K.V. Waynant Research Group

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Kristopher V. Waynant Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Dr. Waynant joined the University of Idaho in the Fall of 2014 as a Clinical Assistant Professor.  In January of 2017 Professor Waynant was converted to a tenure-track Assistant Professor position. Professor Waynant's experiences in organometallic methodology; total synthesis; C-linked sugar chemistry; and polymeric materials drive his current independent interests.  

Professor Waynant earned:

Bachelor's degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry from Virginia Tech in 2002

A Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from New Mexico State University in December 2008

Post-Doctoral Research Associate with J.D. White at Oregon State University 2009-2010

Post-Doctoral Teaching Fellow at Colgate University 2010-2012 (Research with Prof. Ernie Nolen)

Post-Doctoral Research Associate with Paul V. Braun at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign 2012-2013

Prof. Waynant can also be found either rockclimbing; skiing; flyfishing; biking; hiking; roasting coffee; brewing beer; growing hops or watching Baltimore Orioles baseball. 

Current Graduate Students

Adbulakeem Osumah (Akeem)

Akeem joined the group in the Summer of 2017 following completion of his cumulative exams.

Akeem will focus his dissertation on:

  • Carbonate protecting groups
  • Utilizing CNTs as transducing layers in calcium ion sensors
  • building polymers into CNT ink sensor design for Calcium detection

Akeem won a top poster prize at the 2018 NOBCCHe Conference in Orlando, FL
Akeem presented his work on Calcium ion based sensor inks at ACS National in Orlando, FL 2019
Akeem published some of his work on green method for one pot transformation of carbonyls to carbonates in Tet. Lett. in 2019: found here

Moubani Chakraborty 

Moubani joined the group in the Summer of 2017

Moubani's projects: 

  • Synthesis of Zwitterionic cross-linking polymers
  • Novel chemical ligation strategies in peptide coupling
  • Synthesis of quinone based natural products

Presented at ACS National Conference in Orlando, FL 2019

Current Undergraduate Members:

Kyle Rigg (B.S. 2020 ChE / Chem)

Kyle joined the WRG in the Fall of 2017

Kyle is currently working on both a specific C-linked glycoside of a known neuroprotective agent and a exo-endo Diels-Alder selectivity project

  • Kyle has presented at the 2018 Annual OUR Symposium and at ICUR in Boise, ID 2018 
  • Presented at ACS National Conference in Orlando, FL 2019

Jacob Kennedy

Jacob joined the WRG in the Fall of 2018 and began a synthesis of a C-linked glycoconjugate to incorporate into a 23-mer peptide.  Jacob is also investigating the rapid and efficient synthesis of glucosamine for incorporation of 2D NMR techniques into Organic Chemistry Labs.

  • Jacob has written and been awarded a semester research award from the Office of Undergraduate Research for his Spring 2019 project.
  • First author on JCE 2020 article on the use of advanced NMR techniques to assign protons of carbohydrate compound key to our syntheses yet starting material is available as gel capsule from nutrition stores!  link is here.

Jacob was awarded a supplementary cover for this work.  

Tyler Siegford (Biochemistry 2020) 

Tyler joined the WRG in the Fall of 2018 as a collaborating scientist with Dr. Darren Thompson of UI CDA.  Tyler is working on the synthesis of a variety of polypeptides along with new methods for creating polypeptides.

Tyler has received Summer 2018 INBRE fellowship (with Dr. Thompson), Academic year INBRE (At UI) and has presented his research nationally.

Roslyn McCormack (BS 2020 Chemistry)

Roslyn joined the group in the Spring of 2019.  She is investigating hydrogel biobead diffusion of cis and the simple modifications to the surface hydrogel that can affect the diffusion rates.

Kaed Benski (BS 2020 ChE/ Chem)

Kaed joined the group in Spring 2019 and is investigating the endo/exo selectivity of IMDA reactions in the presence of both E,E and E,Z dienes.

Waynant Group Alumni:

Garrett Larson (B.S. 2019 Biology)

Garrett joined the group in Summer 2017. He is working on multiple polymer brush and synthetic organic projects.

  • Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship 2018 (Calcium ISE polymer devices
  • Worked on Chemical Education projects as well as redox-active ligand projects
  • 2018 Undergraduate Research Symposium
  • 2018 ICUR Conference in Boise, ID
  • 2019 ACS National Conference in Orlando, FL 
  • Featured author in JCE 2020 article.

Kaylaa Gutman (Chemistry 2019)

Kaylaa joined the group in the Fall of 2017 - She has worked on both the polymer brush surface modifications project and the Redox-Active ATF ligand project.

  • Office of Undergraduate Research Award Spring 2018
  • College of Science Undergraduate Research Award 2018
  • Department of Chemistry Summer Scholarship (Summer 2018)
  • Presented at multiple OUR Symposiums (2018, 2019)
  • Presented at ACS National Conference in Orlando, FL 2019
  • Currently a Graduate Student at University of California - Santa Barbara 

Nicole Rueb (B.S. Chemistry 2018)  Nicole is headed to Univ. of Utah College of Pharmacy in Fall 2018!  Good Luck Nicole!

Nicole joined the group in the Spring of 2017

Nicole is currently working on the ATF ligand project.  She is making new ATF ligands and ATF coordination complexes.  

Awards since joining WRG:

  • Summer 2017 NIH INBRE Fellow
  • 2017-18 NIH INBRE Academic Year Fellow
  • 2017 Office of Undergraduate Research Semester Award

  • 2017 Idaho INBRE Conference August 2017
  • 2017 College of Science Undergraduate Research Symposium
  • 2018 Office of Undergraduate Research Symposium

Rachel Mitchem (B.S. 2019)

Rachel joined the group in the Spring of 2017- Fall 2017 working on the total synthesis of various humulones. 

Mitchell Leitzke (B.S. - Chemical Engineering / Chemistry 2019)

Mitchell Joined the group in Spring of 2016

Since joining the group Mitchell has been awarded:

  • Renfrew Summer Departmental Scholarship (Summer 2016 and Summer 2017)
  • Office of Undergraduate Research Fellowship (Spring 2017)
  • Brian and Gayle Hill Alumni Fellowship (2016-2017) 

  • 2017 Undergraduate Research Symposium (May 2017)

Mitchell's project is based on pyrylium effects in substituted chromones towards medicinal agents and advanced materials.  

Christopher Kingsley (B.S. ChE 2019)

Chris joined the group in the Spring of 2017-Fall 2017  working on the synthesis of C-linked cyanogenic glycosides

Jessa Montoya (B.S. Microbiology 2017)

Jessa joined the group in the summer of 2016-2017 working on polymer brush systems 

Jessa has earned:

  • NSF MURI Fellowship

2017 OUR Symposium

Guadalupe Gutierrez (Biology, B.S. 2017)

NOW - Graduate Student at UC Irvine Molecular Biology

Guadalupe has been a member of the Waynant Research Group since Spring 2015. 

Since joining the group Guadalupe earned: 

  • NSF MURI Research Award (Summer / Fall 2015)
  • NIH INBRE Fellowship (Summer 2016)
  • Brian and Gayle Hill Alumni Fellowship (2016-2017) 

Guadalupe presented a poster at the 243rd National ACS Conference in San Diego, CA on his project on C-linked glycosides. 

Lucas Sass (B.S. Biological Engineering 2016)

Now - Biological Engineering Graduate Student in the lab of Prof. Bryn Martin U Idaho

Lucas joined the group the 2nd day Prof. Waynant was on campus in the Fall of 2014.

While a part of the WRG Lucas Earned:

  • NSF MURI Fellowship
  • NIH INBRE Fellowship (Summer 2015)

Lucas also presented posters of his work at:
  • The 243rd American Chemical Society National Conference in San Diego, CA (March 2016)
  • The IDeA Network National Conference in Washington, DC (June 2016)
Lucas focused on the synthesis of a various humulones and lupulones natural products.

Paul Hanna (B.S. 2016)

Paul joined the group early in the Fall of 2014

While Paul was in the group he earned:

  • The Brian and Gayle Hill Alumni award

Here is Paul presenting his poster on his efforts towards Elisabethin A at the OUR Symposium in the Spring of 2016.

Nicholas Sanchez 

Nick worked with us during the Summer of 2016 on the NASA EPSCoR Research Initiation grant project on polymer brushes.

While part of the WRG Nick earned:

  • NSF EPSCoR MURI Fellowship
  • Office of Undergraduate Research award (declined)

Nick worked on the synthesis and characterization of various polymer brush systems and gradients.

Nicolas Johnson (B.S. Chemical Engineering 2017)

Nic joined the group in the Fall of 2015 

Since joining the group Nic has earned:

  • Office of Undergraduate Research Award (Spring 2016)
  • NIH INBRE Fellowship (Summer 2016) and NIH INBRE Yearlong Fellow (2016-2017)
  • Snyder Graduate Fellowship (Summer 2017)

Nic has presented his work at:
  • UI OUR Symposium (May 2016)
  • Idaho Conference on Undergraduate Research (ICUR) (July 2016)
  • 245th National ACS Conference in San Francisco in April of 2017. (INOR)
  • 2017 Idaho INBRE Conference (August 2017)

Lab Photos; Lab Outings; and Interlab Rivalries 

Prof. Waynant snapping a selfie with the moles...