Current Lab Members

Raj Gurung

- Postdoctoral Research Associate


(2020)Ph.D. in Inorganic synthetic chemistry, Old Dominion University (ODU)

(2009): MS in Physical Chemistry, Tribhuvan University

Raj is from Pokhara, Nepal. After graduating from Tribhuvan University, he started a career as a chemistry teacher in Nepal for almost 4 years then joined Dr. Alvin Holder lab in ODU to pursue his Ph.D as an inorganic synthetic chemist. His research was mainly focused on synthesis of liquid crystal/metallomesogens using Schiff base ligands and first row transition metals. After graduating from ODU in December 2020, he joined Dr. Doyle’s group at UTSA in Jan 2021. His current research in Doyle’s lab is to study the properties of metal catalyzed transformation of diazoesters and cycloaddition reactions. Raj likes to travel, play, and watch soccer during his free time. 

·      Gurung Raj. K.; McMillen, Collin. D.; Jarrett William. L.; Holder Alvin. A.”Synthesis, Characterization, NMR spectroscopic, and X-ray Crystallographic Studies of new Titanium (IV) Schiff Base Salen Complexes: Formation of intriguing titanium (IV) species” Inorganica Chimica Acta, 2020, 505, 119496.

·       Lawrence, Mark A. W.; McMillen, Colin D.;Gurung, Raj K.; Celestine, Michael J.; Arca, Jessa F.; Holder, Alvin A. J. Chem. Crystallogr. 2015, 45(8), 427-433

·       Hurtado, M.; Sankpal, U. T.; Maram, R.; Patel, R.; Basha, R.; Chhabra, J.; Brown, D. T.; Gurung, R. K.; Holder, A. A.; Simecka, J.; Basha, R. Invest. New Drugs 2019, 37 (1), 27-34

·       Hurtado, M.; Sankpal, U. T.;Kaba A.; Mahammad S.; Chhabra, J.; Brown, D. T.; Gurung, R. K.; Holder, A. A.; Simecka, J.; Basha, R. Cellular Physiology and Biochemistry 2018, 51, 1894-1904

·      Hurtado, M.; Prokai L.;Sankpal, U. T.; Levesque B.;Maram R.; Chhabra, J.; Brown, D. T.; Gurung, R. K.; Holder, A. A.; Vishwanath J.K.; Basha, R. Process Biochemistry  89, 155-166

·      Stephen J. Beebe; Michael J. Celestine; Jimmie L. Bullock; Shayna Sandhaus; Jessa Faye Arca; Donald M. Cropek; Tekettay A. Ludvig;Sydney R. Foster; Jasmine S. Clark; Floyd A. Beckford; Criszcele M. Tano; Elizabeth A. Tonsel-White; Raj K. Gurung; Courtney E. Stankavich; Yuk-Ching Tse-Dinh; William L. Jarrett; and Alvin A. Holder; J. Inorg. Biochem. 2020, 203, 110907.

·      Book Chapter:  Book title:  Ruthenium Complexess: Photochemical and Biomedical Applications.  Editors:  Alvin A. Holder, Wesley Browne, Lothar Lilge, Mark A.W. Lawrence, and Jimmie L. Bullock. Book chapter: “Ruthenium-containing complexes with cobalt and hydrogenases for hydrogen production” by Michael J. Celestine, Raj K. Gurung, and Alvin A. Holder. Publishers: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH Co. KGaA, 2015  

Sipak Joyasawal

- Postdoctoral Research Associate

(2006) Ph.D. Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, India

Dr. Sipak Joyasawal, a dynamic professional with 14 years of experience in Research & Development related to Synthetic Chemistry, joined Prof. Doyle’s group at UTSA in Oct 2020 as a post-doctoral research associate and working on design and development of new catalytic chemistries of organic compounds, typically involving transition metal compounds having appropriate ligands. He earned his Ph.D. degree in synthetic organic chemistry from the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad and focused on the synthesis of ABCD ring of complex marine natural product azaspiracids. Dr. Joyasawal after completing his Ph.D degree from IICT-India in 2006, he pursued his post-doctoral research works at University of Illinois followed by at Rutgers University working on synthesis of  benzoxazole containing natural product A-33853 and its analogues to develop antileishmanial agents and synthesis of northern sector of pectenotoxin 4 using exclusively spirodiepoxide (SDE) chemistry respectively. Then he moved to Albany Molecular Research Inc. Singapore Research Centre in 2010 working on different drug discovery program for different pharmaceutical companies. After spending 7 years at AMRI-Singapore he joined University of Pittsburgh in 2017 as a visiting scholar working on acute kidney injury (AKI) project making Phenylthiobutanoic acids (PTBAs, bioisosteres), and other analogues. Other project Dr. Joyasawal was involved ay University of Pittsburgh were making novel oleic acid analogs to treat Friedreich’s Ataxia and a collaborative project of the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, under the Chemical Biology Consortium and making molecules for cancer treatment (p-97 inhibitors).


M. Grazia Cotticelli, Roberto Forestieri, Shujuan Xia, Sipak Joyasawal, Taehee Lee, Kexin Xu, Amos B. Smith, III, Donna Huryn and Robert B. Wilson. Identification of a Novel Oleic Acid Analog with Protective Effects in Multiple Cellular Models of Friedreich Ataxia. ACS Chem. Neurosci. 2020, 11, 2535−2542.

Sipak Joyasawal, Stephen D. Lotesta, N. G. Akhmedov, Lawrence J. Williams. A Spirodiepoxide Strategy to the C Ring of Pectenotoxin 4: Synthesis of the C1-C19 Sector. Org. Lett. 2010, 12 (5), 988–991.

Suresh K. Tipparaju, Sipak Joyasawal, Marco Pieroni, Marcel Kaiser, Reto Brun, and Alan P. Kozikowski. In Pursuit of Natural Product Leads: Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of 2-{3-Hydroxy-2-[(3-hydroxypyridine-2-carbonyl)-amino]-phenyl}-benzooxazole-4-carboxylic acid (A–33853) and its Analogs: Discovery of N-(2-Benzooxazol-2-yl-phenyl)benzamides as Novel Antileishmanial Chemotypes. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2008, 51(23), 7344-7347.

Yongliang Su

- Postdoctoral Research Associate

(2018) Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, University of Science and Technology of China 
(2013) B.S. in Applied Chemistry, Shandong University

Yongliang is from Henan, China. After graduating from Shandong University in 2013, he joined Prof. Liu-Zhu Gong’s lab in USTC to pursue his Ph.D. In Gong’s group, his research mainly focused on metal/ organo cooperatively catalyzed asymmetric  reactions. Thereafter, he joined Prof. Doyle’s group as a postdoctoral associate in July of 2018. His current research interests are selective oxidative reactions. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, listening to music, watching movies, and being with family and friends.

  • Yong-Liang Su, Linh Tram, Daniel Wherritt, Hadi Arman, Wendell P. Griffith, and Michael P. Doyle* α-Amino Radical-Mediated Diverse Difunctionalization of Alkenes: Construction of C-C, C-N and C-S Bonds. ACS Catal. 2020, 10, 13682−13687.
  • Yong-Liang Su†, Geng-Xin Liu†, Jun-Wen Liu, Linh Tram, Huang Qiu*, Michael P. Doyle* Radical-Mediated Strategies for the Functionalization of Alkenes with Diazo Compounds. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2020, 142, 13846-13855.

  •  Yongliang Su, Luca De Angelis†, Linh Tram, Yang Yu, Michael P. Doyle* “Catalytic Oxidative Cleavage Reactions of Arylalkenes by tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide – A Mechanistic Assessment” J. Org. Chem. 2020, 85, 5, 3728–3741.
  •  Robynne K. Neff, Yong-Liang Su, Siqi Liu, Melina Rosado, Xinhao Zhang,*and Michael P. Doyle* “Generation of Halomethyl Radicals by Halogen Atom Abstraction and Their Addition Reactions with Alkenes” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 16443-16450.
  • Yongliang Su, Luca De Angelis, Michael P. Doyle* “Discussion Addendum for: Allylic Oxidation Catalyzed by Dirhodium(II) Tetrakis[e-caprolactamate] of tert-Butyldimethylsilyl-protected trans-Dehydroandrosterone” Org. Synth. 2019, 96, 300-311.
  • Yongliang Su, Lulu Li, Xiaole Zhou, Zhenyao Dai, Pusheng Wang * and Liuzhu Gong * Asymmetric α−Allylation of Aldehydes with Alkynes by Integrating Chiral Hydridopalladium and Enamine Catalysis. Org. Lett. 2018, 20, 2403–2406.
  • Yongliang Su †, Zhiyong Han †, Yuhui Li and Liuzhu Gong * Asymmetric Allylation of Furfural Derivatives: Synergistic Effect of Chiral Ligand and Organocatalyst on Stereochemical Control. ACS Catal. 2017, 7, 7917−7922.
  • Yongliang Su, Yuhui Li, Yugen Chen and Zhiyong Han * Ir/PTC cooperatively catalyzed asymmetric umpolung allylation of a-imino ester enabled synthesis of a-quaternary amino acid derivatives bearing two vicinal stereocenters. Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 1985-1988.
  • Lulu Li, Yongliang Su, Zhiyong Han* and Liuzhu Gong * A Facile and General Access to Chiral Tetrahydropyran Derivatives through Rh/Chiral Brønsted Acid Relay Catalysis. Chem. Eur. J. 2018, 24, 7626-7630.

Haifeng Zheng

- Postdoctoral Research Associate

(2018) Ph.D., College of Chemistry, Sichuan University, Advisor: Prof. Xiaoming Feng 
(2013) B.S., College of Chemistry, Sichuan University

Haifeng is from Chengdu, China; he joined Doyle’s group at UTSA as a postdoctoral research associate in July 2018. He is working on the catalytic asymmetric carbene chemistry. He obtained his Ph.D with Professor Xiaoming Feng at Sichuan University in 2018, working on asymmetric catalysis and synthesis of bioactive molecules. He have developed some asymmetric reactions, such as, asymmetric Diels-Alder and aza-Diels-Alder reactions of 3-vinylindoles, [2+2]-cycloaddition reactions, Claisen-rearrangements. With these strategies, he has also realized the concise synthesis of bioactive molecules KAE609 and hyperolactones. 

  • Haifeng Zheng, Rui Wang, Kan Wang, Daniel Wherritt, Hadi Arman, Michael P. Doyle.*  “Formal [4+4]-, [4+3]- and [4+2]-Cycloaddition Reactions of Donor-Acceptor Cyclobutenes, Cyclopropenes and Siloxyalkynes Induced by Brønsted Acid”. Chem.Sci. 2021, 12, 10.1039/DISC00158B
  • Haifeng Zheng, Kuiyong Dong, Daniel Wherritt, Hadi Arman, Michael P. Doyle.*  “Brønsted Acid Catalyzed Friedel-Crafts-type Coupling and Dedinitrogenation Reactions of Vinyldiazo Compounds”. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 5910.1002/anie.202004328.
  • Haifeng Zheng, Michael P. Doyle.* “Catalytic Desymmetric Cycloaddition of Diaziridines with Metalloenolcarbenes: the Role of Donor-Acceptor Cyclopropenes”. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 12502-12506.
  • Haifeng Zheng#, Yan Wang#, Chaoran Xu, Qi Xiong, Lili Lin and Xiaoming Feng.* “Diversified Cycloisomerization/Diels–Alder Reactions of 1,6-Enynes through Bimetallic Relay Asymmetric Catalysis”. Angew. Chem. Int .Ed. 2019, 58, 5327–5331. (#equal contribution).
  • Haifeng Zheng, Yan Wang, Chaoran Xu, Xi Xu, Lili Lin, Xiaohua Liu* and Xiaoming Feng.* Stereodivergent synthesis of vicinal quaternary quaternary stereocenters and bioactive hyperolactones. Nature Communications, 2018, DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04123-w.
  • Haifeng Zheng, Chaoran Xu, Yan Wang, Tengfei Kang, Xiaohua Liu,* Lili Lin and Xiaoming Feng.* Catalytic Asymmetric [2+2] Cycloaddition between Quinones and Fulvenes and a Subsequent Stereoselective Isomerization to 2,3-Dihydrobenzofurans. Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 6585–6588.
  • Haifeng Zheng, Xiaohua Liu,* Chaoran Xu, Yong Xia, Lili Lin and Xiaoming Feng.* Regio- and Enantioselective Aza-Diels−Alder Reactions of 3-Vinylindoles: A Concise Synthesis of Spiroindolone NITD609 with Antimalarial Activity. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 10958–10962.
  • Haifeng Zheng, Peng He, Yangbin Liu, Yulong Zhang, Xiaohua Liu, Lili Lin and Xiaoming Feng.* Efficient Synthesis of Carbazolespirooxindole Skeletons via Asymmetric Diels–Alder Reaction of 3-Vinylindoles and Methyleneindolinones. Chem. Commun. 2014, 50, 8794–8796.
  • Chaoran Xu, Haifeng Zheng, Bowen Hu, Xiaohua Liu,* Lili Lin and Xiaoming Feng.* Chiral Cobalt(II) Complex Catalyzed Friedel-Crafts-Aromatization for Synthesis of Axially Chiral Biaryldiols. Chem. Commun. 2017, 53, 9741-9744.
  • Xiaohua Liu, Haifeng Zheng, Yong Xia, Lili Lin and Xiaoming Feng.* Asymmetric Cycloaddition and Cyclization Reactions Catalyzed by Chiral N,N’-Dioxide-Metal Complexes. Acc. Chem. Res. 2017, 50, 2621-2631.
  • Peng He, Haifeng Zheng, Xiaohua Liu, Xiangjin Lian, Lili Lin and Xiaoming Feng.* Asymmetric Reduction of a-Amino Ketones with a KBH4 Solution Catalyzed by Chiral Lewis Acids. Chem. Eur. J. 2014, 20, 13482-13486.

Kuiyong Dong

- Visiting Research Associate

Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in College of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, Soochow University. Advisor: Prof. Xinfang Xu

(2015) M.S., College of Pharmaceutical Science, Soochow University. Advisor: Prof. Feng Liu

Kuiyong is from Anhui, China; he joined Dr. Doyle’s group at UTSA as a visiting research associate in October 2018. In Xu’s group, his research mainly focused on asymmetric catalytic carbene/alkyne metathesis (CAM) reactions and cycloaddition reactions. His current work at UTSA deals with metal-catalyzed transformations of propargylic diazoesters and cycloaddition reactions. Kuiyong likes cooking and playing volleyball.

  • Kuiyong Dong, Ahmad Humeidi, Wendell Griffith, Hadi Arman, Xinfang Xu,* Michael P. Doyle*  Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.  2021, accepted. 
  • Kuiyong Dong, Haifeng Zheng, Yongliang Su, Ahmad. Humeidi, Hadi Arman, Xinfang Xu,* and Michael P. Doyle* ACS Catal2021, accepted.
  • Kuiyong Dong, Xinfang Xu * and Michael P. Doyle* Org. Chem. Front.2020, 7, 1653-1657. 
  • Kuiyong Dong, Xing Fan, Chao Pei, Yang Zheng, Sailan Chang, Ju Cai, Lihua Qiu, Zhi-Xiang Yu *and Xinfang Xu* Nature Communications 2020, 11, 2363.
  • Kuiyong Dong, Kostiantyn O. Marichev, and Michael P. Doyle* Organometallics 2019, 38, 4043.
  • Kuiyong Dong, Kostiantyn O. Marichev , Xingfang Xu* Michael P. Doyle*Synlett 2019, 30, 1457.
  • Kuiyong Dong, Chao Pei, Qian Zeng, Lihua Qiu, Wenhao Hu, Yu Qian and Xinfang Xu* Chem. Commun., 2019, 55, 6393.
  • Kuiyong Dong, Chao Pei, Qian Zeng, Hanlin Wei, Michael P. Doyle,* and Xinfang Xu* ACS Catal. 2018, 8, 9543−9549.
  • Kuiyong Dong, Bin Yan, Sailan Chang, Yongjian Chi, Lihua Qiu,* and Xinfang Xu* J. Org. Chem. 2016, 81, 68876892.
  • Kuiyong Dong, Lihua Qiu and Xinfang Xu* Current Organic Chemistry, 2016, 20, 29.
  • Kui-Yong Dong, Hai-Tao Qin, Feng Liu,*and Chen Zhu* Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2015, 1419–1422.
  • Kui-Yong Dong, Hai-Tao Qin, Xing-Xing Bao, Feng Liu,* and Chen Zhu* Org. Lett. 2014, 16, 52665268.


Luca De Angelis

- Graduate Student


Currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry at University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). Advisor: Prof. Michael Doyle

(2018), M.S. in Chemistry, UTSA, Advisor: Prof. Ghezai T. Musie          

(2014), M.S. in Chemistry, Universita’ La Sapienza in Rome, Italy, Advisor: Rinaldo Marini Bettolo

Luca is from Rome, Italy; he joined UTSA in September 2016 and obtained his Master’s degree in inorganic chemistry with Dr. Ghezai Musie, working on sugar chiral recognition. In 2018, he joined Dr. Doyle’s group, where he has worked on selective oxidation and metal carbene projects. In his spare time, Luca likes to spend time with his wife and dogs, travel, teach and make pizza for friends. In 2017, his teaching passion was recognized at UTSA with the Graduate Teaching Award.

·       De Angelis, L.; Crawford, A. M.; Su, Y.-L.; Wherritt, D.; Arman, H.; Doyle, M. P. “Catalyst-Free Formation of Nitrile Oxides and Their Further Transformations to Diverse Heterocycles” Org. Lett. 2021, 23, 925-929. 

·     Yongliang SuLuca De Angelis†, Linh Tram, Yang Yu, Michael P. Doyle* “Catalytic Oxidative Cleavage Reactions of Arylalkenes by tert-Butyl Hydroperoxide – A Mechanistic Assessment” J. Org. Chem. 202085, 5, 3728–3741.

·       Yongliang SuLuca De Angelis, Michael P. Doyle* “Discussion Addendum for: Allylic Oxidation Catalyzed by Dirhodium(II) Tetrakis[e-caprolactamate] of tert-Butyldimethylsilyl-protected trans-Dehydroandrosterone” Org. Synth. 201996, 300-311.

·        Marichev, K. O.; Dong, K.; Massey, L. A.; Deng, Y.; De Angelis, L.; Wang, K.; Arman, H.; Doyle, M. P. “Chiral donor−acceptor azetines as powerful reactants for synthesis of amino acid derivatives” Nature Commun. 2019, 10, 5328.

·      Leonelli, F., Mostarda, A., De Angelis, L., Lamba, D., Demitri, N., La Bella, A., Marini Bettolo, R. Proof of the structure of the stemodia chilensis tetracyclic diterpenoid (+)-19-acetoxystemodan-12-ol by synthesis from (+)-podocarpic acid: X-ray structure determination of a key intermediate. J. Nat. Prod, 2016, 79(4), 1155-1159.


Kan Wang

- Undergraduate Research Assistant

Currently pursuing a B.S. in Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Texas in San Antonio

Kan is a US Navy corpsman who is currently serving in Navy Fleet Reserve Force. He became a little “Doylie” in January 2019 after he separated from active duty. Kan is a senior microbiology and immunology student who spends an immense amount of time studying in order to pursue a career in dentistry. He is currently working with Dr. Kostiantyn Marichev on asymmetric [3+1]- cycloadditions followed by hydrogenations of the resulting azetine products. In his free time, Kan enjoys building a BBQ machine with auto-loading and self-spicing features, financial planning for low-income communities to promote their dental care, and tactical force training to support navy-wide missions.


Alexandra Crawford

- Undergraduate Research Assistant

(2018) B.S. in Psychology at the University of Texas in San Antonio

Alexandra was born in Kansas but has lived in Texas since 2009. After receiving her degree at UTSA she decided to pursue medical school. In the spring of 2020, she joined Dr. Doyle’s research group as an undergraduate research assistant. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, trying new foods, going to concerts, and spending time with her pets, friends, and family.   


Ammar Al-Sayyed

- Undergraduate Research Assistant

Currently pursuing a B.S. in Microbiology/Immunology and Minor in Chemistry at the University of Texas in San Antonio

Ammar was born in Aleppo, Syria but spent most of his life overseas in Canada and, later, the US. Throughout his life, he was determined on growing up and joining the healthcare field as an educated professional. Right now, he is set on pursuing an MD with aspirations of moving on to a surgical specialty. He started his undergrad at UTSA in 2018 and settled on a microbiology/immunology degree shortly after. Chemistry played a very big role in his academics, so he settled on pursuing that field as a minor and building on that knowledge through bench-work experience. His favorite series of chemistry classes was organic chemistry. Outside of UTSA, Ammar likes to volunteer at clinics, ride his bike on trails, and help his dad with gardening.



Isa Faghihi 

- Undergraduate Research Assistant

Currently pursuing a B.S. in the University of Texas in San Antonio

Isa was born and raised in San Antonio, Texas. He started his journey at UTSA in Fall 2018 as a Freshman, later joining the Doyle Lab in Spring 2021. As a Biology major at UTSA, Isa plans on attending Medical School in the near future after completing his Bachelor’s degree. He is currently working with Dr. Haifeng Zheng as one of the newest Undergraduate Research Assistants. In his free time, he enjoys working on cars, photography, learning languages, and world geography.



Karlos Lopez

- Undergraduate Research Assistant

Currently pursuing a B.S. in the University of Texas in San Antonio

I’m from El Paso, Texas, and moved to San Antonio to begin pursuing a degree in chemistry. I joined Dr. Doyle’s lab in 2019, and I plan on obtaining a PhD in organic chemistry and teaching at a university to help inspire students into pursing a chemistry degree. In my free time I enjoy cooking for myself or others, walking my dog, and spending time with my family.