Professor László Kürti earned his Ph.D in synthetic organic chemistry in 2006 from the University of Pennsylvania under the supervision of Professor Amos B. Smith. While in graduate school, he developed an interest in teaching and authored a popular textbook “Strategic Applications of Named Reactions in Organic Synthesis” with Dr. Barbara Czakó. During his postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University with Professor and Nobel laureate E.J. Corey, László co-authored a second textbook “Molecules and Medicine” with Professor E.J. Corey and Dr. Barbara Czakó. He began an independent research and teaching career in 2010 as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biochemistry at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas. In 2015, László joined the faculty at Rice University in Houston as an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemistry. He began a collaboration with Dr. Kate Biberdorf and Fun with Chemistry in 2017.
Dr. Kate Biberdorf is a general chemistry lecturer and Director of Demonstrations and Outreach at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2014, she graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with her Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry. She began Fun with Chemistry with the goal of inspiring and motivating K-12 students to pursue science fields in college. She focuses on using exciting and explosive demonstrations to connect with students who are intimidated by chemistry. Kate is a member of “Amy Poehler’s Smart Girls” and has received several awards including the Natural Science Foundation Teaching Excellence Award as well as the College of Natural Sciences Outreach Excellence Award.
Dr. Kasey Leigh Yearty is the Wiess Instructor of Chemistry Rice University. She teaches organic chemistry, advanced organic chemistry lab, analytical chemistry, undergraduate teaching practicum, and undergraduate research courses. In 2019, she graduated from The University of Georgia with her Ph.D. in organic chemistry and chemical education. She joined the Fun with Chemistry team in April 2021 as the faculty organizer and mentor. Dr. Yearty is the primary liaison between schools or event organizers and the Fun with Chemistry volunteer team. Dr. Yearty is excited to mentor our diverse range of undergraduate and graduate student volunteers as well as facilitate fun and inclusive experiences with STEM in the local community.
Nicole graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a B.S. in Chemistry in 2016. She began graduate work at Rice University in the fall of 2016 in Professor Kürti’s group. Her research focuses on methodology development for heteroatom transfer reactions. She is currently a 3rd year graduate student and organized the Rice University collaboration of Fun with Chemistry in 2017.
Kaitlyn recieved her B.S. in Chemistry in 2016 from Loyola University in Chicago, and is currently a 3rd year graduate student in the Kürti Group. She enjoys sharing her passion for chemistry by performing exciting demonstrations and hopes to foster student's enthusiasm for science and related fields.
Katie is an alumna of the University of Alabama, where she graduated with a degree in Biochemistry in 2016. She is now a 3rd year graduate student at Rice University in the lab of Professor Zachary Ball, where she studies chemical modification of proteins and peptides.