Jessica Long

Jessica is an undergraduate student seeking a B.S. in Biology. She is graduating in 2017 and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in Translational Research.

Michael Doyle

Post-bacc

Michael is from New Orleans Louisiana and is a post-bacc student persuing a Biochemistry degree. After graduation Michael plans to attend medical school or pursue a Ph. D in pharmacology.

Mario Augustinovic

Senior

Mario is from Charlotte, but was born in Croatia. He is pursuing a Bachelor’s in Research Chemistry, and plans to pursue an advanced degree in Medicinal Chemistry.

Aleksandra (Ola) Noras

Ola is from Concord, NC and is studying biochemistry at UNCG.

Recent Alumni

Dr. Sloan Ayers

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2010-2011
sloan_ayers@msn.com

Sloan is a Senior Research Scientist at Bristol-Myers Squibb in New Brunswick, NJ. He received his Ph.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2003, and his B.S. in Chemistry from James Madison University in 1993.

Cherilyn Moore (Strader)

Biochemistry M.S. Degree, Spring 2012
cherilyn.moore@syngenta.com

Cherilyn received a B.S. in Chemistry from Greensboro College in 2007 and earned her M.S. in Biochemistry at UNCG in the Spring of 2012. Currently, she is a Regulatory Specialist at Syngenta Crop Protection in Greensboro, NC.

Thomas Johnston

Biochemistry M.S. Degree, Spring 2012
tjohnston@dhmri.org

Tom received a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Chemistry from the University of NC-Wilmington in 2007 and earned his M.S. in Biochemistry at UNCG in the Spring of 2012. Currently, he is working on his PharmD in the Eshelman School of Pharmacy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Dr. Arlene Sy-Cordero

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2008-2012
Arlene.Sy-Cordero@microbac.com

Arlene received her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Iowa in 2007. She was a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Oberlies Research Group first at the Research Triangle Institute and then at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Currently, she is the Analytical/R&D Lab Manager for Qvape Juice, LLC of Raleigh, NC.

Dr. Mario Figueroa

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2010-2012
mafiguer@unam.mx

Dr. Figueroa is an Associate Professor in the Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Chemistry at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).

Dr. Hanan Althagafy

Medicinal Biochemistry Ph.D., 2013
hsalthag@uncg.edu

Hanan received a M.S. in Biochemistry from the University of King Abdulaziz in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia in 2003. Hanan earned her Ph.D. under my guidance in May of 2013. She is currently seeking postdoctoral positions in Saudi Arabia.

Rabia Bukhari

Chemistry M.S., 2013
rmbukhar@uncg.edu

Rabia received a B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Waikato, New Zealand in 2002. Rabia earned her M.S. under my guidance working on a project to develop green chemistry techniques for natural products. She is currently a homemaker in Highpoint, NC.

Dr. Karen VanderMolen

Medicinal Biochemistry Ph.D., 2014
kmvander@uncg.edu

Karen received a B.S. in Chemistry from Davidson College in 2009. Karen earned her Ph.D. under my guidance in May of 2014. She is currently employed as a Product Safety Scientist with New Chapter, Inc., a subsidiary of Procter & Gamble, in Brattleboro, VT.

Dr. Tamam El-Elimat

Medicinal Biochemistry Ph.D., 2014
tmelelim@uncg.edu

Medicinal Biochemistry Ph.D. Tamam received a M.S. in Natural Products Chemistry in 2004 and a B.A. in Pharmacy in 1996, both from Jordan University of Science and Technology. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Pharmacy at the Jordan University of Science and Technology in Irbid, Jordan.

Dr. Amninder (Amni) Kaur

Postdoctoral Fellow, 2013-2015
a_kaur@uncg.edu

Dr. Kaur earned her Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Iowa in 2012, where she worked with Dr. Jim Gloer. She obtained her B.S and M.S. in Chemistry from Panjab University, Chandigarh, India in 2002 and 2005, respectively.

Danielle Hayes

Laboratory Specialist, 2012-2013
d_hayes@uncg.edu

Danielle received her B.S. in Biology from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2010. At UNCG, she worked on a joint project between researchers in the Chemistry and Biology departments. She now works at Baptist Easley Hospital in South Carolina as a Phlebotomist.

Sarah Winters

Biochemistry B.S. Degree, 2014

Sarah received a B.S. in Biochemistry from UNCG in 2014. She currently works at SCALE School in Greensboro NC, where she teaches middle and high school science.

Mark Voncannon

Biochemistry B.S. Degree, 2014.

Mark received a B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in biology from UNCG in 2014.

Juliano Slivinski

Juliano was an exchange student from Brazil, where he is now in graduate school.

Hai Tran

Hai earned a B.S. in Biochemistry from UNCG in December, 2015. He is planning to attend pharmacy school.

Robin Tate Uhl

Robin transferred to UNCG from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and is studying Chemistry with a concentration in research.

Edem Tchegnon

Edem transferred to UNCG from Central Piedmont Community College and is studying biology.

Joshua White-Sizer

Josh is from Colorado Springs, Colorado and is studying biochemistry and environmental biology. He plans to join the Peace Corps after getting his undergraduate degree.

Evan Rees

Evan is studying chemistry with minors in German and mathematics and plays on the UNCG Spartans men’s soccer team.

Harrison Bardsley IV

Harrison is studying biochemistry at UNCG and plans on attending medical school after he graduates.

Wesley Gwynne

Wesley is studying biochemistry and biology with a minor in music. After graduating he plans on continuing his chemistry studies in graduate school.

Mimi Pham

Mimi is from Oakland, California and now studies biochemistry at UNCG. She is attending pharmacy school after graduation.

Vincent Sica

Medicinal Biochemistry Ph.D.
v_sica@uncg.edu

Vincent received a M.S. in Organic Chemistry from Binghamton University in 2011 and a B.A. in Chemistry from SUNY Geneseo in 2008.

Wilson Brooks

Biochemistry M.S.
wcbrook2@uncg.edu

Wilson received a B.S. in Biochemistry and a B.A. in Music from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in 2014.