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Graduate Students


Jesse LeBlanc (he/him), PhD student (joined 2022)

jjl415 [at]

Jesse grew up in Atlantic Canada moving frequently between New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. He completed his BSc in chemistry at Memorial University of Newfoundland. In September 2022, he joined the Le group as a PhD student to explore and develop new transition metal catalyzed multicomponent cross coupling reactions, with a particular interest in fluorine incorporation from readily available, cost effective fluorine sources. In his spare time he helps several synthetic groups at York by filling the departmental crystallographer role. At home he enjoys doing woodworking, tinkering and caring for his multiple animals.


Maryam Jabbarpoor (she/her), MSc Student (joined 2022)

maryamjp [at]

Maryam grew up in Tehran, Iran, and earned her BSc and MSc in chemistry at Shahid Beheshti University developing heterogeneous catalysts in the MTH process. Then, she came to Canada, and in May 2022, joined the Le Group to study cross-coupling reactions of fluorine-containing molecules. Outside of the lab, Maryam is a film enthusiast and enjoys cooking new recipes.


Dusty Cadwallader (he/him), PhD Student (joined 2020)

dustyc94 [at]

Dusty grew up in Port Hardy BC, a small town on the north end of Vancouver Island. He completed his BSc in chemistry at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC and his MSc at Brock University developing stereoselective Birch reduction-alkylations with a chiral auxiliary. In September 2020 he joined the Le group as a PhD student looking to synthesize fluorine containing molecules. Outside the lab his hobbies include recreational power lifting, joining pick-up soccer and volleyball matches, crossing local breweries off his list and cooking up new meat-free recipes (although you can catch him enjoying a steak or chicken sandwich from time to time).


Ali McKnight (they/them), MSc student (joined 2020)

mcknighe [at]

Ali graduated from Reed College in 2020 with a B.A. in Chemistry after spending the first two years of their undergraduate degree as a studio art major. During their undergraduate career they dabbled in analytical nuclear chemistry, adding nitrate esters to atmospherically relevant monoterpenes, and putting bismuth in places that bismuth should not be. Outside of the lab they are an amateur artist, avid home cook, and a strong supporter of Trans-Rights and BLM.

Undergraduate Students


Darnella Devito (she/her), CHEM 4000 student (joined 2023)

nella1 [at]

Darnella is currently in her fourth year of the chemistry honours program. After taking advanced organic chemistry courses she fell in love with organic synthesis and was keen to be placed in a lab setting where she can expand her knowledge and skills. She joined the Le group in May 2023 where she will be exploring carbofluorination reactions. Beyond the lab walls you can find her roaming the streets for new and hip restaurants in the city, singing her lungs out at karaoke or learning a new skills at 1 day classes such as making pasta, or pottery.


Angela (she/her), NSERC USRA student (joined 2023)

ntnguyen [at]

Angela began her undergraduate studies in the fall of 2020, pursuing a Major/Minor in Chemistry and Biology. She joined the Caputo Lab in May 2021, assisting in projects aimed to develop sustainable dyes from naturally-occurring molecules, and to explore metal-free alternatives to precious metal catalysts. In May 2023, she joined the Le Group to explore new reactions that can access unique fluorine-containing molecules and broaden her skills in organic synthesis. In the future, she plans to pursue a career in clinical pharmacy or pharmaceutical research. Outside of the lab, she likes going on hikes, trying new recipes and exploring restaurants and cafes around the city.

Postdogtoral Fellow


Lola the Pembroke Welsh Corgi

Lola is an organic chemistry enthusiast and graduated at top of her class at UC Barkley. Her favourite named reaction is the Balz-Schiemann reaction because she loves playing fetch with her tennis ball. In addition to fetching, she loves meeting new people and doing tricks (for treats, of course). She is a very good girl. 



Cora Mocanu

Fall 2020 - Summer 2021

Undergraduate researcher

(DURA recipient)

Currently: MSc in Pharmacology (U of T)


Temi Ajayi

Summer 2021

Undergraduate researcher

Currently: Graduate Student

(U of T)

George Cieszynski

Summer 2021

Undergraduate researcher

(York Science Scholar)

Currently: BSc (York)

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Zichuan Chen

Fall 2021 - Winter 2022

Undergraduate researcher

Currently: Graduate Student (UOttawa)

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Alex Akhundov

Summer 2022 - Spring 2023

DURA & CHEM 4000 Student

Currently: Graduate Student (UChicago)

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Sara Rough

Fall 2021 - Winter 2022

CHEM 4000 Student

Currently: PharmD Student

(U of T)

Tristan Tiburcio

Spring 2021 - Summer 2022

MSc Student

Currently: TLC Pharmaceutical Standards

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Yuriko Fujisato

Fall 2021 - Spring 2023

NSERC USRA & CHEM 4000 Student

Currently: Graduate Student (UMichigan)

Dmytro Shevchuk

Summer 2022 - Spring 2023


Currently: BSc (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv)

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