Brooks Abel (Assistant Professor) grew up in McComb, MS and obtained a B. S. and Ph.D. in Polymer Science from the University of Southern Mississippi. His Ph.D. work under the advisement of Professor Charles McCormick focused on synthesizing stimuli-responsive water-soluble polymers using controlled radical polymerizations. Following his graduate studies, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher with Prof. Geoffrey Coates at Cornell University where he developed catalysts for anionic and cationic ring-opening polymerizations. In July 2021 he joined the Department of Chemistry at UC Berkeley and his independent research interests lie in the areas of polymer chemistry, catalysis, and polymer sustainability.
Christina Brancel (second year) Christina grew up in Painesville, OH and obtained her B.S. in Chemistry from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. Working with Dr. Gary Wnek at Case Western she developed poly(vinyl) alcohol substrates for flexible electronics and synthesized azadipyrromethene accepters for organic solar cells with Dr. Genevieve Sauve. She then interned at Lubrizol in Wickliffe, OH where she helped develop oil-based corrosion inhibitors and amine-based hydrogen sulfide scavengers. In her free time she enjoys writing, baking, and playing video games.
Josh Roan (second year) is from Frederick, MD and obtained his B.S. in Materials Science and minor in Chemistry at Northwestern University. His research in the lab of Prof. Samuel Stupp was focused on synthesizing and characterizing dynamic peptide amphiphile hydrogels as materials for regenerative medicine and employing self-assembling organic photosensitizers in PET-RAFT polymerization.
Connor Filbin (incoming first year) was born and raised in Gardnerville, Nevada – a town just outside of Lake Tahoe. He earned his Bachelor (2020) and Master (2022) of Science degrees in Chemistry from the University of Nevada, Reno. At UNR, Connor worked in the laboratory of Professor Ying Yang where he investigated the photoresponsivity of 2,2’-bipyridines, and their implementation into functional materials. At Berkeley, Connor joined the Abel Lab in the Summer of 2022 to pursue his interests in developing new living polymerization reactions through the lens of sustainability. In his free time, Connor loves attending live sporting events and concerts, hiking, and learning to cook.