Simona Ghizdau Pellascio
Born among vampires in Transylvania County, Romania, Simona lives surrounded by mountains, banks, and chocolate in Switzerland. Simona is a multilingual social chameleon. She helped set up the lab and is very missed now that her sabbatical is over.
Vjekoslav was born in Zagreb, Croatia, and grew up up in the most beautiful city in Germany: Berlin. He earned his Diploma and Ph.D. in organic chemistry at Freie Universität Berlin in the Reissig group. He moved to The Big Apple in 2009 for his first postdoc in the Bittman group. His research focused on the synthesis of carbohydrate mimetics and fluorescent lipids. He loves being with his family and friends, New York City, Venice, beaches, hand moisturizers, astronomy, tennis, football and “football”. He would really like Mingxuan to teach him how to drive. He is also confident he will unify the fundamental forces and find the graviton soon. Vjekoslav is now working at Elsevier in Frankfurt, Germany.
Alex grew up in West Chester, Pennsylvania. She loves animals, particularly horses, otters, teacup pigs, and her dog, George. In the lab, she has problems with basic tasks, such as putting on gloves or using syringes. Simple laboratory objects like pretty condensers, TLC plates with one spot, or mini-anything make her overly excited and will seize her undivided attention. Unfortunately for Alex, this can subject her to many jokes and pranks, like being lured into standing under the emergency shower. Alex graduated in 2012 and will attend Vanderbilt University in the fall of 2012 to pursue a Ph.D. in Biology.
The very verbose Jonathan Glatt grew up in the Garden State, surrounded by such New Jersey icons as Bruce Springsteen, the Turnpike, and carbon monoxide. He decided to concentrate in chemistry at Princeton because, quite frankly, the Periodic Table offers a nearly limitless supply of elementary puns. One just can't get jokes like that anywhere else! He occasionally gets stuck in the lab’s cold room with only a Petri dish or two to keep him company. And yeast aren’t exactly the talkative sort – they just contribute to his frigid isolation. Jon graduated in 2012 and plans to attend medical school.
Nevena hails from the great country of Texas (originally Serbia), where she enjoys riding buffalo on the freeway, spending her days on the couch, and eating ever so delicious burritos. She decided to major in chemistry because, let’s face it, mixing strange chemicals and breaking her grad student’s beakers is entertaining, and because she didn’t learn quickly enough as a freshman that investment banking is apparently the way to go. Learning about inositol polyphosphates from group members is also pleasantly stimulating. Now if she could only get Lisa to divulge some dirt on Jack…
You know where Juan comes from...not Mexico! Born and raised in the Garden State, Juan loves to drown his fellow lab mates in obscure trivia (especially if it relates to Mexico). Despite this, many of them still haven't figured out how to pronounce his name (hint guys: it isn't "Jaywahn"). His other objects/activities of affection include: pandas, conures, folding paper, eating anything and everything sweet, and pandas. In lab, he is constantly tormented by his lab mates (and even their children).