Principal Investigator:
Jacob H. Olshansky

Prof. Olshansky (he/him/his) grew up in Urbana, Illinois, where he got his start in scientific research by spending summers in the research corn fields of the University of Illinois. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and Physics from Haverford College (’12) where he worked in Alex Norquist’s solid state chemistry group, studying the hydrothermal syntheses of amine-templated metal oxides. He then moved to California to pursue his Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry at UC Berkeley. His dissertation research aimed to understand the mechanism of charge transfer from photoexcited quantum dots and was advised by Paul Alivisatos. He completed his postdoctoral studies at Northwestern University under the guidance of Michael Wasielewski. At Northwestern, he studied spin dynamics of photogenerated charges in synthetic DNA. He joined the Amherst College community in the summer of 2020.

Current members

Autumn Lee ’23

Research Technician and Lab Manager


From: Pacific, Washington

Fun facts: I play softball at Amherst, I love to hike, and I can talk about sneakers for a very long time. I would like my last meal to be the cashew chicken dish from the China House restaurant located nearby.

Favorite wavelength of light: 550 nm

Frida Hernandez ’24


From: California and Virginia

Fun fact: I am the oldest out of five children, and I am also the first person in my entire extended family to attend a four-year college

Favorite wavelength of light: 600 nm


Karime Hernandez-Perez ’24


From: San Diego, CA

Fun fact: I once rode a boat operated by a 15 year old. Afterwards, I ate a fish and became friends with a stray dog

Favorite wavelength of light: 570 nm


Amisha Jain ’25


From: Charlotte, North Carolina

Fun fact: I like travelling and foreign languages, and I love spicy foods.

Favorite wavelength of light: 510 nm

Sunnie Noh ’25


From: Bethel, AK

Fun fact: I like running, playing word games, sending cat pictures to my friends, and showing people that it is physically possible to lick your elbow 🙂

Favorite wavelength of light: 450 nm

Maggie Yang ’25


From: Rome, NY and Bridgeport, PA

Fun fact: I love K-Pop, so much so that I started K:NETICS Dance Crew here at Amherst.

Favorite wavelength of light: 580 nm


Kyle Hur ’25


From: Southern California

Fun fact: I am a big fan of red bean mochi bread, and I love using emojis

Favorite wavelength of light: 425 nm


Shirley Fu ’26


From: Chongqing, China

Fun fact: Enjoy food! Foodie. Enjoy savoring small moments in life.

Favorite wavelength of light: 660 nm

Stella Yuan ’26


From: Milton, MA

Fun fact: I watch many black-and-white movies, and I heat the milk in the bowl before adding cereal.

Favorite wavelength of light: 700 nm

Caleb Savoie ’26


From: New Orleans, LA

Fun fact: I love Jazz, especially the New Orleans style. I play Alto, Tenor, and Soprano Saxophone. I also have a twin brother

Favorite wavelength of light: 490 nm


Kaela Liu ’26


From: San Diego, CA

Fun fact: I love watching indie movies and enjoy boba tea.

Favorite wavelength of light: 450 nm


Shani Getz ’26


From: Belmont, MA

Fun fact: I do ballroom dance and I play the guitar. I can also drive a stick shift!

Favorite wavelength of light: 530 nm


Yurii Sulima ’26


From: Poltava, Ukraine

Fun fact: Although I am a sophomore, I have already studied in three universities / colleges (Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Riga Technical University, Amherst College). Also, I had a summer job as a graphical design engineer in Latvia working mostly on creating mounting and component change instructions.

Favorite wavelength of light: 460 nm

Former members

Thesis Students

Nejc Nagelj ’21, Chemistry Ph.D. program at Harvard

Max Hoffman ’22, Chemistry Ph.D. program at the University of Washington

Troy Colleran ’22, Materials Science Ph.D. program at University of Colorado, Boulder

Shoshanna Peifer ’23, Chemistry Ph.D. program at Northwestern University

Other Students

Hyery Yoo ’22

Hasham Warrich ’23

Sonja Lazovic ’22

Daniya Ali ’25

Jovan Markovic ’25 (MIT)