Principal Investigator

Dr. Julia Khusnutdinova, Assistant Professor
Email: juliak at

I joined OIST in May 2015 as an Assistant Professor leading Coordination Chemistry and Catalysis Unit. Before OIST, I was a Dean of Faculty postdoctoral fellow at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel in the group of David Milstein where I worked on catalysis by pincer Ru complexes and CO 2 hydrogenation. I obtained a Ph.D. in organometallic chemistry from the University of Maryland in the U.S.A. studying aerobic functionalization of organoplatinum complexes. I also studied unusual organometallic Pd(III) complexes at Washington University in St. Louis.

I am leading the Coordination Chemistry and Catalysis Unit (CCCU) at OIST and my current research interests are in the design of new polymetallic transition metal complexes that can participate in multi-electron, multi-proton transfer reactions relevant to renewable energy production such as CO2 reduction to liquid fuel, and in the design of stimuli-responsive polymers.

Postdoctoral researchers

Dr. Ayumu Karimata, Postdoctoral Researcher

Ayumu Karimata (born in Okinawa, Japan) received B.Sc., M.Sc. and Ph.D degree in physical organic chemistry under supervision of Prof. Keiji Okada at Osaka City University. In 2015, he joined Molecular Engineering Institute, Kindai University, as a postdoctoral researcher and conducted research regarding polymer chemistry with Prof. Takeshi Endo. On March 2017, he started a new research in the Khusnutdinova unit. He likes to watch movies, read books and go hiking.



Dr. Govindarajan Ramadoss, Postdoctoral Scholar

Dr. R. Govindarajan obtained his M.Sc. from Loyola College (University of Madras), India in 2010 and in 2017 he received his Ph.D. from Pondicherry University in the group of Prof. Bala. Manimaran. During his Ph.D. he had developed several discrete metallasupramolecular complexes and investigated their molecular recognition abilities. In 2017, he was awarded DST-National Postdoc fellowship to work in the research group of Prof. Swadhin Mandal at Institute of Science Education and Research-Kolkata, India. There he worked on "transition metal mimicking catalyst". On April 2019, he took up a postdoc position in the Khusnutdinova unit.


Dr. Dilip Kumar Pandey, Postdoctoral Scholar

Dilip Pandey (born in Varanasi, U.P. India) received B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree in chemistry from Banaras Hindu University. In July 2019, he completed his Ph.D. from CSIR-National chemical laboratory, Pune under the supervision of Dr. Benudhar Punji. During Ph.D. he has worked on the synthesis of metallacycle complexes and their application in C–H bond functionalization of heteroarenes. In Feb 2020, he started his journey as a postdoc in the Khusnutdinova unit, OIST. His current research area is small molecule activation using first row transition metal. He likes watching movies and playing games.

Laboratory Manager


Dr. Vardhanapu Pavan Kumar, Research Technician

Dr. Vardhanapu Pavan Kumar pursued his M.Sc from Osmania University (Hyderabad), India. In 2019, he acquired his Ph.D from Indian Institute of Science Education and Research-Kolkata, under the supervision of Prof. Swadhin K. Mandal. During his Ph.D, he has developed abnormal N-hetero cyclic carbene assisted Boron compounds for the fixation and activation of small molecules. He also developed phenalenyl based Aluminium complex and investigated its application towards catalytic C–H arylation of arene and heteroarenes. In December 2021, he joined as a research technician in the Khusnutdinova unit, OIST.



Graduate students

Shubham Deolka, PhD Student
Email: Shubham.Deolka2 at

Born in India (1995), I joined in OIST in September (2017) as PhD. Student. Before OIST I was a DST-INSPIRE fellow in IISER-Kolkata, India focusing on crystal engineering especially thermo-responsive materials and mechanical responsive organic crystals under the supervision of Prof Reddy. Currently working on hangman pincer ligand with Ruthenium and Manganese metals for the activation of small molecules.




Minh Hoan Dinh, PhD Student

Hoan (born in Vietnam in 1995) finished his bachelor's degree at Vietnam National University – Hanoi in June 2017. In Jan 2019, he came to OIST as a Ph.D. student and later joined CCCU under the supervision of Prof. Julia Khusnutdinova in Jan 2020. His research work focuses on Ru and Mn complexes with macrocyclic ligands for small molecule activation and hydrogenation catalysis. When he is out of the lab, he will spend most of his time on photography and gaming.

Tatiana Gridneva, PhD Student

Born in Göttingen in 1996, I joined OIST as a PhD student in September 2020, and came to CCCU as a rotation student in May 2021. I received my bachelor’s degree in Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology. Here I explored the synthesis of ruthenium carbide clusters as potential models of Nitrogenaze enzyme. Currently I am working on the project of development of metal complexes for mechanoresponsive polymer materials.

Aleksandr Sorvanov, PhD Student

Originally from Arkhangelsk, I have received my Bachelor and Master’s degrees in Chemistry from Tomsk State University, where I was working on glyoxal oxidation and novel glycoluril-based polymers. In 2020 I have joined CCCU as research intern to work on synthesis of manganese complexes for aromatic fluorination. In 2021 I have joined OIST and CCCU as a PhD student. Currently I am working with photoactive nickel complexes.


Visiting Researcher


Shrinwantu Pal, Visiting Researcher (remote)

I received my BSc Honours in Chemistry (University of Calcutta, India) and MS in Computational Materials Science (JNCASR, India) and moved in 2008 to the University of Maryland, USA for my PhD (2013) in organoplatinum chemistry. After two postdoctoral stints at the University of British Columbia (2014 – 2016, with Jennifer Love) and at the University of Tokyo (2016 – 2018, with Kyoko Nozaki), I served as a sessional Assistant Professor in the Nozaki lab at U-Tokyo (2019 – 2021). I have since relocated to Canada where I am working in industry, while remotely assisting the Khusnutdinova group (CCCU at OIST) in computational chemistry and investigating interesting organometallic mechanisms. I spend my weekends wandering around taking photos (some of which can be seen here:, cooking and playing badminton.

Research Intern





Hanieh Moradi, Research Intern

Born and raised in Iran where I recently graduated with a master’s degree (July 2022) from Isfahan University of Technology (IUT) where I pursued the field of Heterogeneous catalysts both experimentally and theoretically. I also received my Bachelor’s degree in IUT and studied Covalent Organic Polymers as efficient catalysts for absorbance purposes. In August 2022, I joined the CCCU unit as a research intern. 


Valeriya Frolova, Research Intern

Born and raised in Kazakhstan, I have obtained a degree of Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with honors from Nazarbayev University (Kazakhstan) in 2022. There I was involved in research aimed at development of coordination compounds involving 1st row transition metals for homogeneous catalytic hydroboration of carboxamides. I joined CCCU in November 2022.

Research Unit Administrator


Ms. Kyoko Chinen, Research Unit Administrator


I was born in Okinawa, and has always been interested in language and culture. Now I am so excited working with people from such diverse backgrounds. I am currently obsessed with martial arts (Brazilian jiu-jitsu purple belt), yoga and growing herbs and vegetables in the balcony of my small apartment.


Dr. Eugene Khaskin, Science Technology Associate
Email: eugene.khaskin at


I joined OIST in May 2015 as a researcher in the Science and Technology group who will cooperate with the Coordination Chemistry and Catalysis Unit on some projects. Before OIST, I received my BSc from SFU in Canada in 2003. At this time, I also worked as a researcher for a business/academic venture based at SFU that focused on controlling pest insects by mating disruption methods, or the synthesis of a particular insect's sex pheromone blend and dispersal over the affected area. The work involved close cooperation with biologists and took place mostly during the summers and most of 2003. I joined the Vedernikov group at UMD in College Park (USA) and received my PhD in 2009 on CH activation and aerobic oxidation of Pt complexes. Later in 2009 I joined the Milstein group at the Weizmann institute (Israel) as a Marie Curie international fellow doing research on Ru and Co based complex reactivity and catalysis. After a stint at the Volcani Agricultural Institute (Israel) in the Poverenov group (synthesis of anti-bacterial surfaces vie electopolymerization/electodeposition methods on surfaces such as stainless steel) I returned to the Milstein group at the Weizmann in 2014 for one year.