Principal Investigator

Hrant P. Hratchian | hhratchian@ucmerced.edu | 209.228.2478

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Hrant P. Hratchian is Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at the University of California Merced. A Michigan native, he obtained his B.S. degree in chemistry from Eastern Michigan University (Ypsilanti, MI) and completed doctoral studies under the tutelage of Professor H. Bernhard Schlegel at Wayne State University (Detroit, MI) where he was an NSF-IGERT Graduate Fellow. From 2005-2008 he was the Ernest R. Davidson Postdoctoral Fellow at Indiana University (Bloomington, IN), where he worked with Professor Krishnan Raghavachari. From 2008-2013, he was a Research Scientist at Gaussian, Inc. (Wallingford, CT). In 2013, he joined the faculty at the University of California Merced in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Professor Hratchian has served in a number of leadership roles at UCM, including as Interim co-Director of Cyberinfrastructure and Research Computing and as Chair of the Academic Senate's Graduate Council. In recent years, Prof. Hratchian has been honored with a Hellman Foundation Fellowship and an NSF CAREER award. He and his research group have received extramural funding support from the Petroleum Research Fund, Hellman Family Foundation, National Science Foundation, and the Department of Energy. Professor Hratchian’s research interests include the development and application of efficient computational chemistry methods to explore the unique properties of transition metal catalyzed processes.

CV (as of 4/19/2021)


Postdoctoral

Hector Corzo

Dr. Hector Corzo is a postdoctoral researcher working joint with the Hratchian and Pribram-Jones Groups at the University of California, Merced. Hector received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Auburn University in 2018, where he studied Green’s functions. He did his dissertation on electron propagators with Prof. Vincent Ortiz. His current research interests are focused on electronic excited states. Hector’s hobbies include hiking and dancing, and he likes cats.


Graduate Students

Samantha Bidwell

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Samantha Bidwell is a Ph.D candidate who started graduate school in Fall 2015 at the University of California, Merced. She obtained a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at Grand Valley State University in 2015 while doing research with Professor Richard Lord. Her current research interests include studying transition metal catalyzed mechanisms and the development of new tools to analyze the unique bonding of these complex systems. Samantha is also interested in chemical education practices, and is actively involved in multiple opportunities offered at UCM to expand her knowledge in that area.

CV (as of 12/4/2019)

Hassan Harb

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Hassan Harb is a Ph.D. candidate who joined the Hratchian Group in Fall 2015. They earned an M.S. in Inorganic Chemistry from the American University of Beirut in 2015. Hassan is working on a combination of method developments and applications that involve modeling the photoelectron spectra of lanthanide-based molecules. Their work on the natural ionization orbital model provides computational metrics to study electron attachment and detachment processes using SCF methods. Hassan enjoys coding in Python and one of their codes is named after their favorite band, the BEATLES.

Google Scholar Link

Ali AbouTaka

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Ali Abou Taka is a third year Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, Merced. He obtained his B.S. in chemistry at the Lebanese American University and his M.S. in chemistry at the American University of Beirut. He is now working on correcting the delocalization errors in DFT calculations for different systems.

Abdul Zamani

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Abdulrahman Zamani is a second year Ph.D. student at University of California, Merced. He obtained his B.S. in biochemistry at La Sierra University in Riverside, California. He is now researching spin projection models for investigating transition metal systems featuring coupled or localized spin centers.

Cristian Sarabia

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Cristian Sarabia is a Ph.D. student at the University of California Merced jointly studying in the Hratchian and Baxter Groups. He obtained his B.S. in Biochemistry at California State University, Fresno. His current research interests lie in computationally studying and modeling radical species for C-H bond activation and novel organic transformations.


Undergraduate Students

Jorge Vazquez


Jonathan Loera


Group Alumni

Lee Thompson (Postdoc 2014-2017), Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville
Xianghai Sheng (Ph.D., 2019), Software Engineer at Google
Stephen Flaherty
Lisa Gong (graduate student at UC Davis)
Yogev Gluzman (B.S., 2019), graduate student at University of Minnesota
Bryce Fairless (B.S., 2019), graduate student at Indiana University
Anissa Abdullah (B.S., 2019)
Preston Griffon, (B.S., 2018), graduate student at George Washington University
Susana Calderon, (B.S., 2018), graduate student at Virginia Tech University
Sheyda Partovi (B.S., 2017), graduate student at Indiana University
Nicole Giddings (B.S., 2015), graduate student at University of South Florida
Euna Chung (B.S., 2015)
Ashlee Chan (B.S., 2015)
Nicole Degregorio (B.S., 2014), graduate student at Indiana University
Victor Lee (B.S., 2014), graduate student at University of Washington