Bren Group

Principal Investigator


Prof. Kara L. Bren

Graduate Students



Jiwon Han (G6)

Incheon, South Korea

B.S. Chemistry, Ewha Women's University

M.S. Chemistry, Ewha Women's University


Research: My current research is focusing on metallopeptide and protein catalysts for electrocatalytic and photocatalitic reactions.


Alison Salamatian (G5)

Manchester, Connecticut

B.S. Chemistry, University of Connecticut


Research: My current research focuses on CoMC6*a, a synthetic mini enzyme that catalyzes reduction reactions. Additionally, I am characterizing the water-based CO2 reduction using semisynthetic protein catlyst CoMP11. These reactions are of interest for environmentally green and renewable fuels.



Kaye Kuphal (G4)

Guilin, China

Owensboro, Kentucky

B.A. Biochemistry, Colgate University


Research: I am excited to work on bioinorganic projects. My research focuses on electrocatalytic nitrite/nitrate reduction using inorganic catalysts. Outside of lab, I am an oboist, pianist, and creative writer.

Ryan Kosko

Ryan Kosko (G4)

Greece, NY

B.S. Chemistry, SUNY Geneseo


Research: My research focuses on heavy-metal free systems for artificial photosynthesis. I utilize organic dye photosensitizers and biocatalysts for light-driven hydrogen production.


Hafsa Irfan (G3)

 Lahore, Pakistan

 B.S. Chemistry, Lahore University of Managment Sciences

I'm excited to work in the Bren lab to amalgamate moleculary biology with photochemistry and electrochemistry! My current research would involve expressing and obtaining cobalt metallothionien from E. Coli to be used as a biocatalyst for hydrogen generation.



María Fernanda Lizarazo (G3)

Bogotá D.C, Colombia

B.S. Chemistry, National University of Colombia

My undergrad research experience focused on studying polymers for electrochemical devices using SpecEchem. I am excited to study photochemical and electrochemical systems in the Bren Lab!




Soraya Ngarnim (G3)

N'Djamena, Chad

Fairfax ,Virgina

B.S. Chemistry, George Mason University


My research focuses on the use of electrogenic bacteria as electron donors in photochemical hydrogen evolution systems.




Undergraduate Students



Hafsa Mohamed


Rochester, NY


Research: I am Hafsa, pronounced the same as FAFSA. I am a rising third-year undergraduate at the University of Rochester who recently got the chance to work for a summer in the Bren Lab. I intend to continue being here since I loved this opportunity so much. I have been working on CO2 reduction in electrochemical and photochemical systems.


Jennifer Peña 

Brooklyn, New York 


Research: I am a rising sophomore at the University of Rochester pursuing a Chemistry and Political Science double major. My research focuses on the synthesis and expression of cobalt enzymes for photochemical applications.