Professor Corey Stephenson

Principal Investigator

Corey was born in Collingwood, Ontario, Canada and received his undergraduate degree from the University of Waterloo in 1998. He completed graduate studies under the direction of Professor Peter Wipf at the University of Pittsburgh before joining the lab of Professor Erick M. Carreira at ETH Zürich. In September 2007, he joined the Department of Chemistry at Boston University as an Assistant Professor and was granted tenure and promoted to Associate Professor in February, 2013. In July 2013, he joined the Department of Chemistry at the University of Michigan as Associate Professor of Chemistry. In September 2015, Corey was promoted to full Professor.

Email: crjsteph "at"





Dr. Sahil Arora

Sahil (he/him/his) grew up in Punjab, in northern India. To get his integrated masters (a five-year BS+MS program), he moved across the country to the eastern part of India and joined NISER Bhubaneswar. For his PhD studies, Sahil decided to brave the frozen tundra at the University of Minnesota, where he found home in the labs of Prof. Thomas Hoye. In the Hoye lab, Sahil’s research was focused on heterocycles and his favorite reactive intermediate: benzyne. Sahil graduated from the University of Minnesota in January 2021 and joined the Stephenson group at the University of Michigan as a postdoctoral fellow in March 2021. Two features attracted Sahil to the Stephenson group – their chemistry involving photoredox catalysis methods and the variety of coffee machines in their break room. Outside the lab, Sahil enjoys cooking (when he is not hungry), playing badminton, watching test-cricket, talking to his loved ones on video calls, and exploring new restaurants around Ann Arbor.

Email: asahil "at"


Dr. Alex Davies

Alex grew up in the valleys of south Wales, UK, as an avid soccer fan. He obtained his masters degree (MChem) in Chemistry with Forensic Science from the University of Leicester in 2016, where he worked with Dr. Alison Stuart on developing methodology for electrophilic halogenation. He then joined the graduate program at the University of Kansas and obtained his Ph.D in Spring 2021. His work at KU focused on developing synthetic transformations that utilized cobaloxime/photoredox co-operative catalysis under the mentorship of Prof. Jon Tunge. Alex then joined the Stephenson/Szymczak labs as a post-doctoral research fellow in June 2021 and is now working on developing methodologies for biomass upgrading.

Email: amdavies "at"




Matt Galliher

6th year
NSF GRFP Honorable Mention

Matt (He/Him) grew up in La Habra, California. He moved north to obtain his B.S in chemistry and biochemistry at Washington State University, where he worked in the lab of Prof. Cliff Berkman on the synthesis of PSMA-targeted drug-conjugates for the treatment of prostate cancer. Matt joined the Stephenson group in Spring of 2017 and currently works on the total synthesis of resveratrol oligomer natural products and the kinetic analysis of their radical-trapping antioxidant activities. Outside of lab, Matt enjoys playing guitar and video games, antagonizing his cat, and trying new beers and wine.

Email: mgallihe "at"


Anthony Allen

4th year

Anthony was born downriver in Wyandotte, Michigan, grew up right outside of Detroit in Redford, Michigan, and then headed south to Oberlin College near Cleveland, Ohio for his undergraduate studies. He received a B.A. in Chemistry and Philosophy working with Professor Albert Matlin on a trapped Nazarov cyclization/cycloaddition methodology. After his Ohio sojourn, Anthony moved to Ann Arbor and joined the Stephenson group in January 2019 working on photoredox catalysis method development. When not shining lights on 2-dram vials, Anthony enjoys playing guitar, going to art museums, and talking about Detroit/Southeast Michigan/the Midwest and its undeniable superiority to the rest of the world.

Email: armallen "at"


Cheng Yang

4th year
Rackham Predoctoral Fellow

Cheng was born and grew up in Tianjin, China. As an undergraduate at Nankai University, he worked in the area of green chemistry. Upon completion of his internship at the University of Michigan, he obtained a B.S. in Chemistry. Cheng joined the Stephenson group for his graduate studies in 2018, working on electrochemistry and lignin depolymerization. Outside of lab, Cheng likes reading and playing the guitar.

Email: yacheng "at"


Efrey Noten

4th year

Efrey grew up in San Jose, California. He fled the sun to obtain a B.S. with comprehensive honors in chemistry at UW-Madison, where he worked under Prof. John Berry on the synthesis and catalytic activity of molybdenum carboxylate complexes. Efrey joined the Stephenson group in January 2019 and currently works on new photoredox catalysis method development. Outside of lab, Efrey enjoys cooking, cheering for the Badgers, and playing video games. His least favorite food is eggplant.

Email: enoten "at"


Alex Harmata

3rd year

Alex was born and raised in Columbia, Missouri. He stuck around in Columbia for college, earning a B.S. in chemistry from the University of Missouri in May 2019 with minors in mathematics and computer science. As an undergraduate at Mizzou, Alex worked on a hodge podge of projects with Prof. Michael Harmata, including hydrogen bond donor catalysis and electrocyclizations. In the summer of 2018, Alex was a Snyder Scholar at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, where he worked with Prof. David Sarlah on diterpenoid chemistry. Alex joined the Stephenson group in January 2020 as a “brotator” and currently works in the aniline bioisosterism area as a member of “Team Aminonorbornane”. Outside of lab, Alex enjoys power-walking, being a troll, and competing as a member of the University of Michigan quiz bowl team. 

Email: harmataa "at"


Bec Roldan

3rd year

Bec Roldan is from the metropolis of Saint Francisville, Louisiana. They obtained a B.S. in Chemistry from Rhodes College, the quaint liberal arts school nestled in the heart of Memphis, Tennessee, where they worked under Dr. Larryn Peterson on the synthesis of potential inhibitors of LpxC with applications in antibacterials. They made the big move up to the Midwest to attend the University of Michigan where they joined the Stephenson group in Spring 2020. They're currently working on the synthesis of resveratrol natural products. In their free time they enjoy vegan baking, being the worst dancer in their salsa dance class, and co-hosting a podcast about chemistry and queerness. 

Email: roldanr "at"


Alan Wortman

3rd year

Alan was born and raised in College Station, Texas. After graduating high school, he attended his local university, Texas A&M, where he studied oxidase catalysis via hypervalent iodine intermediates under Prof. David C. Powers. During his time at Texas A&M, he also traveled to Germany where he briefly worked in the lab of Prof. Tobias Ritter. After completing a B.S. in chemistry in the spring of 2019, he left Texas to continue pursuing his education in Michigan. In the spring of 2020, he joined the Stephenson lab where he is currently investigating the use of electron donor-acceptor complexes for generating reactive intermediates. Outside of the lab Alan enjoys fly fishing, skiing, and is an avid fan of college football.

Email: wortman "at"


Annika Tharp

2nd year

Annika is an Ann Arbor native and after earning her B.S. in Chemistry at Indiana University-Bloomington, she decided to move back to Ann Arbor to start working on her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Michigan. Annika worked under Prof. Kevin Brown at IU on the alkenylboration of alkenes via synergistic Cu/Pd catalysis. She had the best summer ever during her sophomore year in the Stephenson group while working on team aminonorbornane and she is so excited to be back in the Stephenson lab. Summer 2019, she had an internship at Merck in the biocatalysis group within Process Chemistry. She had another internship at Merck in summer 2020, in the Catalysis group. Outside of making potions, Annika is a competitive figure skater and also enjoys running, skiing, sailing, rock climbing, and selling stickers on her Etsy shop. She also has two adorable cats.

Email: tannika "at"


Kason Glover

2nd year

Kason (he/him) grew up in the red rocks of southern Utah, where he had his first scientific role as a paleontology lab technician for the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument (under Dr. Alan Titus). Those years were also spent cultivating passions for reading, photography, cooking, the outdoors, and playing the drums. Between high school and college, he spent two years on a church mission in Houston, TX where he learned (among other things) what rain is and how to properly eat smoked brisket. After his service in Houston Kason studied chemistry at the University of Utah, conducting research on antibiotic development under the direction of Professor Ryan Looper. Most significantly, he met his sweetheart Abigail while attending the U and they were married the summer after graduating (2020), a week before moving to Ann Arbor to begin the next leg of their journey in the Stephenson lab. Kason still enjoys reading, photography, cooking, and the outdoors, and hopes to someday find neighbors nice enough to tolerate a drum set next door.

Email: gloverkj "at"


Travis Hammerstad

1st year

Travis (he/him/his) grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin before attending the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Being naturally indecisive, Travis collected majors in chemistry and chemical engineering along with minors in biology and leadership. His undergraduate research in the Aldrich lab included antibiotic synthesis and silane mediated amide reductions. Working to complete his tour of the Midwest, Travis was eager to pursue his graduate studies at the University of Michigan. Outside of lab Travis enjoys cooking, chess, and essentially any other form of competition.

Email: thammers "at"




Kara Greene

Major: Chemistry '23
Hometown: Mendham, NJ


Yulia Rakova

Major: Biochemistry '23
Hometown: New York, NY