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 (Di) Wang

Di 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

Christopher Eckdahl

Chris graduated from Oberlin College in 2017 with a BA in Chemistry and Materials Physics.  At Oberlin, he worked with Dr. Manish Mehta to model the packing behaviors of hard tetrahedra.  He is interested in using light to control the synthesis and properties of organic materials. Chris enjoys reading science fiction, cooking in cast iron, and playing his trumpet.



Boyeong Kang

Boyeong graduated from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in 2016 with an MS in chemistry. At GIST, she conducted research with Prof. Jiwon Seo, investigating the development of an artificial light-harvesting system using peptoids and porphyrins. When not in the lab, she enjoys hanging out with her friends, playing squash, and baking.




Rotating Students

Vivian Zhang

Vivian is currently an MSTP student in the Feinberg School of Medicine doing a rotation with the Kalow lab.  She completed her B.S. in biomedical engineering at Columbia University where she did research with Colin Nuckolls studying structure-function properties of group 14 molecular wires.  This summer, she’ll be working with Eliot synthesizing pi-conjugated polymers.  When she’s not in lab, she enjoys cooking, doing yoga, and getting to know the Chicago arts scene.




wildcardYan Fang

Yan Fang is currently a third-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.




Alayna Johnson

Alayna Johnson is a student from the University of Illinois visiting the Kalow lab as a part of the Center for Sustainable Polymers undergraduate research program. She is majoring in chemistry with minors in physics and materials science. Outside of lab, she enjoys painting, crocheting, spending time at church, and animal rights activism.



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