David Spiegel Professor of Chemistry

Professor David A. Spiegel, Ph.D., M.D., was born in New York City, and grew up in Teaneck, New Jersey. From a very young age, he was fascinated by the chemistry and biology of small molecules, and at 16 began doing research in a neuroanesthesiology laboratory at the University of Iowa. He went on to attend Harvard University where he conducted research under the guidance of Professor Yoshito Kishi. After graduating from Harvard, David began in Yale University’s M.D./Ph.D. program. There he conducted graduate research in Professor John Wood’s laboratory focusing on developing synthetic approaches toward the phomoidrides. During the course of these studies, he discovered that trialkylborane-water complexes could function as H-atom donors in free radical reactions. Following graduation from Yale, Professor Spiegel moved back to Harvard for postdoctoral studies under the guidance of Professor Stuart L. Schreiber. There he focused on developing an oligomer-based method for small-molecule synthesis to enable the rapid assembly of skeletally diverse small molecules starting from simple monomers.

David began as an Assistant Professor at Yale in June of 2007, was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011, and then to Full Professor (with tenure) in 2014. During his time as a faculty member at Yale, David has led the Spiegel Group’s research efforts in a number of successful directions, ranging from the development of antibody-recruiting molecules to fundamental studies of advanced glycation end-products.  He has also served as a consultant for International Flavors and Fragrances, Novartis Institute for Biomedical Research, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and Pharmaseq.  He has been recognized with various awards and honors, including the NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, the Department of Defense Era of Hope Scholar Award, the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar Award in Aging Research, the Novartis Early Career Award in Organic Chemistry, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Grand Challenges Explorations Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, and others.  He has been fortunate to be named recipient of the NIH New Innovator Award, the Ellison Medical Foundation New Scholar Award, the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award, and an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship.

David is married to Kathryn Picanso, a lawyer in New Haven. They have a son, Leo Francis Spiegel, who was born in 2011.

Research Scientists

Anthony Rullo Associate Research Scientist

Anthony is a native of Hamilton (steeltown) Ontario. He attended McMaster University and continued studies at the University of Guelph, receiving an M.Sc. in Biological Chemistry. With an interest in the interface between Chemistry and Biology, Anthony moved to Ontario to tackle a PhD at the University of Toronto. Here, he developed fluorescent sensors against glycosaminoglycans and site selective protein acylation strategies. In the Spiegel Lab, Anthony is working on the development of antibody recruiting molecules capable of redirecting the immune system towards diseased or infected tissues.  When away from the fume hood, Anthony enjoys playing and listening to many musical genres and reading about world history. Contact Anthony

Viswanathan Muthusamy Research Scientist

Vish grew up in India and had an early interest in the life sciences. He received his Ph.D. in Cancer Biology and contiued his as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Vermont, eventually becoming a Research Assistant Professor in Pathology. In 2008 he joined Yale School of Medicine as a junior faculty in the Department of Dermatology. He has discovered a number of novel genes and pathways, which are now targeted for melanoma therapy in the clinic. His current interests lie in modeling cancers in mice and targeting tumor specific molecular pathways to reverse disease. Vish is an ardent badminton player (not the backyard kind) and loves to spend time with his two kids. Contact Vish

Postdocs and Fellows

Thi Trinh Postdoctoral Associate

Thi was born in Vietnam and came to the U.S. for his high school studies. In 2008, he obtained his B.S. degree in chemistry from University of Central Arkansas. He joined the group of Dehua Pei at the Ohio State University, working on the synthesis and screening of peptide libraries for biological applications, and obtained his Ph.D. in 2014. He joined the Spiegel Group to apply his training in library synthesis to help develop a novel chemical screening platform. Contact Thi

Egor Chirkin Postdoctoral Associate

Egor was born in Moscow, Russia in 1986 and studied Pharmacy and Medicinal Chemistry in Russia and France. During his graduate studies with Dr. F.H. Porée, he worked on the hetero-Pauson-Khand reaction and its application to the synthesis of Securinega alkaloids. Currently, Egor is working on the synthesis of new antibody-recruiting molecules.  Contact Egor

Venkata Sabbasani Postdoctoral Associate

Bio pending

Contact Venkata

Graduate Students

Jesse Collins Graduate Student, Immunology

Bio Pending

Contact Jesse

Matthew Streeter Graduate Student, Chemistry

Matt hails from Huntingtown, MD, and attended Washington College where he majored in Chemistry and Behavioral Neuroscience. During this time he gained research experience in both fields developing new methods in organic chemistry and assessing behavioral changes in mice with traumatic brain injury. In the Spiegel Lab, he is currently working towards the synthesis of advanced glycation endproducts, and hopes to establish chemical probes to facilitate their study in biological systems. Outside of lab, Matt enjoys staying active by playing soccer, snowboarding, and hiking. Contact Matt

Mengwen Zhang Graduate Student, Chemistry

Clarice was born and raised in Beijing, China. She completed her undergraduate study in the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where she did research on cobalt porphyrin catalyzed organic reactions under the supervision of Dr. Kin Shing Chan. After graduation, she went back to Beijing to do work as a research intern Dr. Jian Pei’s lab in Peking University. There she was engaged in synthesis of a group of conjugated polymers that has potential semiconductor properties. Before coming to Yale, she spent her spring in east Africa, taking care of children and seeing animals. There she also made a footprint in the snows of Mount Kilimanjaro. She joined the Spiegel lab in late 2014 and is currently working on the development of tri-functional antibody-recruiting molecules. In her spare time, she enjoys listening to music and watching movies.  Contact Clarice

Robert Hale Graduate Student, Chemistry

Robert was born in New York City and grew up in Astoria, NY, and Little Silver, NJ. As an undergraduate engineering major at the Stevens Institute of Technology, he found that he was doing more problem solving under the direction of mass spectrometry specialist Dr. Athula Attygalle than in any engineering class. As a result, he changed his major to chemistry upon beginning his sophomore year. He performed mass spectrometric studies of oxalate and carbonate salts for his undergraduate research before earning a B. S. in chemistry in May 2015. He is enjoying gaining experience in the more tactile, sensory world of organic synthesis as he works to extend the methodology developed for glucosepane to access other natural products. When outside of the lab, Robert enjoys cooking, active things, the occasional trip to the shooting range and discussing all manner of history and politics, especially that to do with the railroads, cities and infrastructure.  Contact Robert

David Caianiello

Dave is a native of Rhode Island. He became interested in the biological applications of chemistry as an undergraduate at Brown University, where he used an under-appreciated method for measuring light absorption to determine how dyes stack in water. In the Spiegel Lab he is working on the development of new bifunctional molecules. Outside of the lab, Dave enjoys wandering around New Haven listening to too many podcasts.  

Contact David

Undergraduate Students

Derek Liu Yale Undergraduate, Class of 2017

Contact Derek

Celina Chiodo Yale Undergraduate, Class of 2017

Celina is from the Chicago suburbs and is currently attending Yale College (BA Literature). She intends to go to medical school once she graduates. In the Spiegel Lab, Celina is designing primers for PCR overlap and plasmid DNA transformation. Aside from her studies and lab work, she enjoys painting and spending time with friends.  Contact Celina

Joshua Slocum Yale Undergraduate, Class of 2018

A CT native, Josh is currently majoring in chemistry. He is an avid reader and enjoys other hobbies including video games and creative writing. In the Spiegel lab, Josh is focused on work to discover new antibody recruiting motifs.

Contact Josh

Noah Yaffe Yale Undergraduate, Class of 2018

Noah grew up outside of Las Vegas, Nevada and is currently majoring in Chemistry. He is excited to be working in the Spiegel Lab and he plans on attending medical school or pursuing an MD/PhD after graduation. In his free time, Noah enjoys reading, playing cards, and dancing, despite his roommates’ complaints. 

Contact Noah