Our Group

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Dr. Jason D. Azoulay

Principal Investigator, Group Lead

Dr. Jason D. Azoulay received his B.Sc. in Chemistry from the University of Connecticut in 2004.  After a short time in industry, he joined the research group of Professor Guillermo C. Bazan at the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and completed his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2010, with an emphasis on the synthesis and application of late metal catalysts for olefin polymerization.  Afterwards, he performed postdoctoral fellowships at the Center for Polymers and Organic Solids at UCSB (2010-2011) then Sandia National Laboratories (2011-2014) in electronic and photonic materials research.  He then joined The University of Southern Mississippi as an Assistant Professor of Polymer Science and Engineering in 2014.

His research group focuses on homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis; (opto)electronic materials; and multidisciplinary investigations that address large scale objectives in materials development.

In 2017, he was awarded second place in the Nokia Bell Labs Prize competition for his work on optoelectronic materials and devices and in 2018 named Nina Bell Suggs Professor.

Dr. Naresh Eedugurala

Polymer Research Scientist

Naresh received his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Iowa State University in 2016, under the guidance of Prof. Aaron D. Sadow.  His previous research primarily focused on the development of new homogeneous and heterogeneous catalytic materials for the hydrofunctionalization of olefins and carbonyls.  Naresh joined the Azoulay group in January 2017 and is currently investigating the synthesis and development of multifunctional optoelectronic materials.

Dr. Paramasivam Mahalingam

Postdoctoral Research Assoc. & Center Synthesis Lead

Param received his Ph.D. in Materials Chemistry from the CSIR-Indian Institute of Chemical Technology in 2014, under the supervision of Dr. K.  Bhanuprakash and Dr. V. Jayathirtha Rao.  His Ph.D. research focused on the molecular design and synthesis of novel organic materials for solar cell applications.  He is now working on the development of shortwave infrared (SWIR) polymers for organic photodiodes since joining the Azoulay group in July 2019.

Dr. Daniel Adams

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Daniel received his Ph.D. in Engineering and Applied Science – Physics from the University of New Orleans in May 2019, where his research focused on magnetization switching and dynamic properties of magnetically-coupled thin films, under the supervision of Prof. Leonard Spinu.  He joined the Azoulay group in August 2019 and his current work is focused on characterizing the low temperature, high magnetic field properties of organic polymer devices.

Dr. Vikash Kaphle

Postdoctoral Research Associate

Vikash received his Ph.D. in Physics/Applied Physics from Kent State University in 2019, under the guidance of Prof. Björn Lüssem. His research focused on Organic Semiconductor Devices and their applications such as Organic Electrochemical Transistors (OECT), Organic Field Effect Transistors (OFET) and Organic Light Emitting Diodes (OLED). Vikash joined the Azoulay group in January 2020 as a postdoctoral research associate and is currently working on Organic Infrared Optoelectronics and sensors.

Dr. Eric King

Postdoctoral Researcher

Eric received his B.A. in Chemistry from the University of Minnesota Morris in 2016, and received his Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Southern Mississippi in June 2021 under the guidance of Prof. Jason Azoulay, where his research focused on the utilization of homogenous gold catalysis as a platform for the synthesis and modification novel aromatic polymers. Currently, Eric works on the application of homogenous gold catalysis toward novel transformations, including the synthesis of conjugated materials, photoredox catalysis, polymer upcycling, novel polymer formation, and expansion toward industrially relevant processes.

Anthony Benasco

Ph. D. Candidate

Anthony graduated from Southeastern Louisiana University with a B.S. in Energy Engineering and a minor in Chemistry in 2014. His research is focused on the device engineering and physics of OFET/OECT aqueous sensors with embedded supramolecular receptor chemistries suited for the detection of oxyanion chemical pollutants.

Jasmine Lim

Ph. D. Candidate

Jasmine received a B.S. in Chemistry from San Diego State University in 2017 and her current research focus is on device fabrication and the characterization of infrared organic photodetectors.

Kevin Mayer

Ph. D. Candidate

Kevin graduated from Drexel University with a B.S. in Chemistry.  He is currently studying the underlying mechanisms that give rise to open-shell behavior in organic conjugated polymeric systems for the purpose of understanding and promoting the rational design of next-generation conjugated polymers with tailored diradical character.

Michael Steelman

Ph. D. Candidate

Michael graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Biochemistry in 2017.  His research is currently on tuning the electronic character and structure of conjugated polymers to investigate their open-shell properties through monomer design.

Xianjun Wang

Graduate Research Assistant

Xianjun graduated from the University of Akron with an MS in Polymer Science in 2019. Her research is currently on the synthesis of conjugated polymers.

Chih-Ting Liu

Graduate Research Assistant

Chih-Ting graduated from the Department of Applied Chemistry at National Chiao Tung University in 2015 with a B.S. in Applied Chemistry and in 2017 with an M.S. in Applied Chemistry. His current research focus is on open-shell polymer based intrinsic conductors and their development, processing, and related device engineering and Hall effect measurement in semiconductors.

Lauren Gonce

Research Associate

Lauren graduated from USM with a BS in Polymer Science in 2020. She is from Oak Grove, MS and joined the Azoulay group in August 2016. Her current research focuses on the development of new methodologies using homogenous gold catalysis.

Chandler Bell

Research Associate

Chandler graduated from USM in 2020 with a BS in Polymer Science and Engineering. He is from Hattiesburg, MS and joined the Azoulay group in January 2018.  His current research is on conjugated polymer synthesis for organic sensors.

Ethan Hanna

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Ethan is a freshman Polymer Science and Engineering major from Lumberton, MS.  He joined the Azoulay group in July 2019 and currently works under the supervision of Jasmine Lim on the fabrication and testing of photodiodes.

Zachary Rogers

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Zac is from Sumrall, MS and is a freshman majoring in Polymer Science.  He joined the Azoulay group in July 2019 and is supervised by Kevin Mayer.

Justin Williford

Undergraduate Research Assistant

Justin is from Purvis, MS and joined the Azoulay lab in September 2019. He is a freshman Polymer Science and Engineering major and works with Lifeng Huang.