Current Members & Alumni

Dr. Joseph Merola, Principal Investigator

Professor of Chemistry and Faculty of Health Sciences at Virginia Polytechnic Institute State University. Fellow of the American Chemical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Education: Ph.D MIT ’78, B.S. Carnegie-Mellon ’74.

Current Members

Jorge Nasser, Ph.D. Research Associates

Mike Berg, Ph.D. Instructor and researcher

Alec Wagner, Ph.D. Instructor and researcher

Sharon Molnar, Ph.D. collaborator from WVSU

Hannah Beaver, undergraduate researcher

Mattius Felicioni, undergraduate researcher

Brendan Gallagher, undergraduate researcher

Ashley James, undergraduate researcher

Stefanie Kerenyi, undergraduate researcher

Sophia Trozzo, undergraduate researcher

Charles Vasser, undergraduate researcher

JSM Group at S22 VT Chem Poster Session
From left to right: Mattius Felicioni, Jorge Nasser, Mike Berg, Joe Falkinham (Microbiology collaborator), Alec Wagner, Yours Truly, Sophia Trozzo, Stefanie Kerenyi, Hannah Beaver, Charles Vasser. Missing: Ashley James and WVSU collaborator Sharon Molnar.


The success of the Merola research program rests solely on the shoulders of the students who have been a part of the group:  summer students, undergraduate research students and graduate students.  Here are highlights from some of the students who have passed through the group and what they are doing now.

Graduate Students

Chad Bernier
Loren Brown
Christine Duchane
David Hobart
George Karpin
Shannon R. Chiles
Robert Clark
Beth Dodson
Joy Frazier
Marion A. Franks
Arthur Grieb
Carl Heltzel
David Hobart
Lisa Huff
Joseph Knorr
Folami T. Ladipo
Trang Le
Kelly Matthews
David Morris
Robert Pafford
Christopher P. Roy
Hank Selnau

Research Associates

Michael Berg, Senior Instructor of Chemistry, Virginia Tech

Alec Wagner, Instructor of Chemistry, Virginia Tech

Undergraduate Students

Cole Martin
Andy An
Zoe Stuart
Savannah Phillips
Justin Martinez
Billy Owen
Gina Asche
Nick Barker
Joel Bielski
Pauline M. Boyer
Paul J. Chirik
Debra Driscoll
Julie Hoher
Margaret S. Richards
Mel Ritchie
Ellen Slusher
Gita Srinivasan
Gina Yanochko
Alex Collado
Caitlin Masterman
Alex Mai
Mike Peysakhovich
Tefsit Bekele
Tsion Bililign
Steve Yun

( A number of undergraduates are missing from this list? If you remember our additional ones, please let me know!)

Summer Visitors

John Clancy (IAESTE intern)
Rebecca Randall (IAESTE intern)

Visiting Scientists

M. Kooti (Iran)

Sharon Molnar, Professor of Chemistry, West Virginia State University


Bill Bradbury
Frank E. Anderson III