The PI

Silas Cook

Education: B.A. Reed College (1999); Ph.D. Columbia University (2006); Postdoctoral Fellow Harvard University (2006-2008)


Postdoctoral Associates

Shuo Guo

Education: B.S. Hebei Normal University (2010) M.S. Zhengzhou University (2013) Ph.D. Nankai University (2017)
Advisor: Prof. Pingping Tang


Atanu Modak

Education: Ph.D.  IIT Bombay, India
Advisor: Prof. Debabrata Maiti

Originally from Hebei, China, Shuo Guo received his B.S. from Hebei Normal University in 2010 and M.S. from Zhengzhou University in 2013 (w/Prof. Yangjie Wu). During his M.S., he worked on palladium-catalyzed couplings. During his Ph.D., Shuo worked under the supervision of Prof. Pingping Tang on fluorine chemistry research. Since 2017, Shuo joined the Cook group and is currently working on new photoreactions and C–H functionalization strategies.



Originally from Kolkata, India, Atanu received his Ph.D. degree in July 2017 from IIT Bombay, Mumbai, India. There he worked under the supervision of Prof. Debabrata Maiti on the transition metal catalyzed C–H functionalization and defunctionalization reactions. Atanu joined the Cook group in August 2017 and is currently working on the development of new strategies for functionalization of unactivated aliphatic C–H bonds.

Hanbin Lee

Education: B.S./M.S. Inha University, South Korea (2008/2010) Ph.D. Marquette University (2017)
Advisor: Prof. Chae Yi




Originally from Incheon, Republic of Korea. Hanbin received his B.S. degree in chemistry from Inha Univeristy under the guidance of Prof. Ik Mo Lee in 2008. Then, he earned his M.S. in the same group in 2010. He moved to Marquette University to pursue his Ph.D. with Prof. Chae S. Yi, where his research mainly focused on the development of ruthenium-catalyzed dehydrogenative and dehydrative C–H coupling reactions. Hanbin joined the Cook group in 2017 and is working on C–H borylation strategies.




Graduate Students

Deyaa AbuSalim

Education: B.S./M.S. Illinois State University (2011/2014)
Advisor: Prof. Timothy Lash
Year: 4th


Daisy Rosas Vargas

Education: B.S. U.C. San Diego (2013)
Advisor: NA
Year: 4th

Originally from Abu Dhabi, U.A.E., Deyaa AbuSalim obtained his B.S. (2011) and M.S. (2014) in Chemistry from Illinois State University. While at ISU, Deyaa pursued research under Prof. Timothy D. Lash where he worked on the synthesis and metalation of dicarbaporphyrinoid systems, as well as applying DFT methods to better understand porphyrinoid characteristics. Deyaa joined the Cook group in 2014 and is currently pursuing novel palladium reactivity.



Originally from Pasadena, California, Daisy Rosas received her B.S. in Chemistry at the University of California, San Diego in 2013. Upon graduation, she began working in the medicinal chemistry department of Genomic Institute of the Novartis Research Foundation (GNF) where she worked on the SAR of pyrimidine scaffolds for a drug target for autoimmune diseases. Daisy joined the Cook group in 2014.

Paul Marcyk

Education: B.A. Wheaton College (2013)
Advisor: Prof. M. Thandi Buthelezi
Year: 4th


Tiancheng He

Education: B.S. Tsinghua University (2017)
Advisor: Prof. Hua Fu
Year: 1st

Originally from Portland, Oregon Paul received his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Wheaton College in 2013. There, he briefly worked in the lab of M. Thandi Buthelezi studying guest host interaction between cyclodextrin and spiropyran. He also spent a summer as a food science intern at the Oregon State University Food Innovation Center. In 2014, Paul joined the Cook group and is currently exploring N-alkylation with unactivated alcohols.



Originally from Binhai, China, Tiancheng received his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Tsinghua University in 2017. There he worked under the direction of Prof. Hua Fu on transition metal catalysis. Tiancheng joined the Cook group in 2017 and is currently working on C–N bond formation.

Zachary Sheldon

Education: B.S. UC San Diego (2014)
Advisor: NA
Year: 1st


Emily Pinter

Education: B.S. Eastern Illinois University (2017)
Advisor: Prof. Kraig Wheeler
Year: 1st

Originally from Dallas, TX, Zach received his B.S. in Chemistry from UC San Diego in 2014. Upon graduation, Zach briefly worked in the laboratory of Uttam Tambar at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. Zach then began work as an associate chemist in the Discovery Chemistry division of Reata Pharmaceuticals where he worked on novel target synthesis. Zach joined the Cook group in 2017 and is currently working on asymmetric catalysis.



Originally from Westville, Illinois, Emily received her Bachelor's degree in Chemistry from Eastern Illinois University in 2017. While at EIU, she worked under the direction of Prof. Kraig Wheeler studying molecular recognition of chemically distinct molecules by X-ray diffraction. Emily joined the Cook group in 2017 and currently has interests in fluorination chemistry.









Undergraduate Researchers

Jenna Bingham (2018)

Julie Simon (2019)

Allyson Hamilton (2019)

Andrew Quest (2021)

Caitlin Roof (2020)

Former Members