Cauble, Meagan

Meagan received a B.S. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Georgia in May 2011. At UGA, she did analytical chemistry research with Prof. Marcus Lay. She began graduate school at the University of Michigan in Fall 2011 to study Materials chemistry and joined the Banaszak Holl group in 2012.  She studied the nanoscale structure of Type 1 collagen and the relationship of structure to disease and collagen formation.

In 2016 she became a post-doctoral fellow working with Dr. Isaac Moss in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Connecticut Health Center.

In 2021, she joined the Biomaterials Group at NIST as a post-doctoral fellow.

Shakya, Anisha

Anisha received a B.S. degree in Microbiology from Tribhuvan University, Nepal in 2008 and a B.S. degree in Chemistry from McNeese State University in May 2010. Prior to joining the graduate program at University of Michigan in fall 2011, she was involved in projects such as computational studies of the electronic structure of inorganic clusters, MALDI mass spectrometry, and synthesis of quantum dots. Anisha joined the Banaszak Holl group in 2012 as a joint student with Prof. Hashim Al-Hashimi. Her work focuses on studying the dynamics of the interaction between DNA/RNA and dendrimers.

Sinha, Antika

I am pursuing a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering. My main concentration is Biomedical Imaging. My hobbies are playing Badminton,dancing,reading and have participated, organized and volunteered events such as blood donation, visiting old age homes, tree-plantation, anti-smoking, kick the bottle .

Matz, Becky

Becky graduated from the University of Illinois in 2007 with a B.S. in Chemistry. At U of I, she did research with Scott Silverman on catalytic DNA. At Michigan, Becky completed a Ph.D. in Chemistry in the Banaszak Holl lab where her research focused on understanding cellular responses to nonviral gene delivery agents and on the implications of concurrent versus nonconcurrent enrollment in general chemistry lecture and laboratory.  In addition to her PhD, she also completed a M.S. in Post-Secondary Science Education with the guidance of Joe Krajcik, Director of IRMSE at Michigan State University.

Her work on learning in general chemistry was highlighted in CBE-Life Sciences Education.

Becky  was a  post-doc at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at the University of Michigan.  She is now assistant professor at Michigan State University.

Triplett, Devon

Devon received her B.S. in Physics from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 2007.  Her research investigated the interaction between folic acid and folate binding protein at the single molecule level using atomic force microscopy.

Fang, Ming (Flora)

Flora received a B.S. in chemistry from University of Science and Technology of China in 2008. At USTC, she did research using state of the art Guassian 3 to study quantitative structure-property relationship of tetrathiafulvalene analogs. Flora’s research at UM wsa aimed at understanding bone and skin collagen changes occurring in sheep and humans with osteoporosis disease.  She is currently working at LifeCell Corporation.


Flora on graduation day with Meagan.

van Dongen, Mallory

The focus of my graduate work was the challenges in translational applications of nanoparticle based drug delivery systems. My work  focused on applications of poly(amidoamine) (PAMAM) dendrimer, which has vast potential as a platform for targeted and multivalent delivery of drugs and imaging agents. I  pioneered a project that developed a gram-scalable method to obtain highly pure generation 5 PAMAM free of large, oligomeric by-products. I also developed dendrimer conjugates with precise numbers of biologically functional ligands to study multivalent effects.

Mallory’s presentation at the 8th International Dendrimer Symposium won the Polymer Chemistry award.

Her Soft Matter paper in 2013 was featured on the cover and is a 2013 “Hot Article”.


Mallory is currently Systems Engineer 3 in the Future Technical Leaders Program at Northrop Grumman Information Systems Division.



Ronny Priefer, Kathryn E. Leach, Todd D. Krauss, Jeanette R. Drapo, Michelle L. Ingalsbe, Mallory A. van Dongen, John C. Cadwalader, Megan A. Baumler, Matthew S. Pinto “Multilayer Film Preparation of PVPh from Aqueous Media” Surface and Coatings Technology, 2008, 202, 6109-6112.

Vincent M. Carroll, Megan A. Baumler, John C. Cadwalader, Jeanette R. Drapo, Michelle L. Ingalsbe, Matthew S. Pinto, Mallory A. van Dongen, Ronny Priefer “Synthesis of Poly(4-vinylphenol) Derivatives and Preparation of Multilayered Films from Aqueous Media” Polymeric Materials: Science and Engineering, 2007, 96, 488-489.

Nonscientific interests: Playing hockey, motorcycling, attending sporting events, reading dystopian fiction


Silpe, Justin

Justin Silpe started as a  third year undergraduate pursuing an individual concentration program in “Theoretical Medicine & Bioethics”. He began his work under Dr. Seok Ki Choi at the Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences studying the release kinetics of a photolabile linker exposed to varying wavelengths and pH environments.  Justin continued to work with Dr. Choi  and the Banaszak Holl lab on SPR binding studies of precisely defined folate and methotrexate ligands as part of his research for the Master’s degree in Macromolecular Science and Engineering.

Price, Erika

Erika Price  graduated with a degree in Chemistry from UM. She studied cell response to nanopartical exposure with Becky Matz. Outside of the lab, Erika enjoys playing sports, and is involved in the Pre-Pharmacy Student Organization and a dance team at the University of Michigan. Erika is enrolled in the graduate program in the Pharmacy School at Michigan.

She is currently working with us on holographic studies of cell volume.

Dougherty, Casey

Casey received a B.S. in Chemistry and minor in Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh in May 2010. At Pittsburgh, she was involved in genetics, bio-analytical, and polymer coating research projects. She entered Michigan’s chemistry graduate program in the fall of 2010 to study Materials-Organic Chemistry. Casey joined the Banaszak Holl group in 2011, and her work focuses on the synthesis and characterization of fluorescent dendrimers and their applications.

Casey won the chemistry department’s 2013 American Chemical Society outstanding graduate student award for research and teaching.

She was a post-doctoral associate in the group of Hao Hong in the University of Michigan radiology department and in the group of Neil Marsh at UM chemistry.


Casey is now an assistant professor at Iona College.



Graduation Day!



Anderson, Kevin

Kevin Anderson is a graduate student at the University of Michigan pursuing a Masters degree in Biomedical Engineering. He is studying cell membrane disruption by detergents and nanoparticles using a microfluidic patch clamp device. Outside of lab he is outreach chair of the Society of Physics Students at UM and involved in the annual BrainsRule! event. He also enjoys running, biking, video games, board games and is an avid reader.

Yang, Phillip

Phillip joined the lab in fall 2013 as an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan planning on studying Biomedical Engineering. He worked on a project to better understand the nanoscale structure of Type 1 collagen through the use of Atomic Force Microscopy. He is current an MS student in Biomedical Engineering at UM working on understanding how Osteoporosis, and the drugs used to treat it, impact bone structure and function.

Checkout the cool outreach work by Phillip (video) on helping get young people engaged with creation of new physical products.

Phillip is currently in medical school at the University of Michigan.


Merzel, Rachel

Rachel Merzel (Wallace) graduated with a B.A. in Chemistry from Wesleyan University in 2012. At Wesleyan she worked with Prof. Albert J. Fry on mechanistic studies involving the electrochemical oxidation of diphenylacetaldehyde. In the fall of 2013, Rachel began graduate school in the University of Michigan’s Chemistry Department in the Inorganic cluster. She joined the Banaszak Holl group in May 2014, where her research focuses on designing targeted drug delivery using polymer-drug conjugates and the functionalization of silicon nanoparticles for imaging applications.  Rachel was awarded an NSF Graduate Fellowship in 2014.

She was awarded the Florence Fenwick outstanding graduate student instructor award in 2017.

Rachel’s work on nanoplastics in the environment was featured in congressional testimony in 2017 (starts around 1 h 33 min mark in attached link).

Rachel has also published a policy paper as part of the Ford School’s Science, Technology, and Public Policy (STPP) program.    R. Merzel.  The 14 Day Rule: scientific advances and the end of abortion rights.  Journal of Science Policy and Governance 2017, volume 11.

Colon-Bernal, Isabel

Isabel is naturally from San Juan, Puerto Rico. She received her B.S. in Chemistry from the University of Puerto Rico Río Piedras Campus in June 2015. At UPR, she did atmospheric chemistry and aerosol research looking into the characterization of biogenic aerosols in the Caribbean with Dr. Olga L. Mayol-Bracero. She began her quest for a Ph.D. by joining the U-M Chemistry department in Summer 2015 as part of the analytical cluster, and joined the Banaszak Holl group in June 2016. She focused on studying the nanostructure of Type I collagen and variations in chemical composition in relation to structure and disease. Outside of the lab, she is very passionate about teaching, volunteers at the U-M Natural History Museum, and loves cosmetics, rock music and geeky stuff (comic books, DnD, videogames).

Chazovachii, Takunda

Takunda was born and raised in Zimbabwe where he completed his primary and high school education. In 2012, he came to study at College of St Scholastica in Duluth, MN through a program called the United States Achievers Program (USAP). There he earned his BS in mathematics and chemistry. In general, Takunda’s research interests lie in the design and application of polymeric materials. With the experience gained, his goal is to help solve general third world problems using polymer chemistry, and to discover cheaper and sustainable polymer processing methods. Currently, Takunda is working on methods to improve the dielectric properties of polyolefin based plastics for industrial processing applications.

In his spare time, Takunda plays a lot of chess and casually enjoys cooking – “never trust a chemist who cannot cook!”

Chen, Junjie

Junjie (JJ) received a B.S. in chemistry from Nanjing University, China in June 2013. In NJU, he was involved in bio-analytical and fluorescent probe development projects. He came to Michigan chemistry department as a chembio graduate student in the summer of 2013 and joined Banaszak Holl’s lab in May 2014. JJ’s initial project focused on the interaction of folate binding protein with folic acid, folic acid conjugates, and antifolates. He also worked as part of a team translating the results to an in vivo drug delivery study.  JJ’s final project was studying the structure of the anterior cruciate ligament and mechanisms of ligament failure.

Besides science, he also loves classical music, history and travelling.

JJ is currently at GSK in Pennsylvania.

Ahn, Taeyong (Ted)

Ted hails from South Korea.  He received his B.S.E in Materials Engineering from Purdue University in 2013 while performing research with Dr. Lia Stanciu on improving biocompatibility of titanium implant. Ted is a big sports fan and follows the LA Lakers, Boston Red Sox, and the Purdue and Michigan football and basketball teams.  His PhD research focused on the structure of Type I collagen in bone and the relation to disease and mechanical tissue failure.

Ted was also active in polymer education, teaching in the Detroit metro area schools, and recently published in the Journal of Chemical Education and article entitled “Augmenting Primary and Secondary Education with Polymer Science and Engineering”  (JCE 2017)

He is currently a post-doctoral associate at the University of Indiana.