Tristan Tiburcio (he/him), MSc Student

trist98 [at] yorku.ca

Tristan was born and raised in Toronto ON. He earned his B.Sc in Biochemistry at York University in 2020, with his thesis on selective RNA chemistry. In March of 2021, he joined the Le and Caputo groups as a masters student in order to pursue organic synthesis, with focus on carbene chemistry. Outside of the lab, Tristan enjoys playing video games, listening to music, going for walks, and making a mess in the kitchen (but usually something good comes out of it).


Dusty Cadwallader (he/him), PhD Student

dustyc94 [at] yorku.ca

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

mcknighe [at] yorku.ca

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.

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Sara Rough (she/her), Undergraduate thesis student

roughs [at] my.yorku.ca

Sara is in her final year of undergraduate studies at York in the Specialized Honours Pharmaceutical and Biological Chemistry program. In September 2021, she joined the Le group for her honors thesis focusing on heterocycle synthesis. She hopes to either pursue a career in pharmacy or medicinal research. Outside of the lab, Sara enjoys singing, reading sci-fi/fantasy novels and even baking sweet treats in her kitchen!

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Zichuan Chen (he/him), Undergraduate researcher

gzczc [at] my.yorku.ca

Zichuan was born and raised in Guangzhou, China and came to York university in 2018. He is now in his last year of undergraduate at York studying chemistry. Greatly inspired by second-year and third-year organic and inorganic courses, Zichuan is very interested in expanding his knowledge on organic and organometallic chemistry. He finished his thesis working on polymerization catalysts and now joining the Le group to explore the world of cross-coupling reactions. Outside chemistry, Zichuan is enjoying playing chess, soccer, and any other kinds of sports.

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Yuriko Fujisato (she/her), Undergraduate researcher

fujisato [at] my.yorku.ca

Yuriko is a third-year undergraduate student completing a specialized Honours bachelor in chemistry. She is passionate about organic synthesis and drug discovery. In the future, she plans to pursue research in pharmaceutical chemistry. Outside the lab, she enjoys playing piano and string instruments.


Lola the Pembroke Welsh Corgi, Lab Mascot

Lola is an organic chemistry enthusiast. 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: BSc (McMaster)

George Cieszynski

Summer 2021

Undergraduate researcher

(York Science Scholar)

Currently: BSc (York)