Graduate Students

Jesse Collins's picture
Graduate Student, Immunology

Jesse grew up in Northern California, and pursued a B.A. in Molecular Biology at U.C. Berkeley. During his time there, Jesse worked in a lab studying dengue virus and took classes focused on immunology and bioengineering. He continued to pursue his interest in immunology by beginning a PhD in Immunobiology at Yale in 2014. Jesse has been very interested in interdisciplinary approaches to problems, and was excited to join the Spiegel lab to work at the interface of synthetic chemistry and molecular biology. He is now working on engineering immune-modulating proteins controlled by bifunctional small molecules. Outside of the lab, Jesse enjoys hiking, ultimate frisbee, and especially boardgames.

Matthew Streeter's picture
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

Robert Hale's picture
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's picture

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

Emily Janeira's picture

Emily was born and raised in Georgia and has steadily been moving up the coast for school since she left home. In North Carolina, she earned a chemistry BS, a biology minor, and a creative writing minor from UNC Chapel Hill. Now, she is living in Branford, Connecticut with her fiancé, Chris, and their pets while she pursues her chemistry PhD at Yale. As an undergraduate, she discovered her love for chemistry research during her first summer research program, a chemistry REU at Georgia Tech where she worked on achieving targeted cancer therapy through the synthetic combination of HDAC inhibitors and NSAIDs. From then forward, she did synthetic research during her semesters at UNC Chapel Hill. First, she worked at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy, where she helped synthesize bioactive natural products as clinical trial candidates for the treatment of cancer or AIDS. Later, she moved to Dr. Michael Crimmins’ lab, where she worked toward the novel total synthesis of the natural product Brianthein W. Her research interests led her to participate in a chemical biology REU program at Vanderbilt University, during which she worked on a novel synthetic route toward a UV-cleavable bicyclononyne-biotin tag. Finally, during the summer before her senior year of undergrad, she flew to Jena, Germany to synthesize candidate compounds for a Notch inhibitor-focused SAR project. Now, Emily is interested in the combination of organic chemistry and chemical biology and is motivated to find chemical solutions to biological and medical problems. In the Spiegel lab, she is working on the synthesis and analysis of bifunctional molecules with possible therapeutic applications. In her free time, Emily enjoys playing with her pup, a ridiculously smart Australian shepherd named Joey, training her cats, writing, cooking (and eating) delicious food with her fiancé, and playing violin in the Hamden Symphony Orchestra. 

Jake Swartzel's picture

Jake grew up outside Boston, and moved to pursue a B.S. in Biochemistry at The University of Texas at Austin. While an undergraduate, his advanced coursework focused on organic chemistry and synthetic biology. He conducted research in the laboratory of Dr. Walter Fast toward the development of novel covalent enzyme inhibitors. He began his PhD in Chemical Biology at Yale in 2017, and he is excited to work at the crossroads of chemistry, biology, and medicine in the Spiegel lab, where he works on designing novel bifunctional molecules. Outside the lab, Jake enjoys weightlifting, yoga, video games, and spending time with good friends.  

Theo Koelsch's picture

Theo grew up in Colorado and attended CU Boulder, majoring in Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Music. At CU, he worked in the lab of Dr. Zhongping Tan, using insights into the effects of specific glycosylation to develop a bivalent HIV entry inhibitor from a small molecule and a glycosylated peptide. He continued to follow his interest in the intersection of chemistry and biology by beginning a PhD in Chemical Biology at Yale in 2017. In the Spiegel Lab, he is investigating the function of advanced glycation end products, which may have therapeutic implications for multiple diseases. Outside of the lab, Theo enjoys hiking, long bike rides, and playing trombone and piano.