Group Members

Meade Group Members

*denotes Graduate Students **denotes Postdoctoral Researchers


Macrenaris, Keith Research Asst. Professor, CAMI & QBIC

In a managerial capacity, I’m in charge of two BSL-2 level cell and tissue culture rooms for approximately 30 graduate and undergraduate students and postdoctoral fellows, as well as managing and running a bioluminescent imaging suite equipped with a IViS Spectrum in vivo bioluminescence/fluorescence analyzer for approximately 60 users.

B.S., Developmental Biology, University of Rochester 2002
Ph.D., Biological Sciences, Northwestern University, 2009

Adams, Casey *Chemistry


Bajema, Liz *Chemistry

I am seeking to attach our group’s Co(III) Schiff base (Co-sb) inhibitor to a gold nanoparticle in order to improve cell uptake and allow activatable release of the inhibitory agent. By shining laser light of the appropriate wavelength on the gold nanoparticles, the Co-sb inhibitory agent will be released. I am investigating the potential of this system to treat basal cell carcinoma (skin cancer) tumors.

B.S. Chemistry and Religious Studies, Saint Mary’s College (IN), 2011

NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA), 2013
Brady Scholar’s Program in Ethics and Civic Life, Graduate Fellow, 2013
NIH Clinical Translation Research Course, 2015

Baxter, Damonick *Neuroscience

My research involves using Co(III)-Schiff Base to bind endogenous metals, thereby reducing aggregation of amyloid beta in AD brains and subsequently lowering ROS species.

B.S. Applied Physiology and Kinesiology, University of Florida, 2015
Brue, Christopher *Chemistry

My research involves the development and characterization of cobalt-schiff base complexes to be used as potential therapeutics for Altzheimer’s Disease.

B.S. Chemistry and History, The Ohio State University, 2015

Caldwell, Michael *Chemistry

My research involves the synthesis of MRI probes that target the progesterone and estrogen receptors. These receptors have been implicated in numerous important pathways and diseases, most notably in breast cancer, and provide clinically relevant handles for tumor imaging and biopsy-free histology.

B.S. Chemistry, Michigan State University, 2013

Chemistry of Life Processes Institute Pre-Doctoral Fellowship, 2014, 2015
NIGMS Career Development Conference at Vanderbilt University, 2015
Alumnae Grant, 2017
Management for Scientists and Engineers Program, 2017

Johnson, Andrew *Chemistry

I am seeking to synthesize new bio-activated MR contrast agents. Currently I am focusing on developing a contrast agent for selective imaging of superoxide in-vivo

B.A. Chemistry, Central College, 2015

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship Honorable Mention, 2016

Kaster, Megan *Chemistry

My research interests are focused on the development of lanthanide-based MR-shift probes. In addition, I am developing bioactivated nanoparticle MR imaging constructs with gold and carbon nanoparticles.

B.S. Chemistry (Summa Cum Laude), Oakland University, 2017

Kim, Joy *Biomedical Engineering

My research involves the application and development of cobalt(III) Schiff base complexes as potential therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease.  Specifically, I am looking at its effects on amyloid-beta aggregation through the use of molecular dynamic simulations.

B.S. Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Tech, 2016

Krueger, Ruby *Chemistry

The goal of my research is to visualize pathological biomarkers using MRI. In order to do so, I am investigating a variety of bioorthogonal ligation reactions to localize MRI-activated gadolinium(III) chelates inside and on the surface of disease-state cells, with the long-term aim of imaging cancer in vivo.

B.S. Biochemistry, University of California, Santa Barbara, 2009

Alumnae Grant, 2014

Li, Hao *Chemistry

The goal of my main project is to develop dual activatable MR and fluorescent probes that will enable the sensitive and selective detection of biomarkers in vivo via dual modality imaging. This approach synergistically combines the deep-tissue penetration of MRI and the high sensitivity of fluorescence imaging. My side project is to develop photocaged TEM “markers” that upon two-photon excitation will release a polyfluorous compound identifiable under TEM, generating an accurate map for the light excitation site and therefore the exact position where photocaged neurotransmitters are released. These TEMarkers will enable us to correlate neurotransmitter release to growth of each individual synapse.

B.S. Chemistry (Magna Cum Laude), University of California, Irvine, 2014
M.S. Chemistry, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, 2016

McLeod, Shaunna *Chemistry

My research involves the synthesis and characterization of bioactivatable MRI contrast agents.

B.S. Chemistry and B.A. Mathematics, State University of New York at Buffalo, 2015

National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship, 2017

Roberts, Kaleigh *MSTP

My research involves the application of cobalt(III) Schiff base complexes as potential therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease.  Specifically, I am looking at effects on amyloid-beta aggregation, generation of ROS, and downstream cellular effects in primary neuronal culture.

B.S. Bioengineering, UIUC

Alumnae Grant, 2014
DOD Fellowship, 2016

Ward, Meghan *Chemistry

My research focuses on synthetic medications to our family of Co(III)-Schiff base transcription factor inhibitors to generate a platform synthon.

B.S. Chemistry, Auburn University, 2017




 zer keen  Colin Lynch
Chia, Zer Keen

Zer Keen is a chemistry undergraduate who started in the spring of 2015. He is working with graduate student Laura Lilley to develop zero-background MRI contrast agents.

McCormick Gateway Research Award, 2015-2016
Undergraduate Research Grant, 2016
Chemistry of Life Processes Lambert Fellowship, 2016-2018
Honorable Mention, Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium, 2017

Lynch, Colin

Colin started in the spring of 2015. He is working with postdoc Justin Massing on developing a targeted-reporter MR agent for multi-marker imaging, allowing eventual disease diagnosis and prognosis non invasively.

WCAS Summer Undergraduate Research Grant, 2015
Undergraduate Research Grant, 2016
Chemistry of Life Processes Lambert Fellowship, 2016-2018
Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium, 2017

Varelas, Eleni

Eleni started in the spring of 2016. She is working with graduate student Kaleigh Roberts on the application of cobalt(III) Schiff base complexes as potential therapeutics for Alzheimer’s disease and the development of TEM contrast agents for investigating synaptogenesis.

Chemistry of Life Processes Summer Scholar, 2016
Undergraduate Research Grant, 2017
Chicago Area Undergraduate Research Symposium, 2017


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Chemistry at Northwestern University