Group Members

Qi Zhang

PhD Candidate

After graduating from Tianjin Polytechnic University with bachelor’s degree, I decided to come to UW-Milwaukee to study organic chemistry in graduate school. When I was still an undergraduate, I have deeply figured out that chemistry is an amazing discipline, and it has permeated everywhere in our surroundings. Therefore, I finally decided to change my major from Materials Science and Engineering to Organic Chemistry because I have a great passion to explore the amazing chemistry world. Currently, my major research work focus on studying the effects of synthesized compounds on DNA Interstrand Cross-linking (ICL). I did a lot of organic synthesis and finished a lot of research work with DNA duplex.

Nurul Islam Setu

Doctoral Student

Once my chemistry teacher said that chemistry is everywhere. At that time, I did not get him. Then I have been introduced to organic chemistry  in my high school which gave me some idea about the vastness of chemistry. Later, I did my undergraduate in pharmaceutical science which is interweaved with different branches of chemistry. During my master’s degree, I did a project on preparation and evaluation of microcrystalline cellulose from waste cotton as directly compressible tablet excipient. Since then I am interested to do some chemistry. I joined Dr. Peng’s lab as her research is interdisciplinary, focusing on nucleic acid chemistry and its applications in other fields including drug discovery, DNA diagnostics, and nanotechnology. My Ph. D. project is mechanistic investigation of DNA cross-linking by modified nucleoside. I am really having good time while working in the lab.

Taufeeque Ali

Graduate Student (Ph.D)

Before I liked biochemistry, I was more into mathematics. So, how did I get interested in PhD.? Well, if you had met me 5 years ago, my answer would have been a strong No. But during the year 2014-2015, it was my Senior Design project that sparked that light of curiosity in my head about biochemistry. I was working with microalgae, and the work fascinated me towards biological pathways. This made my choice for PhD. much easier. When I got into Dr. Peng’s Lab at UWM, my focus of study was clear. Dr. Peng’s group have synthesized several anticancer drugs. And to learn about the drugs interaction with cellular pathways, that leads to its anticancer effect was itself very interesting and worth exploring.

Eron Saxon

Doctoral Student

I graduated from UW-Milwaukee with my bachelor’s degree in chemistry with the biochemical option. During my last year of undergraduate studies and months after graduation, I worked as an intern quality control chemist for a foundry to test chemical properties of various alloys, and on to also work on small projects. I have always loved the field of science since I was young, and chemistry has fueled my passion to learn how life works from the microscopic chemical reactions to the macroscopic phenomenological laws of nature. There is always new topics to learn in the field, so I returned to the same university as a PhD student to not only learn more chemistry, but to also make new discoveries. So far, this has been a tremendously fulfilling role and a dream come true for me.


Asad Uz ZamanPhDCDRH, FDA
Anahit CampbellMasterImaBiotech
Heli FanPhDTianjin Medical University
Zechao LinPostDoc
Md. Mojibul HaquePhDHouston Community College
Huabing SunPhDTianjin Medical University
Wenbing ChenPostDocRHB Laboratories
Yibin WangPhDLabCorp

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