G Chemistry

Faculty & Staff

Graduate Director:

Questions about the Graduate Program? 

Contact Tami Spector at


Andy Huang: Manager, Technical Operations
Harney 431,, (415) 422-6419

Chad Schwietert: Lab Coordinator
Harney 429,, (415) 422-5424

Angela Yishun Qin: Stockroom Manager
Harney 432,, (415) 422-2739

Deidre Shymanski: Program Assistant
Harney 439,, (415) 422-6157


Tel:(415) 422-6051

Megan Bolitho

Assistant Professor

Dr. Bolitho teaches in the organic chemistry and biochemistry curricula at USF. Her research interests center around the phenomenon of bacterial quorum sensing, a process by which bacteria are able to communicate with each other using small molecules. The Bolitho lab uses the techniques of organic synthesis, biochemistry, and molecular biology to develop inhibitors of quorum sensing in bacterial pathogens and means of evaluating them as potential agents against disease.

Tel:(415) 422-4914

Jie Jack Li

Associate Professor

Dr. Li teaches Organic Chemistry and History of Drug Discovery.  His current research interests at USF are in two areas: (a) Organic Chemistry: Development of synthetic methodology on the C-H activation of heterocycles, which are of paramount importance to drug discovery; and (b) Medicinal Chemistry: The current focuses are to discover novel anti-diabetic drugs by inhibiting the PH domain leucine-rich repeat protein phosphatase (PHLPP) in collaboration with Prof. Alexandra C. Newton at UCSD and to discover new anti-cancer drugs by targeting both novel and proven mechanisms of action such as the hedgehog signaling pathway.

Tel:(415) 422-5928

Lawrence Margerum


In 1995, Dr. Margerum joined USF as assistant professor of analytical and inorganic chemistry. He currently has undergraduate and masters students exploring the following research areas:
-The Effect of Dendrimer Size and pH on the Binding of Metal Complexes using electrochemistry.
-Immobilized Dendrimers as Platforms for Multivalent Binding of Metal Ions using spectroscopy techniques and solid-phase synthesis.
-Implementing technology-based learning tools for chemical education (OWL, CPR, clickers in the classroom, POGIL)

Tel:(415) 422-6159

Giovanni Meloni

Associate Professor and Von Soosten Chair

Prior to joining the University of San Francisco, Dr. Meloni carried out post-doctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley and at Sandia National Laboratories. In his research, he employed state-of-the-art experimental and computational techniques, to study semiconductor clusters, van der Waals species, and hydrocarbon radicals. Dr. Meloni's interests range from high-temperature physical chemistry to spectroscopic characterization of reaction intermediates. More recently, his research group performs experiments at the Advanced Light Source of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory using a multiplex photoionization mass spectrometer to investigate biofuel molecules combustion and atmospheric reactions.

Tel:(415) 422-6142

Ryan West

Assistant Professor

Dr. West joined USF after postdoctoral work at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). He teaches analytical and general chemistry courses and labs. His research interests include electrochemistry, surface-enhanced Raman spectroscopy, nanotechnology, organic electronics and chemical sensing for the detection of biomarkers, environmental pollutants and chemical warfare agents. The overall goal is the development of inexpensive, reliable and portable biosensors.