Where are They Now?
TSRI Alumna Janet Gunzner
Graduating Class: '99
Lab at TSRI: Ph.D. work in the Nicolaou lab, Department
of Chemistry. Also, work as an undergraduate in the Ghadiri
and Boger labs, also in the Department of Chemistry.
Dissertation Title: "Total Synthesis of Brevetoxin
A and Synthetic Progress Towards Maitotoxin."
Experience at TSRI: "Working on the brevetoxin synthesis,
an 11 or 12 year endeavor for the Nicolaou lab, was a great
experience. I had the opportunity to work on all steps of
the synthesis from beginning to end and was part of the team
that finished the project."
"The facilities were great at TSRI. Also, the opportunity
to frequently interact with professors at TSRI and visiting
professors was a definite bonus of the relatively small sized
graduate department. From this exposure, I learned not only
how science is done but to understand the whole processthe
grants, recruiting, publishing, lecturing..."
Her Advisor Recalls: Department of Chemistry Chair
K.C. Nicolaou, Gunzner's thesis advisor, recalls, "Janet was
tenacious and fearless in the lab. She tackled some of the
most complex molecular structures known to man and came out
a winner. She was also quite active socially, so that when
she left we all missed her. She was exemplary in many ways."
Undergraduate Institution: Reed College.
Postdoctoral Work: Research with Stanford University
with Professor Barry Trost on "Total Synthesis of Deschlorocallipeltoside
Current Position: Started as Senior Research Chemist
at Merck Research Laboratories in La Jolla six months ago.
"At Merck, I have ample resources and intelligent colleagues.
Merck also has one of the best records for developing safe
drugs. I feel I am learning from the best."
Research Focus: Developing new drugs for neuroscience
targets to treat such conditions as Alzheimer's disease and
Plans for the Future: A career in industry.
Extracurriculars: Rock climbing, yoga, downhill skiing,
traveling, swimming, theater.
Janet Gunzner, now senior
research chemist at Merck Research Laboratories, says her
graduate work at TSRI with Department of Chemistry Chair K.C.
Nicolaou was "a great experience."