Dr. May

Dr. Jeremy May

  • 2020–present: Professor, Department of Chemistry, U. Houston

  • 2015–2020: Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, U. Houston

  • 2009–2015:  Assistant Professor, Department of Chemistry, U. Houston

  • 2008–2009:  Research Assistant Professor in Department of Chemistry (U. Houston)

  • 2005–2008 NIH Postdoctoral Fellow (Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center) in the lab of Dr. Samuel J. Danishefsky. 

  • Research Topics: The synthesis of analogs of UCS-1025A, a reported telomerase inhibitor. The synthesis of Eudesmanolide 4. The synthesis of Aplykurodinone A.

  • 2006 Ph.D. in Chemistry (California Institute of Technology) in the lab of Professor Brian M. Stoltz.

  • Thesis:I. Synthesis and Utilization of Diazocompounds for Applications in Solution-Phase and Gas-Phase Chemistry II. Progress toward the Communesin Alkaloids

  • 2000 Bachelor of Science cum laude in Chemistry (University of Utah). Research Advisor: Professor Peter Beal


  • 2014 National Science Foundation CAREER Award
  • 2012 Teaching Excellence Award, University of Houston

  • 2005  NIH/NCI Ruth L. Kirschstein Postdoctoral Fellow

  • 2004 Bristol-Myers Squibb Graduate Fellow

  • 2003 American Chemical Society Organic Division Graduate Fellow

  • 2002 Abbott Labs Fellow

  • 2001 NSF Graduate Fellowship Honorable Mention

  • 2000 Graduated cum laude

  • 2000 American Institute of Chemists Undergraduate Award for outstanding senior

  • 2000 Elected to Phi Beta Kappa

  • 1999 Kennecott Copper Corporation Scholarship

  • 1999 Elected to Phi Kappa Phi

  • 1999 Pfizer Undergraduate Summer Research Fellowship

  • 1999 Elected to Golden Key National Society

  • 1999 Mack Thomas Rozelle Scholarship

  • 1998 Leon Watters Memorial Award

  • 1996 National Merit Scholarship


Current members


Jirong Luo (Eric)

B.S. Chemistry : Southeast University, Nanjing, China (2017)
Current: 5th year graduate student

Jirong was born in China in 1995. He joined Dr. May's group at University of Houston for graduate study in 2017. He loves everything about total synthesis.

Hossein Barzegar

B.Sc. Chemistry : Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
M.S. Chemistry: IASBS University, Zanjan, Iran (Prof. Karimi)
Current: 4th year graduate student

Hossein was born in Shiraz, Iran. For M.Sc. Program, he joined IASBS, working on carbon materials and heterogeneous catalysis. He came to UH in Spring 2019, and there, joined the May group. He loves mountaineering and everything that relates to nature.

Clayton Donald

B.S. Chemistry : Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, IL (2019)
Current: 3rd year graduate student

Clayton was raised in Illinois. He conducted undergraduate research in the lab of Prof. Kevin R. Tucker. Clayton then moved to the University of Houston where he joined the May lab in the Fall of 2019. He enjoys music, basketball, and nature documentaries.

Po-Kai Peng (Luke)

B.S. Chemistry : Chung Yuan Christian University, Taoyüan, Taiwan (2015)
M.S. Chemistry: National Ciao Tung University, Hsinchu, Taiwan (2017)
Current: 3rd year graduate student

Po-Kai was born in Taipei, Taiwan and earned a B.S. in chemistry from Chung Yuan Christian University in Taoyüan, Taiwan. Po-Kai then moved to the National Ciao Tung University in Hsinchu, Taiwan where he earned a M.S. under the supervision of Prof. Yen-Ku, Wu and Prof. Kak-Shan, Shia. In the Fall of 2019, he moved to the University of Houston and joined the May lab. He enjoys playing baseball and watching MLB games.

Hung Hong

B.S. Chemistry : HCMC University of Science, Vietnam (2013-2017)
Current: 2nd year graduate student

Hung was born in Vietnam in 1995. He gradudated from University of Science in 2017. In Summer 2021, he joined Dr.May’s Group. His hobbies are reading book, badminton and music.

Zhencheng Dong (Norton)

B.S. Chemistry : Liaoning Petrochemical University, Liaoning, China (2020)
Current: 2nd year graduate student

Zhencheng (Norton) Dong was born in China in 1997. After graduating, he joined Dr. May Group for graduate study in Fall 2020. He loves organic chemistry, especially in total synthesis. And he also has a broad interested in many areas, such as guitar playing, badminton, movies, cats, board games and cooking.

Tan Nguyen

B.S. Chemical Biotechnology : University of Queensland, Australia (2015)
Current: 2nd year graduate student

Tan was born in Danang, Vietnam in 1991. After undergraduate, he worked as a scientific researcher in Danang Biotechnology Center, Danang, Vietnam from 2011 to 2020. In Summer 2021, Tan joined Dr.May’s Group. His hobbies are reading books, tennis and movies.


Amy Boylan, PhD

B.S. Chemistry : Baylor University, Waco, Texas (2016)
PhD: University of Houston, Houston TX (2016-2021)

She was born in Texas and raised in Dallas. Then in the summer of 2016, she joined the May Group. In her free time, she enjoys running and doing outdoor actvities with her dog.

Bailey Navarez, M.S.

B.S. Chemistry : Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas (2018)
MS: University of Houston, Houston TX (2018-2021)

Bailey grew up in Texas. She worked in Dr. May's research groupthroughout the following summer after graduating in 2018, and officially joined the group in October of 2018. Bailey loves organic chemistry but a few hobbies outside of the lab include traveling, exercising, and hanging out with her dog.

Qinxuan Wang (Steven), PhD

B.S. Chemistry : Fudan University, Shanghai, China (2016)
PhD: University of Houston, Houston TX (2016-2020)

Qinxuan (Steven) Wang was born in China in 1993. In the summer of 2015, he attended Prof. Dr. F. Ekkehardt Hahn's group for a short-term research in University of Münster, Germany. In December 2016, he joined Dr.May’s research group at University of Houston for graduate study. He has lots of hobbies besides Chemistry. He loves playing basketball and billiards, listening to music, watching sports and movies.

Davis Plasko, M.S.


MS: University of Houston, Houston TX (2017-2020)

Davis was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1995. He received his BS in Chemistry from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina. In the Fall of 2017 he joined the May group as a graduate student at the University of Houston. His favorite hobbies are snowboarding, skydiving, going to the range, flight simulator, and of course organic chemistry.


Sasha Sundstrom (née Oleynichenko), PhD

PhD: University of Houston, Houston TX (2015-2020)
Current: postdoc, Dr. John Wood, Baylor University, Waco, TX

Sasha was born in Moscow. She got her B. Sc. in Chemistry from DePaul University in Chicago, Illinois in 2013. After two years in industry, she came to UH in 2015, and there, joined the May group. Her favorite things, besides chemistry, are cats, video games,  and music festivals.

Truong Nguyen, PhD

PhD: University of Houston, Houston TX (2014-2019)
B. E.: HCMC University of Technology, Viet Nam, 2014 (chemical engineering)

Truong was born in Viet Nam in 1991. He obtained B.E. degree in Chemical Engineering at HCMC University of Technology (2009-2014). In Fall 2014, he joined May Group at University of Houston as a graduate student. His hobbies are science fiction films, soccer, and chess.

Hiroyuki Hattori, PhD

PhD: University of Houston, Houston TX (2014-2019)
B. A.: Chiba University, 2013 (Japan)

Po An Chen, PhD
Current: postdoc, Dr. Thummel, University of Houston, TX

PhD: University of Houston, Houston TX (2013-2018)
B. Sc.: Fu Jen Catholic University, 2009 (Taiwan)
MS: Fu Jen Catholic University, 2010 (Taiwan)

Krit Setthakarn, PhD
Current: Faculty, Silpakorn University, Thailand

PhD: University of Houston, USA (2013-2018)

Jiun-Le Shih, PhD

Current: Chevron Oronite

PhD: University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA (2011-2015)

B. Sc.: Department of Chemistry, National Chung Hsing University, Taichung City, Taiwan, Republic of China (2003 – 2007)

Emma Kuo
MS: University of Houston

Ravikrisna Vallakati, PhD

Current: Postdoc, University of Kansas
PhD: University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA (2010-2015)

Phong Le, PhD

Current: Faculty, International University - VNU HCMC, Hochiminh City, Vietnam

PhD: University of Houston, Houston, TX, USA (2010-2015)

B. Sc.: University of Science, Hochiminh City, Vietnam (2004-2008)

Thien Nguyen, PhD

Current: Faculty, Duy Tan University, Da Nang, Vietnam

PhD: University of Houston, Houston TX, USA (2010-2015)

B. Sc.: University of Science Hochiminh City, Vietnam (2004-2008)

Santa Jansone-Popova, PhD

Current: Oak Ridge National Labs

PhD degree: University of Houston (2009-2014)

B. Sc. degree: University of Latvia (2004-2008)



Dong Hyun Koo

 MS: University of Houston, Houston, TX

Brian J. Lundy, PhD

Current: Baker Hughes

Post Docs

Jian-Yuan Li, PhD (postdoc)

Currently: Staff Scientist, Baylor College of Medicine

PhD: Purdue University, Indianapolis, IN, USA (2009 – 2014)

Christabel Tanifum, PhD (Postdoc)

Special Program

Yordkhuan Tachapermpon
Spring 2019
Visiting from Silpakorn University (Thailand)

Noemi Hiller
Summer 2016
Science Without Borders
Visiting from Universidade Federal Fluminense (Brazil)


Justin Rains
B. Sc. in Chemistry, University of Houston, in progress

Johnny Tran
B. Sc. in Chemistry, University of Houston, in progress


 Karlo Sales

Currently: Applying to graduate programs!

B.Sc.in Chemistry; University of Houston, 2018

Morris Olumba
Currently: Graduate Student, University of Houston, Teets Group
B. Sc. in Chemistry, University of Houston, 2018

Christopher Huynh


Swetha Kotamraju

Kevin Vo