The Nilsson Group

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Professor Bradley Nilsson

Principal Investigator (2006-)
Curriculum Vitae
  • Ph.D. (2003), University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • M.S. (1998), Brigham Young University
  • B.S. (1996), Brigham Young University
Bradley Nilsson conducted PhD studies in organic chemistry at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Professor Ronald T. Raines studying methodology for the chemoselective ligation of peptides. He subsequently completed postdoctoral research in synthetic organic chemistry with Professor Larry E. Overman at the University of California, Irvine. He joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Rochester in 2006. The Nilsson group is interested in molecular recognition and self-assembly phenomena of peptides and proteins leading to amyloid and in the development of amyloid-inspired materials and therapeutics.

Jade Welch

Graduate Student (2013-)
  • B.A. Chemistry (2013), Buffalo State College, Buffalo, NY
  • M.S. Chemistry (2015), University of Rochester, Department of Chemistry
Jade Welch grew up in the small town of Arcade, NY. She received her B.A. in Chemistry from Buffalo State College in 2013 where she worked on the synthesis of Indian Yellow. Jade now studies the assembly of amphipathic peptides and disulfide-constrained peptides for applications in biological systems.

Brittany Abraham

Graduate Student (2017-)
  • M.S. Chemistry (2019), University of Rochester
  • B.S. Chemistry (2017), State University of New York at Geneseo
Brittany grew up in Spencerport, NY and received her B.S. in Chemistry from SUNY Geneseo in 2017. While at Geneseo, she studied the lycopene content and antioxidant properties of the berries of the local autumn olive shrub. Brittany's current research focus is on the synthesis and characterization of small molecule hydrogelators for biomedical applications, including drug delivery and tissue engineering.

Elena Quigley

Graduate Student (2017-)
  • M.S. Chemistry (2019), University of Rochester
  • B.S. Biochem. (2017), State University of New York at Fredonia
Elena grew up in Hilton, NY and received a B.S. in Biochemistry with a focus in chemistry at the State University of New York at Fredonia. In her time there she studied nematode pheromone structure with an emphasis on NMR spectroscopy. Elena now studies the self assembly of small molecules and amphipathic peptides into hydrogels.

Melissa Jagrosse

Graduate Student (2018-)
  • M.S. Chemistry (2020), University of Rochester
  • B.S. Biology (2018), Southern Connecticut State University
  • B.S. Chemistry (2018), Southern Connecticut State University
Melissa grew up in West Haven, CT and received a BS in Biology and Chemistry from Southern Connecticut State University. During her undergraduate career, she actively participated in research projects in the fields of mammalogy, paleontology and organic synthesis. Melissa's current research focuses on improving siRNA delivery for the treatment of ARDS and the use of peptide nucleic acids for biological applications. Outside of the research lab, Melissa is a dedicated CrossFit athlete, training 6 - 7 days per week at CrossFit RSG. Melissa has participated in multiple CrossFit competitions including the past two CrossFit Opens. She also enjoys spending down time with her husband, Abele, and two guinea pigs, Henry and Jack.

Francine Yanchik

Graduate Student (2018-)
  • M.S. Chemistry (2020), University of Rochester
  • B.S. Biochem (2018), Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY
Francine, originally from Ft. Lauderdale, FL, spent the majority of her life in Syracuse, NY. She received her B.S. in Biochemistry with a minor in History from Le Moyne College in 2018. She began her graduate studies at the University of Rochester in 2018. Francine now studies peptides for aggregation of blood platelets along with self assembly of amyloid-like peptides. Francine is a trainee on the Chemistry-Biology Interface (CBI) Training Program funded by the NIH.

Hannah Distaffen

Graduate Student (2019-)
  • B.S. Biochem (2018), Roberts Wesleyan College
Hannah grew up in Chili, New York and received her B.S. in Biochemistry from Roberts Wesleyan College in 2018. In her time there she did research using nanoparticles to inhibit bacterial growth. After graduating, she took a year off and worked in the quality control lab for O-At-Ka Milk Products in Batavia, NY. She began her graduate career at the University of Rochester in 2019.

Chris Jones

Graduate Student (2019-)
  • B.S. Biochem (2019), Nazareth College
Chris Jones grew up in Fulton, NY and received a B.S. in biochemistry from Nazareth College in 2019. While there, his research involved conducting structural activity relationships of pyridine-based small molecules with divalent metal cations. He began his graduate studies at the University of Rochester in 2019, where he is studying amphipathic peptides.

Ethan Toriki

Undergraduate Student (2018-)
Ethan was born in Mililani, Hawaii, and is pursuing a B.S. in Biochemistry at the University of Rochester. He is currently studying the synthesis of cationic Fmoc-Phe hydrogels and their controlled release properties with Brittany Abraham.