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.

Dr. Aleksei Kantemirov, Postdoctoral Scholar

Aleksei Kantemirov (born in Nakhodka, Russia) finished his B.Sc., M.Sc. degrees at Far Eastern Federal University. He got his Ph.D degree in 2023. Under the supervision of Prof. Maksim Zhidkov he was working on the total synthesis of marine alkaloids and their derivatives from cheap and accessible starting materials such as indigo. In September of 2023 he joined Khusnutdinova unit as a postdoc. Hobbies are cooking, miniature painting and marine fishkeeping. .

Dr. Daniil Ilatovskii, Postdoctoral Scholar

Daniil Ilatovskii (born in Perm City, Russian Federation) received his BSc degree from D. Mendeleev University of Chemical Technology of Russia on the topic of Plastics Processing in 2016. In 2018, he completed his Master’s thesis at ITMO University with honors in the group of Prof. V.V. Vinogradov; the research was in the field of optically active sol-gel materials. In 2023, he received a Ph.D. degree in Materials Science at the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology. The work was dedicated to optoelectronic materials based on single-walled carbon nanotubes. In April 2024 he continued working on cross-field investigations of advanced materials applying chemical approaches by joining Prof. Khusnutdinova’s unit.

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

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.


Daria Sherstiukova, PhD Student


Thomas Johannes Hasiweder, PhD Student

OThomas obtained his bachelor's degree from the University of Vienna, where his thesis concerned polymer imprinting. During that time, he had the chance to do an exchange at the University of Queensland. Afterwards, he chose KU Leuven for his master’s studies, where his research project dealt with the synthesis of novel double perovskites for x-ray detection. He also did several internships in various places, such as the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany and imec in Belgium. At OIST, he explores the focal points of heterogeneous catalysis and mechanochemistry. Besides his PhD, he is the current Health and Safety Officer. In his leisure time, he joins long-distance running events and actively participates in the stock market.


Mitsuyuki Oshiro, PhD Student

Born in Okinawa, Japan, I received a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Chemistry from Okayama University of Science, where I worked on the development of a charge separation system using a zinc complex. After working in CCCU as an intern student, I joined OIST as a PhD student in May 2023. I am currently working on developing mechanoresponsive polymer materials using metal 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

Maria Howard, Research Intern

I was born in Japan but grew up in London, where I completed a Master's degree in Chemistry with French for Science at the Imperial College London. I spent my final year of my master's at the Ecole Normale Superieure in Paris working on platinum anti-cancer complexes. I joined as a research intern at the CCCU in November 2022. Here, I am working on bimetallic copper complexes.

Alejandro Rodrigo Pico Perez, Research Intern

Born in Ambato, Ecuador, I am finishing my undergraduate degree at Yachay Tech University. My undegraduate research project is focused on silver nitrogen-heterocyclic cabenes as anti-cancer complexes that I did in a research internship at the Instituto de Quimica from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (UNAM). I am the founder of the first American Chemical Society (ACS) International Student Chapter in Ecuador, and I have been working with ACS on multiple projects to promote science in Ecuador. I joined as a research intern at the CCCU in November 2023. Here, I am working on bimetallic complexes.

Azamat Yessengazin, Research Intern

I was born in Aktobe, Kazakhstan. I have completed my BSc degree just recently (December 2023) at Nazarbayev University, where I worked in the laboratory of organometallic chemistry and catalysis under the supervision of Prof. Andrey Khalimon. There my research was focused on the developing of PCP and PCN pincer-ligated nickel complexes to reduce various amides to valuable amines. I also was an intern at the inorganic and organometallic chemistry laboratory at Ohio State University led by Professor Christine Thomas. My research was focused on developing cobalt PPP pincer-ligated complexes for selective hydrogenation and hydroboration of terminal alkenes via metal-ligand cooperation (MLC). I joined as a research intern at the CCCU in December 2023. Currently, I am working on PNC pincer-ligated platinum complexes.


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.