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Holland Lab | Grad Students and Postdocs
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Grad Students and Postdocs

Kevin Chalek (Post-doc)

Kevin Chalek is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar at San Diego State University. After getting his B.S. from the University of Miami in 2016, he attended the University of California, Riverside, getting his Ph.D. in Chemistry working in the lab of Len Mueller. His dissertation was titled “Using Solid-State Nuclear Magnetic Resonance to Relate Chemical Structure With the Function of Materials”. He is currently studying the relationship between the strength and structure of spider silk using solid-state NMR in Greg Holland’s lab.

Md Akherul Islam (MS student)

Md. Akherul Islam is a first-year MS student. Before joining the Holland lab at SDSU, Akherul worked as a researcher at Jeonbuk National University (JBNU) and the Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST). His research project was for the development of lightweight and high heat-dissipating bioinspired composites for a printed circuit board with thermal conductivity. He also devolved the functionalization of Ag nanoparticles with various shapes and sizes and composites with carbon nanospheres. To extend his research work, Akherul transferred research base development country (USA) and was admitted to SDSU. Here, he is working on the silk/HAP project.

Alexia de Loera (PhD student)

Alexia de Loera is a first year graduate student. She graduated with her BA in Chemistry from the University of San Diego in 2018. She went on to work for a CRO in Sorrento Valley and most recently works at Eli Lilly as an analytical chemist. She has joined Dr. Holland’s lab this year and will working on the silk project. In her spare time she enjoys hiking, baking and audiobooks.

hannah johnson smiling in front of trees

Hannah Johnson (PhD student)

Hannah Johnson is a 5th year JDP student. She graduated with a B.S. in Biochemistry from UCLA in 2015 where she gained an interest in electron microscopy. Before coming to SDSU, she worked for the biotech company Expedeon assisting in the development of precast gels used for electrophoresis. In Dr. Holland’s lab, she is focused on expanding her knowledge of electron microscopy while studying liquid-liquid phase separation of native spider silk proteins using TEM, SEM, cryoEM, and NMR.

profile of yuan li smiling

Yuan Li (PhD student)

Yuan received her masters degree from Old Dominion University, where she worked in Dr. Jingdong Mao’s lab and studied the structure of natural organic matter such as soil, humic acid and kerogen with solid-state NMR. She then worked as an analytical chemist in the pharmaceutical industry in San Diego after graduation. In order to further her passion in research, she joined Holland’s group in fall 2017 to study bioinspired nanoparticles with advanced NMR and other up-to-date analytical techniques.