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Principal Investigator

Ramesh Giri, PhD

Photo: Ramesh Giri
Principal Investigator
PhD in Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute, 2009

Education (Curriculum Vitae)

  • MPhil in Bioorganic Chemistry, University of Cambridge – 2003
  • PhD in Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute – 2009
  • Postdoctoral l Fellow in Chemistry, UC-Berkeley/UIUC – 2012

Ramesh Giri was born in Chitwan, Nepal and graduated with distinction from Tribhuvan University (Nepal) with an MSc in Organic Chemistry in 2000 under the supervision of Prof. S. M. Tuladhar. As a Shell Centenary Scholar, he received his MPhil in Bioorganic Chemistry in 2003 from the University of Cambridge (UK) with Prof. J. B. Spencer. He earned his PhD in Chemistry from The Scripps Research Institute in 2009 with Prof. Jin-Quan Yu, where he studied Pd-catalyzed C-H functionalization. As a postdoctoral fellow in the research laboratory of Prof. John F. Hartwig at UC Berkeley/UIUC, he conducted mechanistic studies on Ullmann amination and biaryl ether forming processes. In 2012, he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at the University of New Mexico as an Assistant Professor .

Professor Giri's research group is interested d in developing transition metal-catalyzed organic transformations and investigating their reaction mechanisms. Particularly, his group is interested in identifying and solving chemical problems that have broad impacts in the areas of energy, materials and health. His group is adopting innovative strategies to develop new reactions that utilize the unique properties of transition metals in different oxidation states in order to solve these problems. In this front, much of his research group's work focuses on the design and synthesis of new hybrid ligands/catalysts.

Graduate Students

Lucas Chesley

Photo: Lucas Chesley
Graduate Student
BA in Chemisry and French, UNM, USA

Lucas was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Marshall, Minnesota where he graduated high school in 2013. He moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico to compete his bachelor’s degree and received a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.A. in French in 2017. In his free time, Lucas enjoys learning new languages and is proficient in Russian, German, and French. Additionally he enjoys cooking, hiking, watching movies.

Shekhar KC

Photo: Shekhar KC
Graduate Student
M.Sc. in Inorganic Chemistry, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Shekhar was born in Syangja, a western part of Nepal. He received his M.Sc. Degree in Inorganic Chemistry from Tribhuvan University and did his research under the supervision of Dr. Paras Nath Yadav. Later he joined St. Xavier College, Kathmandu, and worked there as a lecturer for three years. Shekhar then resumed his higher studies at UNM in Fall 2014 and joined Dr. Giri's research lab in 2015. He enjoys his time reading books, watching movies, spending time with family, playing sports and learning new things.

Namrata Khanal

Photo: Namrata Khanal
Graduate Student
M.S. in Chemistry, UTEP

Namrata Khanal received B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Chemistry from Tribhuvan University, Nepal. Later, she moved to USA and joined University of Texas at El Paso. After graduating with M.S. in Chemistry from UTEP, she moved to UNM for doctoral study. She is currently doing research in the Giri lab.

Roshan Kumar Dhungana

Photo: Roshan Kumar Dhungana
Graduate Student
MSc in Organic Chemistry, Tribhuvan University, Nepal
Roshan Kumar Dhungana was born in Dhanusha, Nepal. He graduated from Tribhuvan University (Nepal) in Organic Chemistry with distinction under the supervision of Dr. Suryakant Kalauni. After M. Sc., he worked as a chemistry lecturer in Kathmandu engineering college (KCST), Morgan international college and Nimble Academy. He joined Dr. Giri Research Group in the spring of 2016 in mechanistic investigation of Copper catalyzed reactions. He loves to watch soccer, cricket and listens music in leisure time.

Robert Lebrun

Photo: Robert Lebrun
Graduate Student
B.S in Biology, New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

Rob was born in Los Alamos New Mexico. He received his B.S. Degree in Biology from New Mexico Tech and did his research with drug synthesis and testing under the supervision of Dr. Snezna and Dr. Frolova . Later he worked at Los Alamos National Laboratory as post-baccalaureate student and worked there as an energetic materials chemist for two years. Rob then resumed his higher studies at UNM in Fall 2017 and joined Dr. Giri's research lab the same semester. He enjoys his time backpacking, camping, climbing, mountain biking,  snowboarding, learning new things, and working on various electrical and mechanical engineering projects.

Undergraduate Students

Amanda Rodriguez

Photo: Amanda Rodriguez
Undergraduate Student

Amanda is originally from Chicago, Illinois. She graduated from Volcano Vista H.S. in 2012. She is currently an undergraduate student at UNM. With passion for research, Amanda joined the Giri research group in Spring of 2015. In her free time, Amanda likes to do yoga, spend time with family and friends, and play the violin.

Natalia Tenorio

Photo: Natalia Tenorio
Undergraduate Student

Natalia Tenorio was born and raised in Las Cruces, NM. She studied Geology at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (NMT), in Socorro, NM, for 3 years before transferring to UNM in the Fall of 2015. She is currently a junior undergraduate Chemistry major, minoring in Earth Science and Mathamatics. She joined Dr. Giri's team in the Summer of 2016 as a Research Aide and is being funded by the NSF. She enjoys recreational climbing at Stone Age Climbing Gym in her free time.

High School Students


Elaf Alasadi

Photo: Elaf Alasadi
Undergraduate Student

Elaf was originally from the Middle East. She graduated from Highland high school in 2011 and currently an undergraduate student at UNM majoring in chemistry. She joined the Giri Group in Fall 2015 to develop advanced laboratory skills and enhance her learning experience as a chemistry major. In her free time, Elaf likes reading novels, dancing, working out, and snow boarding.

Prakash Basnet

Photo: Prakash Basnet
MSc in Organic Chemistry, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Prakash Basnet was born in Tanahun, Nepal. He completed his MSc in organic chemistry and graduated with Distinction from Tribhuvan University under the supervision of Dr. Bimala Subba. As a graduate student, he conducted research related to the natural products. He worked as a chemistry instructor at Araniko HS Boarding School. Enthralled by the power of education, he aspired to obtain higher degree and moved to the US in 2013 as a graduate student at UNM. In the Fall of the same year, he joined Giri Research Group where he is currently investigating copper-catalyzed cross-coupling reactions and their mechanisms. When not in the lab or taking classes, he enjoys listening to music and watching sports on TV.

John Max Dawkins

Photo: John Max Dawkins
Undergraduate Student
Max was born in Fountain Hills, Arizona in 1992. He moved to New Mexico in 1996, where he attended high school at Albuquerque Academy. Graduating in 2011, Max began attending the University of New Mexico in the fall of 2011. He spent a year on the National Student Exchange at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo for 2012-13 and returned to spend the remainder of his undergraduate career at UNM. Max joined the Giri research group for the summer of 2015. When Max is not in the lab, he enjoys playing golf, skateboarding, cycling, and playing the guitar.

Dr. Santosh K. Gurung

Photo: Santosh Gurung
Postdoctoral Fellow
Currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Sandia National Lab

Kira E. Hughes

Photo: Kira Hughes
Undergraduate Student

Currently a graduate student at the University of Washington)

Christine Lucky

Photo: Christine Lucky
Visiting Student (REU, Washington University in St. Louis)

Christine graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School for Science and Technology, located in Virginia in 2013. She is currently an undergraduate student at Washington University in St. Louis. She joined the Giri group as a REU student for the summer of 2015. In her free time, Christine likes to read, spend time with family, and play ultimate Frisbee.

Adam Montoya

Photo: Adam Montoya
Undergraduate Student
Adam graduated from Española Valley High School, located in Northern New Mexico, in 2010.  Currently in his fourth year attending UNM, Adam joined the Giri research group in the summer of 2014.  In his free time, he enjoys golfing,  playing guitar, and visiting his family back home.

Ariana Munoz

Photo: Ariana Munoz
High School Student
Hello, my name is Ariana Munoz. I am a high-school student looking to pursue a career in the medical field. I am currently attending South Valley Academy and am really excited to be a part of Professor Ramesh Giri's Lab with this summer internship opportunity.

Ryan Pike

Photo: Ryan Pike
BA in Chemistry, The University of New Mexico, USA

Ryan graduated from Los Lunas High School, located 20 miles south of Albuquerque in the class of 2010. In his final year at UNM, Ryan joined the Giri research group in the Fall of 2014. Outside of class, he enjoys hiking, exercising, and playing sports.

Edgar Portillo

Photo: Edgar Portillo
High School Student
Hi, I am Edgar Portillo and I volunteer in the chemistry lab lead by Mr. Giri. I started working in the Lab since June 1st, 2015 and I’ve used my great Math skills and applied them to the lab as I go along. Ever since I was a little I’ve always wanted to become a cop and as I grew older my career interest changed to becoming an Engineer to be exact a Biomedical Engineer. But this year I discovered I was really good at another field in the Engineering field and that other field is Civil Engineer. Since my Father works in a Civil Engineer business I’ve discovered my changes in landing a good job in the civil engineering field was great. I joined the lab because I ‘m great with numbers and my professor recommended me and even though my mind not be set in the a chemical or biology field my mind might change again and this volunteer internship is definitely helping. I continue working in the Chemistry Lab and my math skills continue to help me get the job well done.

Jackson Rider

Photo: Jackson Rider
High School Student
Jackson is currently a student at Albuquerque Academy, class of 2015.  He has lived in New Mexico for his whole life, and loves to play and watch soccer.  His favorite teams are Arsenal and Barcelona.  Jackson also ran track and cross country while in high school.  He will be attending Colorado State University and intends to major in Mechanical Engineering, and minor in Aerospace Engineering.  He is also highly interested in all the different types of sciences and Chemistry has always been something very interesting to him.

Patrick Riedel

Photo: Patrick Riedel
Undergraduate Student
Patrick was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1994. He graduated from Del Norte high school in 2012. In the spring of 2014 Patrick joined the Giri Research group. Outside of taking classes and being in the lab, he enjoys reading, cycling and watching films.

Jasmain Rodriguez

Photo: Jasmain Rodriguez
High School Student

Jasmain Rodriguez is currently a high school student. She attends South Valley Academy and is part of the class of 2016. Jasmain was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She loves being with family and friends and she enjoys going out to different places. Jasmain has always been interested in science but her high school chemistry class was quite different and more interesting to her.

Bijay Shrestha

Photo: Bijay Shrestha
M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry, Tribhuvan University, Nepal

Bijay Shrestha was born in Kathmandu, Nepal. He graduated with distinction from Tribhuvan University (Nepal) with an M.Sc. in organic chemistry in 2008 under the supervision of Dr. Surya Kant Kalauni. After graduation, he worked as chemistry lecturer in Morgan International College (Nepal) for 3 years. He joined Giri Research Group in the Fall of 2013 where he is working in the field of method development based on transition metal catalysis. In the free time, he likes to read books, listen to music, play soccer, cricket, pingpong and watch movies.

Rina Sylejmani

Photo: Rina Sylejmani
Undergraduate Student
Rina was born in Prishtina, Kosovo. She moved to the United States at the age of six. After graduating from Del Norte High School in Albuquerque, she entered UNM in the Fall of 2011. Currently in her third year, Rina joined the Giri group in the Winter of 2013. In her free time, she likes to spend time with her family, read, and watch movies.

Surendra Thapa

Photo: Surendra Thapa
BA in Chemistry, South Dakota State University, USA

Surendra Thapa was born in 1987 and raised in Kathmandu, Nepal. He graduated with a BA in Chemistry from South Dakota State University in Brookings, SD in 2010. In 2012, he began his graduate studies at New Mexico Highlands University in Las Vegas, NM where he worked with Dr. Tatiana Timofeeva, Dr. Kaiguo Chang and Dr. Carol Linder. He joined the Giri group in the summer of 2013 where he is currently conducting research in the area copper catalyzed Hiyama coupling and mechanistic investigation. In the free time, he likes to play soccer, basketball, tennis, ping pong and watch English premiere league.

Adarsh S. Vangala

Photo: Adarsh Vangala
Undergraduate Student

Adarsh Vangala was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1995. He attended high school at Albuquerque Academy, and after graduating he started attending the University of New Mexico in the fall of 2012. Adarsh joined the Giri group during the summer of 2013 where he is working on research in the areas of transition metal catalysis. In his free time, Adarsh enjoys reading and playing tennis.