Hadden Lab – Fall 2015

DSC05222L to R – Kelly Teske, Ray Tran, Kelly Chan, Chad Maschinot, Vibha Sail, Jen Pace, Evrett Thompson, Kyle Hadden

Current Lab Members


Kelly Teske was born and raised in Rockford, Illinois. From 2006-2010 she attended Illinois State University where she pursued dual BS degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry & Molecular Biology. It was at ISU where her interest in medicinal research was sparked while participating in undergraduate research studying the pharmacology of gold-based drugs for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Upon completing her bachelor’s in 2010, she pursued a PhD in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a concentration in organic/medicinal chemistry.  Under the advisement of Dr. “Leggy” Arnold, her research focused on the synthesis and biochemical evaluation of non-secosteroidal inhibitors targeting the Vitamin D Receptor for the treatment of a variety of human disorders. After earning her PhD in August 2015, she joined the Hadden lab as a postdoctoral researcher. Her current projects focus on developing analogues of posaconazole and itraconazole as Hh pathway inhibitors with potential as anti-cancer agents.


Radha Charan (RC) Dash was born and raised in India. He earned his MS and PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences from Poona College of Pharmacy. During his MS and PhD his research work mainly focus on designing new molecule as dopamine D2 and serotonin 5-HT2A inhibitors using modern computational tools. His research area of interest focuses on lead development and optimization, with a strong application to structure-based computer-aided drug design. He joined the Hadden Research lab in April 2016. His current research work involves design of new molecule for TLS inhibition and Vitamin D3 scaffold optimization as Hh pathway inhibitors.


Jiachen Wen comes from Shenyang, China. He received his PhD in medicinal chemistry in 2016 from Shenyang Pharmaceutical University, where he became interested in developing small molecules as potential anti-tumor agents. His dissertation work focused on the design, synthesis and anti-tumor activity  of thiol-based histone deacetylase inhibitors, both pan and isoform-selective inhibitors. During his PhD training, he was able to utilizing chemical modifications to improve on target potency and drug-like property of natural  products, with the goal of developing promising lead compound with both in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor activity. He joined the Hadden lab as a postdoctoral researcher in Nov 2016. His current work involves identifying cellular targets of vitamin D3 and calcitriol, as well as the synthesis and evaluation of vitamin D3 analogues as Hh pathway inhibitors.


Divya Chennamadhavuni was born and brought up in India. She attended Osmania University College for Women, Hyderabad, India where she earned a MS degree in pharmaceutical chemistry. Divya’s MS project at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology, Hyderabad, India focused on the development of pharmacologically active Biginelli compounds. Divya began to develop interest in research while working at the Indian Institute of Chemical Technology. Soon after, she pursued a PhD degree in organic chemistry at UConn. Under the supervision of Prof. Amy R. Howell, her research focused on the design and synthesis of alpha-galactosylceramide analogs for biased cytokine responses. After earning her PhD degree in February 2017, she joined the Hadden lab as a postdoctoral scientist. Her current projects focus on developing small molecules that inhibit translesion synthesis in human cancer cells and also developing analogs of itraconazole as Hedgehog signaling pathway inhibitors.



Jennifer Pace grew up in Lynn, Massachusetts—a small city north of Boston.  She attended Saint Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire from 2009-2013 where she earned a BS degree in biochemistry and minors in neuroscience and chemistry.  During her time at Saint Anselm, Jen’s undergraduate research focused on synthesizing modafinil analogues to be utilized as dopamine transporter inhibitors with therapeutic potential for various neurological disorders. It was here that she fell in love with medicinal chemistry and biomedical research. In the summer of 2012, Jen was awarded the opportunity to work at Dartmouth College where she focused on the synthesis of potential antimalarial compounds. Upon graduation in 2013, she joined the Hadden lab to work towards her PhD in medicinal chemistry at UConn.  Jen is currently a 3rd year graduate student in the Hadden lab where her project focuses on repurposing the FDA approved anti-fungal agent, itraconazole, as an anticancer chemotherapeutic.




Chad Maschinot was born and raised outside of Cincinnati, OH in Crestview Hills, KY. In 2009, he pursued a Bachelor’s of Science in Chemistry at Northern Kentucky University with the plan to go onto pharmacy school. While at NKU, his interest in research grew while studying inorganic synthesis and photochemistry on C60 fullerene-transition metal systems. His research experience and personal interests in medicine led Chad to pursue a Ph. D. in medicinal chemistry. Upon completion of his B.S. in 2013, Chad enrolled in the Pharmaceutical Sciences department at the University of Connecticut. He is a 3rd year graduate student currently working towards a Ph.D. in the Hadden Lab with a focus on the synthesis and evaluation of vitamin D3 analogues as Hh pathway inhibitors with anti-cancer potential and the identification and characterization of novel cellular targets of vitamin D3 and calcitriol.



Angela Zaino grew up in Brookfield, Connecticut. She attended Stonehill College for her freshmen year and then transferred to the University of Hartford, where she earned a dual BS degree in Chemistry-Biology. During her time at Hartford she participated in undergraduate research concentrating on water purification processes involving chlorine, chloramine, and chloramide. After completing her bachelor’s degree in May 2016 she joined the Hadden Lab in June 2016, where she is a first year graduate student pursuing her PhD in Medicinal Chemistry at UConn. In the Hadden Lab, she is investigating ATRX and its function as a chromatin remodeler.
















Kelly Chan is a 3rd year Pharmacy student performing undergraduate research in the Hadden group. To date, she has received a UConn Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship and the Antipas Family Research Scholarship to support her work in the group. She is currently working on two projects in the Hadden lab: (1) evaluating the anti-angiogenic effects of itraconazole analogues and (2) validating small molecules as inhibitors of translesion synthesis.







Raymond Tran is a 3rd year Pharmacy student performing undergraduate research in the Hadden group. His projects focus on exploring the anti-Hh and anti-angiogenic properties of itraconazole analogues synthesized in the Hadden lab.




Kaitlyn McCarthy is a 2nd year Pharmacy student performing undergraduate research in the Hadden group. She is currently working on identifying small molecules as inhibitors of translesion synthesis.





Former Lab Members

Albert DeBerardinis – Current Position: Senior Research Scientist at New England Discovery Partners

Upasana Banerjee – Current Position: Postdoctoral Researcher with Professor Xiaodong Cheng, UT Health Science Center, Houston