Group News


March 17, 2017: Xiao Cai advanced to Ph.D. candidacy. Congratulations, Xiao!

March 7, 2017: Thanh’s 2nd paper featuring work from her time in Prof. David Brook’s lab (SJSU) is now online in EJOC! (link)

March 6, 2017: Xiao is awarded a 2017 CCB Summer Research Fellowship!

March 5, 2017: Amir’s liquid crystal synthesis work in collaboration with the Hirst lab is published in Proc. SPIE! (link)

March 2, 2017: Albert wins a research fellowship from Associated Students of UC Merced!

January 17, 2017: Undergraduate Cristian Ramirez joins the lab!

January 3, 2017: Our move into our new lab space is nearly complete! Some improvements: student offices separated from lab; twice as many fume hoods; NMR and MS facilities in same building; house nitrogen.


November 30, 2016: Lorenzo accepted a full time position at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, which he will start in January 2017 (upon completing his B.S.).

November 25, 2016: Amir’s paper featuring work from his time in the late Prof. Joseph Hajdu’s lab (CSUN) is now online in Chem. Phys. Lipids (link)

November 21, 2016: Ben was selected as a 2017 Thieme Chemistry Journal Awardee.

October 13, 2016: Albert presented a research poster at the 2016 SACNAS conference in Long Beach, CA.

September 28, 2016: Amir advanced to Ph.D. candidacy. Congratulations, Amir!

September 1, 2016: Our collaboration with Actagro, LLC (Fresno, CA) begins.

August 24, 2016: The group welcomes UC Merced undergraduates Antony Shenny and Lucy Kagiri.

August 18, 2016: Thanh’s paper featuring work from her time in Prof. David Brook’s lab (SJSU) is now online in Tetrahedron. (link)

August 12, 2016: REU student Gabrielle Warren (Walla Walla University) earns an NSF travel award to present her summer project.

June 22, 2016: The group wins a “best poster” award at the 16th French-American Chemical Society meeting.

June 20, 2016: Justin Omaque (B.S., 2016) starts an internship at Rigel Pharmaceuticals.

June 6, 2016: The group welcomes undergraduate research fellows Albert Navarro from UC Merced (CAMP), Daniel Panasenko from American River College (AiMM NSF REU), and Gabrielle Warren from Walla Walla University (AiMM NSF REU).

May 16, 2016: Gilbert Fernandez starts a position as a chemist at Genentech!

May 15, 2016: The group bids farewell to new B.S. graduates Gilbert Fernandez (Chemistry), Justin Omaque (Biology), and Alyssa Jones (Chemistry).

May 2, 2016: Our first publication appears in J. Am. Chem. Soc. (link)

April 28, 2016: Alyssa Jones accepts and offer to join UCSD’s graduate program in chemistry.

March 15, 2016: Amir Keshavarz is awarded a 2016 CCB Summer Research Fellowship!


December 14, 2015: Steven’s paper featuring work from his time in Prof. Christopher Reed’s lab (UC Riverside) is now on  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. (link)

July 1, 2015: Thanh Le joins the lab as a PhD student.

May 15, 2015: Xiao Cai joins the lab as a PhD student.

May 1, 2015: Dr. Steven Cummings joins the lab as a postdoctoral fellow.

March 15, 2015: Amir Keshavarz joins the lab as a PhD student.

January 1, 2015: The group is founded at UC Merced.

discovering, developing, and understanding new bond constructions for catalytic small organic molecule synthesis 

L to R: Cristian Ramirez, Albert Navarro, Xiao Cai, Steven Cummings, Amir Keshavarz, Thanh Le, Jose Alvarenga, Ben Stokes

Principal investigator: Ben Stokes (email)

Postdoctoral fellow: Dr. Steven Cummings

Graduate students: Xiao Cai, Amir Keshavarz, Thanh-Ngoc Le, Jose Alvarenga

Undergraduates: Alberto Navarro Brito, Lucy Kagiri, Cristian Ramirez


University of California, Merced

5200 N. Lake Road, Merced, CA 95343