Principal Investigator

Haw Yang

Professor of Chemistry
Director of Graduate Studies, Chemistry

Phone: +1-609-258-3578

Email: hawyang (at)

Associate Editor, Chem. Sci.
Advisory Board, Chem. Soc. Rev.; Chem. Phys.; Chem. Phys. Lett.

Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, 2008
Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, 2006
Hellman Family Fund Award, 2005
NSF CAREER Award, 2004

Faculty Assistant

Clarice Gethers

B.A. in Computer Science, Lehman College (CUNY)

Email: cgethers (at)

Phone: +1-609-258-0355

Hometown: Bronx, New York

Clarice was born and raised in New York City.  She started her career as an Administrative Assistant at Lehman College in the Office of Grants & Contracts after graduation.  Somehow instead of diving into a career of computer science, Clarice ended up in the financial business world.  She had numerous positions as a financial assistant and lastly financial analyst at Calvin Klein Home before coming full circle back into the academic arena.

Clarice loves reading, music, movies and SHOPPING.

Postdoctoral Associates

Utsab Khadka

Ph.D. 2012, Physics, University of Arkansas

Email: ukhadka (at)

Utsab grew up in Kathmandu, Nepal. He completed his undergraduate studies at Hope College in Michigan with a physics major and a math minor. At Hope, he participated in nuclear physics experiments with the Nuclear Group. After college, Utsab did doctoral research in the Quantum and Nonlinear Optics Laboratory at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. During this time, he investigated resonant nonlinear light-matter interactions in multi-level atoms enhanced by atomic coherence. Utsab joined the Haw Yang Lab at Princeton University as a postdoc, and his current research interest is to continue studying the science of light-matter interactions at the nano-scale for interdisciplinary applications. Utsab appreciates different styles of music from different countries, and has played bass guitar and guitar in a few bands. He recently started playing the piano.

Simon McManus

Ph.D. 2012, Biochemistry, McMaster University

Email: smcmanus (at)

Simon grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, Canada. He completed his undergraduate studies at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and spent a year studying at Lancaster University in Lancaster, UK. He stayed at McMaster for his PhD, where he worked on the characterization of catalytic DNA sequences under the supervision Dr. Yingfu Li. He also worked at a Toronto-based biotechnology company to develop novel nucleic acid-based biosensors. Simon recently arrived in Princeton and in the Yang Lab. His current research interests involve interfacial enzymology and the 3D tracking of cellulases under biological conditions. Outside the lab, Simon enjoys hockey and hiking, and he is a die-hard Toronto Maple Leafs fan.

Graduate Students

Nyssa T. Emerson

B.Sc. 2011, University of Chicago

Email: ntemerso (at)

Nyssa remains mysterious.

Luis F. Guerra
(joint with Prof. Muir)

B.Sc. 2012, Caltech

Email: lfg (at)

Luis was born and raised in El Paso, Texas. He attended the California Institute of Technology as an undergraduate, where he majored in Chemistry and received his B.S. in 2012. During his junior and senior years, he worked in the lab of Professor Jacqueline Barton. There, he helped develop and optimize enzymatic methods to enhance the signals measured by electrochemical biosensors utilizing DNA charge transfer. He then joined the Princeton Chemistry department as a Ph.D. graduate student in 2012. He is a joint student between the Muir and Yang labs, where he aims to combine the chemical biology and biophysical tools developed in these two groups to investigate the real-time conformational dynamics of chromatin/protein interactions at a single-molecule level. However, currently he is coming to terms with the fact that the seasons he gets to experience now that he's in the Northeast are the bad ones. Outside of the lab Luis enjoys biking and cookouts with friends.

Wei-You Lee
(visiting student from Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan)

M.S. 2010 Physiology, Kaohsiung Medical University, Taiwan

Email: laoinwin (at)

Hometown: Luzhou, Taiwan

To develop a novel tool for virology research, Wei-You Li is working in the Haw Yang Lab as a visiting students this summer. In the first step, it may provide new clues to understanding the internalization and infection mechanism of HIV-1. Out of the lab, he is also a runner, a drummer, and an avid reader.

Hao Li

B.Sc. 2013, Nanjing University

Email: haoli (at)

Hao has not decided whether he wants to divulge his past or not; however, he is definitely interested in getting a Ph.D. degree, for now.

Thomas E. Morrell

B.A. 2010, Chemistry, Hamilton College

Email: tmorrell (at)

Tom grew up in Northern New Jersey and graduated from Hamilton College with B.A. in Chemistry in 2010.  As an undergraduate he learned molecular simulation techniques and studied both small water clusters and proteins.  He continues this line of work as the Yang Lab's computational chemist, using simulations to provide new insight into protein dynamics.  He is also the lab’s own IT department.  To relax Tom plays drums in the Princeton University Wind Ensemble.  He is also an avid hiker.

Xun Sun

B.Sc. 2009, Chemistry, Tsinghua Universiy

Email: xunsun (at)

Hometown: Zhejiang, China

Xun obtained his B.S. from Tsinghua University in Beijing after a couple years of treating murine cells with amyloid-β aggregates in Dr. Yan-mei Li’s lab. After that experience he decided to battle against those amyloidogenic molecules in graduate school. Insulin-degrading enzyme is known to break down a variety of such molecules and now he is working on understanding the molecular basis for those degradations, one molecule at a time. Outside the lab, he apparently enjoys watching movies, one per year.

Xiaoyan Wang
(visiting student from Beijing Tsinghua University, China)

B.Sc. 2012, Chemistry, China Agriculture University

Email: xiaoyanw (at)

Hometown: Hebei, China

Xiaoyan is a visiting student in Yang Lab. During her past work on nanoparticle recognizing target cells, She was always wondering how a nanoparticle get into a cell, not only just see the result that nanoparticles inside or on the surface of cells, but the whole process of nanoparticle interact with cell. When she saw Yang's work, she felt excited and decided to come. she like take pictures of all beautiful and interesting things.

Shuhui Yin

B.Sc. 2014, Chemistry, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Email: shuhuiy (at)

Hometown: Beijing, China

Shuhui is still writing her blurb.


  • L. Meadow Anderson
    Ph.D. 2003-2009, Founder and CEO, Meadow Design Ceramics.
  • Sucharita Bhattacharyya
    Undergraduate 2003-2005, currently in the Ph.D. program at Northwestern University.
  • Hu Cang
    Postdoc 2005-2009, Assistant Professor at Salk Institute.
  • Karl E. Duderstadt
    Ph.D. 2011 (joint with Professor James Berger), to join Max Planck at Munch Fall 2015.
  • Jeffrey A. Hanson
    Ph.D. 2003-2009, Scientist at Sutro Biopharma, South San Francisco, California.
  • Chih-Hao Hsia
    Postdoc 2010-2013, BASF-Taiwan
  • Hugh I. Kim
    Undergrad 2003, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Pohang University of Science and Technology, Pohang, Korea.
  • So Yeon Kim
    Undergrad 2010-2011.
  • Daniel Montiel
    Ph.D. 2005-2012, post-doctoral associate at the Rockefeller University.
  • Chayan K. Nandi
    Postdoc 2009-2010, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Indian Institute of Technology at Mandi, Kamand, India.
  • Bian Qian
    Postdoc 2010-2011, Senior Software Engineer at Beckman Coulter.
  • Yan-Wen Tan
    Postdoc 2007-2010, Professor of Physics, Fundan University, Shanghai, China.
  • Ilona Rafalska-Metcalf
    Lab Manager 2012-2015, Genewiz.
  • Marissa M. Sampias
    Undergrad 2010-2011.
  • Li Sun
    Postdoc 2009-2011.
  • Kevin Welsher
    Postdoc 2010-2015, Assistant Professor of Chemistry, Duke University.
  • Anna Wuttig
    Undergrad 2010-2011, Graduate Student, MIT.
  • C. Shan Xu
    Postdoc 2005-2009, Senior Scientist
    at HHMI Janelia Farm.
  • Emma V. Yates
    Undergrad 2009-2011.
  • Kai Zhang
    Ph.D. 2002-2008, Assistant Professor of Biochemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Updated: 2015.09.07.