current members

Postdoctoral Researchers

Jacob Ishibashi

Jacob obtained his PhD in Chemistry from Boston College in 2017, having moved from the University of Oregon with his adviser, Prof. Shih-Yuan Liu. His research focused on the synthesis and optoelectronic characterization of boron- nitrogen-containing acene analogues. He completed his undergraduate studies in Chemistry and Economics also at Boston College. Jacob currently studies photopolymerization and vitrimers as a member of the Kalow lab. He grew up in Honolulu, where he enjoyed outdoor pursuits such as hiking and outrigger canoe paddling. These days, he might be found playing Ultimate disc in his spare time.


Graduate Students

Third years

David Barsoum

David graduated in 2014 with his BS in Biochemistry from Florida State University. At FSU he worked under Dr. Lei Zhu where his work focused on methodology development and mechanistic investigation of the Cu-catalyzed synthesis of 5-iodo-1,2,3-triazoles, as well as the development of fluorescent zinc sensors. Outside of lab David lives by his life motto: keep it real.




Xiaodi Wang

Xiaodi obtained her BA in Chemistry from Carleton College in 2015. During her time at Carleton, she studied the mechanism of enantioselective organocatalysis with Prof. Alberg and Prof. Hofmeister. Currently, Di is working on photoactivatable hydrogels. When not in lab, she enjoys going to concerts, plays and museums. 


Second years


Joe Accardo

Joe graduated from Florida State University (FSU) in 2016 where he obtained his BS in Biochemistry. While at FSU, he conducted research with Dr. Lei Zhu, investigating the photophysical properties of tunable fluorophores. His research interests involve using light to control the properties of organic molecules and materials. Joe enjoys climbing, hammocking, and having passionate conversations about life and science with close friends.


EliotEliot Woods

Eliot graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry. His undergraduate research with Dr. Peter Dinolfo focused on investigating proton coupled electron transfer in phenol dimers through Marcus analysis of their mixed-valence properties. Eliot started research in the Kalow lab July 2016. His current research focuses on living photopolymerization of π-conjugated polymers. When not in lab, he enjoys knitting, cooking, and discussing post-structuralist political theory.


First years

Spencer Burton

Spencer graduated from Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in 2017 where he obtained his BS in Polymer Science and Engineering. While at CWRU, he studied the modification of graphene oxide (GO) with Prof. Emily Pentzer, and explored the roles of endogenous S-nitrosothiols in the body with Prof. Stephen Lewis. His current research interests include controlled polymerization techniques, with focus on synthesizing new materials for energy use. Outside of lab, Spencer enjoys exploring art and history museums, running, and talking/joking with friends.


photo of colin

Colin Clayton

Colin Clayton is a current third year undergraduate student at Northwestern University. He studies chemistry and English literature. When not in the lab, he enjoys reading for pleasure, frequenting Chicago’s hidden gems, and relaxing on the lakefill with his friends.



wildcardYan Fang

Yan Fang is currently a second year undergraduate student at Northwestern University. She studies Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. When not in the lab, she enjoys going to concerts in downtown Chicago, and sightseeing in neighborhood areas.




Group mascot



Donatello is a tortoise. He likes kale, escarole, and especially carrots. In his free time (ie all the time) he enjoys digging, sitting on top of his log, falling off of his log, and sleeping.



The Kalow lab is currently recruiting students and postdocs interested in working in the interdisciplinary, dynamic environment of a new lab. Want to join? More info here!






former members