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Graduate Students

Simone Creed

Simone Creed

Simone was born in Trinidad & Tobago and is a proud alum of the Bishop Anstey High School. She completed her BA in Chemistry at the College of Saint Benedict in Minnesota. Simone is a Medicinal Chemistry student and joined the Riley Lab in Spring 2019. She is working on synthesising natural product analogues through scaffold rearrangements. Outside of the lab, she enjoys taking dance classes, reading, and binge watching all the DC universe TV series and Jackie Aina YouTube videos.

Madeline Hennessy

Madeline Hennessy

Madeline was born and raised in the Chicago suburbs and is a huge fan of the Chicago Bears. She received her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry, Cell, and Molecular Biology from Drake University in Des Moines, IA in May of 2018. Madi joined the Riley Lab in the Spring of 2019 and is currently working on synthesizing natural product analogs. When not in the lab, Madi enjoys hanging out with her cats, Travis and Binx, and watching horror movies.

Carolyn Straub

Carolyn Straub

Carolyn was raised in the Chicago suburbs, but has been enjoying city life since 2011. She currently lives in Pilsen with her two rabbits, Willow and Juniper. Carolyn earned her BA in Chemistry from Roosevelt University in Winter 2017 and joined the Riley lab in Spring 2020. When she’s not in the lab synthesizing natural product analogs, you can find Carolyn playing video games, managing her Poshmark business, and painting her apartment.

Featured in an Editorial and Front Cover in the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry.

Lisa Rusali

Lisa Rusali

Lisa was born and raised in sunny Southern California, graduating with a BS in Molecular Cell Biology and Physiology and a minor in Chemistry from CSU Long Beach in Spring 2020. After deciding she wanted to experience what a real winter was like, she came to UIC and joined the Riley Lab in Spring 2021. She is working on synthesizing parallel libraries of natural product analogs and evaluating their activity. Outside of the lab, you can usually find Lisa working on a Lego set or learning a new piece at the piano.
Kyle Kremiller in the woods on a hike

Kyle Kremiller

Kyle was born and raised in North East Ohio (Perry, OH) and graduated with a BA in Genetics from Rutgers University in New  Brunswick, NJ. After spending time down at the Jersey Shore he made his way back to his Midwest roots and landed in Chicago as a MD/PhD MSTP candidate at UIC in 2019. He joined the Riley Lab in the Summer of 2021. He is working on developing  screening assays for drug discovery and the synthesis of natural products to treat addiction and manage pain. Beyond the lab, Kyle is an avid explorer of Chicago dining and gladly monopolizes his remaining time with his three dogs (Eddie, Daisy and Tater).

Ana Lopez-Hernandez

Ana Lopez-Hernandez

Ana was born in Chiapas, Mexico and moved to Grand Rapids, MI when she was 2. She received her BS in Biochemistry from the University of Detroit Mercy in Detroit, MI in 2021. Ana joined the Riley lab in the Spring of 2022 after deciding that Chicago would be her next adventure. She is working on developing new streamlined approaches for the synthesis and analysis of natural product analogs. When not in lab, Ana is learning to make a new Mexican dish or reading/watching anything supernatural. And everyday Ana reminds herself that Latinas belong in the STEM field (and Dr. Riley could not agree more!).

Prospective Students Heading link

The Riley research group is always looking for highly motivated and enthusiastic graduate students. Current Pharmaceutical Sciences interested in conducting a research rotation in the Riley lab are encouraged to contact Dr. Riley. Students looking to begin their graduate training in Chemistry in Drug Discovery (Medicinal Chemistry) or Pharmacognosy should apply to the graduate program in Pharmaceutical Sciences at UIC.