We Make Organic Materials and Polymers

Our team is an organic chemistry research laboratory based out of the University of Washington in the vibrant city of Seattle. We are interested in developing and using synthetic methods to access novel macromolecules for tackling challenges across materials science, biomedicine, sustainability, and energy.

Enthusiastic scientists of all levels (undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral scientists) are welcome to  get in touch to inquire about research opportunities.

Our research team strives to foster and maintain an open, diverse, and inclusive group because it makes us better as individuals and as a community. We aim to understand our individual identities and privileges when listening to and speaking with others, and are not afraid to admit when we don’t know how to approach a particular open conversation. Feedback from everyone is crucial, and will ultimately help us learn about new viewpoints and new ways of thinking via open discussions.

 Group News

July 2024: 

Congratulations to Brian on his recent paper in JACS . In this work, we showcase the mechanical control & consequences of fluxional bullvalene shapeshifters in polymer networks! Thanks also to colleagues in the Gutierrez (TAMU), Rowan (U. Chicago), and Pozzo (UW ChemE) for making this a truly interdisciplinary and collaborative story.

June 2024: 

Congratulations to Morgan on her recent paper in Chemical Science. In this work, we demonstrate the utility of ball milling for the modification of post-consumer polystyrenes. More great work combining our interests in mechanochemistry and sustainability coming soon!

Congratulations to all of our 2024 graduates! Sarah and Meredith (defense forthcoming!) are the first two Ph.D.s from the team and were hooded at the annual departmental ceremony. LauraBobKiyoshi, and Yunze graduate and embark on new journeys in graduate school and industry.

Welcome to the newest undergraduate researcher, Gerrit!

May 2024: 

Congratulations to the first Ph.D. graduate from our team, Dr. Sarah ZeitlerSarah will begin as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo this fall. Congratulations, Sarah… we’ll miss you!

April 2024: 

Congratulations to senior undergraduate Laura for being awarded an NSF GRFP!

January 2024: 

We started 2024 by welcoming three new first year graduate students to the group: LucyNick, and Danica!

November 2023: 

Sarah’s Feature Article on mechanoredox polymerizations is accepted for publication at ChemComm as part of the 2023 Emerging Investigator Collection.

October 2023: 

Welcome to new undergraduate researcher, Katie!

September 2023: 

Adelaide and Christine‘s REMP manuscript is accepted for publication in ACS Macro Letters! This work expands on the consequences of modulating cyclic polymer initiator structure.

July 2023: 

Meredith presents an invited talk at the ACS Division of Organic Chemistry Graduate Research Symposium in Bozeman, MT.

Matt and Mercie attend the inaugural Plastics Upcycling & Recycling Gordon Research Conference in Manchester, NH.

Corvo joins the team for a summer rotation as a Summer Research Acceleration Fellow prior to starting graduate school in the fall.

June 2023: 

Brian attends the Physical Organic Chemistry Gordon Research Conference in Holderness, NH.

Matt, Meredith, and Sarah attend the Polymers Gordon Research Conference in South Hadley, MA.

Shumoos joins the team for the summer through the SCROCCS program.

Bob receives a UW Rising ChemStar Undergraduate Research Scholarship for Summer 2023.

Meredith‘s recent Angewandte Chemie paper on bullvalene polymers is highlighted in Synfacts!

May 2023: 

Congratulations to Sarah for being awarded a UW Chemistry Graduate Student Merit Award!

April 2023: 

Welcome to two new undergraduate researchers, Kiyoshi and Bob!

March 2023: 

Congratulations to Matt for receiving an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) award!

The group received a Young Investigator Program (YIP) award from the Army Research Office to explore the consequences of bullvalene in polymer networks. Thank you to the ARO for their support!

The group’s first polymer upcycling work, in collaboration with the Michael Lab, appears in Angewandte Chemieas a “hot paper”! Mercie and Matt demonstrate the structural and physical implications of post-polymerization C-H amination on polybutadiene, a major building block in many commodity rubbers.

Our fluxional team, led by Meredith and supported by Brian, published the group’s first paper in this area in Angewandte Chemie! This Communication demonstrates the structural implications of molecular shapeshifters in polymer chains.

February 2023: 

Progya departs the group for a position at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. Good luck, Progya!

January 2023: 

Welcome to new undergraduate team members Laura and Yunze!

Angewandte Chemie features Matt in their “Introducing…” author profile section.

December 2022: 

Congratulations to Roland for being awarded a 2023 Mary Gates Research Scholarship!

November 2022: 

Our work on mechanoredox RAFT polymerization methodology development and applications is accepted for publication in Angewandte Chemie as a hot paper! Congratulations to the whole team: Progya and Sarah, former visiting undergraduate student Kato and MEM-C REU student Waseem, and SAXS collaborators Fábio and Lilo Pozzo

July 2022: 

Congratulations to MeredithMercie, and Adelaide for being awarded 2022-23 Clean Energy Institute Graduate Research Fellowships!

June 2022: 

Welcome to our three visiting summer students: Isabel (CEI REU) joins us from Amherst College, Waseem (MEM-C REU) joins us from UCLA, and Zak (SCROCCS) joins us from North Seattle Community College. Welcome to the team!

Sarah and Progya present posters at the 2022 Tosoh Polymer Conference in Hollywood, CA!

April 2022: 

Sarah is awarded the 2022 UW MEM-C Education Training Fellowship!

March 2022:

Mercie is awarded an Outstanding TA Award from the Department of Chemistry! Congratulations, Mercie!

Ray graduated from UW and will begin his PhD at the University of Chicago in the fall. Congratulations, Ray!

Sarah and Progya’s co-authored paper on mechanoredox free-radical polymerization methodology using complementary energy inputs (ultrasonication and ball-milling) is accepted for publication in Chemical Science!

January 2022: 

Welcome to our newest undergraduate student, Roland!

Congratulations to our undergraduates on their recent prestigious departmental awards! Ray is the recipient of the Dorothy Shimasaki Gilmer Endowed Scholarship and Ashley is the recipient of the Zalia Jencks Rowe Undergraduate Tuition Scholarship.

Christine’s synopsis on the evolution of ring-expansion metathesis polymerization is published in Synlett as a SYNPACTS featured article!

We have lots of new faces in the lab to kick off 2022. Welcome to our new graduate students AdelaideMatt, and Morgan! Kato also joins us as an exchange student from Tokyo Tech for the quarter.

December 2021: 

The team receives an NSF CAREER award to continue work on cyclic polymer methodology and outreach with homeschooled students in Washington State. Thank you to CHE-MSN (NSF Division of Chemistry- Macromolecular, Supramolecular, Nanochemistry) for their support!

Matt is the recipient of a 2022 Thieme Chemistry Journal Award. Thank you to the editorial boards of Synlett, Synthesis, and Synfacts for this honor!

Matt presents at the 1st Winter In-Person Organic Symposium (WIPOS) in Honolulu, HI. Thanks to László Kürti for the invitation and event organization!

We capped off the quarter and 2021 with a group dinner at Brunello’s and our 2nd rendition of Secret Santa.

November 2021: 

Welcome to our second-cycle rotators, GrantAna Paula, and Chelsea!

October 2021: 

Welcome to our newest undergraduate student, Ashley!

We enjoyed highlighting recent polymer upcycling work from the McNeil Group (University of Michigan) in Trends in Chemistry. Congratulations to Sarah and Mercie on their Spotlight article (Transforming Superabsorbent Polymers to Super Sticky Notes); they’ve set the stage for upcycling work brewing in our own lab!

Autumn quarter rotations begin! Welcome to our first quartet of rotators, Matt, Adelaide, Rowina, and Morgan!

September 2021: 

We took our first (annual?) outing to T-Mobile Park to watch the Mariners take on Matt’s hometown Boston Red Sox!

July 2021: 

Adelaide joins for a summer rotation. Welcome to Seattle, Adelaide!

Matt presents (virtually) about the team’s recent efforts at the Golden Gate Polymer Forum .

June 2021: 

Meredith and Sarah present posters at the 2021 Empowering Women in Organic Chemistry (EWOC) virtual conference.

Christine is awarded a Clean Energy Institute (CEI) Graduate Fellowship for 2021-22!

Jayme graduates from UW with a BS in Chemistry and was honored with a Distinguished Research in Chemistry Award! She is the first undergraduate to leave the team and will start at UC Irvine for graduate school this fall.

May 2021: 
recent JACS paper is highlighted as a JACS Spotlight! Congratulations to Team Cyclic!

Ray presents his work on cyclic polymers at the 24th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium

Collaborative work on nanohoop ROMP polymers with the Jasti lab at University of Oregon appears in ACS Central Science . Congratulations to Sarah and former Jasti lab undergraduate Brian!

Matt presents at the Virtual Northwest Regional ACS Meeting (NORM 2021) on our cyclic polymer work. Thanks to Mike Larsen and everyone else at Western Washington University for putting on a great event!

Wei, Ray, and Jayme publish the team’s first manuscript in JACS! We describe a novel macrocyclic Ru initiator platform that provides increased stability and molecular weight control in ring-expansion metathesis polymerization reactions to access cyclic polymers, an underexplored area of synthetically challenging macromolecular materials. Congratulations on a great team effort and for setting the stage for more exciting cyclic polymer chemistry.
April 2021:
Matt presents on the team’s progress on cyclic polymer synthesis at the Spring 2021 Virtual ACS National Meeting! Thanks to Jessica Lamb and Nate Romero for organizing a great ORGN symposium on the “Modern Methods of Polymer Chemistry”.

We said farewell to the team’s first postdoc, Wei, this month. Wei accepted a position at Uniroyal in Shanghai. Congratulations, Wei! We explored Washington Park Arboretum: A Walk for Wei.

March 2021:
Congratulations to Sarah and Meredith for completing their second year exams with flying colors… two for two!

Congratulations to Ray for being awarded a prestigious Mary Gates Research Scholarship

February 2021:
Welcome to our four new first year graduate students: Anna, Brian, Christine, and Mercie! Check out our team members page for more info.

Wei’s review on recent developments in cyclic polymer synthesis is accepted at Polymer Chemistry. Congratulations to Wei on setting the stage for exciting cyclic polymer chemistry forthcoming from our own lab in the future!

December 2020:
 We capped off the quarter with a virtual exchange of snacks and beverages! On to new adventures in 2021! 

November 2020:
Brian joins for his second rotation of the quarter!

Matt contributes to an article in ACS Central Science with other junior faculty about the current state of diversity, equity and inclusion in organic chemistry.

The team is awarded a Seed grant from UW’s MRSEC (MEM-C)! We look forward to new opportunities in our force-mediated polymerization work. 

October 2020:
The team’s first grant is officially funded. Thank you to the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund (ACS-PRF) for generously supporting our work on molecular Rubiks cubes in polymers with a Doctoral New Investigator (DNI) award!  

September 2020:
Mercie, Christine, and Anna join for their first rotation of the quarter. We’ve implemented safe shadowing procedures in the lab so our prospective first-year graduate students can get a taste of what we do in CHB 211-217!

August 2020:
We’re happy to have two new faces in the lab! Progya joins the team as a postdoc after defending his PhD in Dominik Konkolewicz’s group at Miami University in Ohio. Anna joins as a summer rotation student prior to beginning graduate school. A socially distanced welcome lunch ensued from Grand Central Bakery!


July 2020:
The team has joined Twitter; follow us @golder_team

June 2020:
Wyatt Technology features us in their  monthly blog  !

March – June 2020:
 Our team is operating remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

December 2019:
Meredith and Sarah officially join the team as our first two graduate students. We celebrated by taking our first ever team photo after a much anticipated lunch trip to Din Tai Fung, followed by trying local beers with the Xiao lab at Optimism Brewing.

October 2019:
Louisa joins as a rotation student for the second half of the Autumn quarter. Check out our new digs now that we’re up and running!

September 2019:
Wei joins the team as a postdoc after a stint at the University of Missouri. Welcome to Seattle, Wei! Jayme, a rising UW junior, also joins the team as the group’s second undergraduate.

August 2019:
Incoming graduate students Sarah & Meredith join for a summer rotation and help to get the lab set up. Rising sophomore Ray (UW ’22) joins the team as well! We have our fair share of boxes to unpack…

May 2019:
Chemistry starts in Seattle on August 1st, 2019. Check back for updates later this summer!