Meet CST's New Faculty Members

Faculty joining the college during the 2014-15 academic year

Graham Dobereiner
Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Graham Dobereiner specializes in the study of chemical reactions across alkyl groups. A 2011 recipient of a PhD in chemistry from Yale University, Dobereiner's doctoral thesis won the university's Richard Wolfgang Prize for best by a chemistry student. He has presented his research across the northeast and has been published more than a dozen times, including in the Journal of the American Chemistry Society. He comes to Temple from a role as postdoctoral research associate at MIT. 

Ananias Escalante
Professor, Biology


Ananias Escalante studies ecology and the evolution of infectious diseases by focusing on the genetic patterns of pathogens across anthropological, epidemiological, ecological and biological perspectives. Of particular interest is the study of the evolution and drug resistance of malaria-causing parasites, for which Escalante has received numerous grants from NIH and various educational institutes across the United States and Latin America. Also the founder and president of the CoEvolution Society, Escalante comes to Temple from Arizona State University.

Alexander Gray (pictured)
Assistant Professor, Physics

Alexander Gray specializes in the exploration of the possibilities of photoemission spectroscopy. A 2011 recipient of a PhD in physics from Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Davis, Gray has been published more than three dozen times and has been invited to speak at several international conferences. He comes to Temple from the Institute for Materials and Energy Science at Stanford University, where he had been an experimental research associate since 2011.

S. Blair Hedges
Professor, Biology

S. Blair Hedges comes to Temple from Penn State, where he taught since earning a PhD in zoology from the University of Maryland. Hedges' research explores the evolution of biodiversity by studying evolutionary genetics and genomics, with particular interest in how the planetary environment impacts life. He has named 112 species across the Caribbean and has received more than a dozen grants from NASA and NSF to study early life on earth and the implications for life on other planets. Hedges is the director of the college's new Center for Biodiversity.

Bo Ji
Assistant Professor, CIS

Bo Ji's research interests include the modeling, analysis, control and optimization of complex information system networks. A native of China, Ji enrolled at Ohio State in 2007 and earned his PhD in Electric and Computer Engineering in 2012. He has since published three papers in IEEE INFOCOM, a leading conference for CIS research, and has taken a particular interest in optimization and queuing theory in wireless networks and cloud computing. 

Sudhir Kumar
Professor, Biology

Sudhir Kumar's research focuses on analyzing the evolution of species, genomes and mutations using integrative and comparative approaches, particularly through the use of technology. Kumar has received numerous grants from NIH to develop computational analysis of genetic evolution. Web applications developed by Kumar have been cited more than 50,000 times. He comes to Temple from Arizona State University. He will be director of CST’s new Institute for Genomics and Evolutionary Medicine. 

David Liberles
Associate Professor, Biology

David Liberles studies bioinformatics, comparative genomics and molecular evolution. A recipient of numerous grants from NIH, NSF and the European Science Foundation, Liberles has also presented his work and taught at locations around the world, including Oslo, Norway; Christchurch, New Zealand; and Bellville, South Africa. A recipient of a PhD in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology, Liberles comes to Temple from the University of Wyoming.

Sujith Ravi
Assistant Professor, EES

Sujith Ravi's research interests include ecohydrology, land degradation, sediment transportation, water resources and the food-energy-water nexus. He is the recipient of several grants.  A 2008 recipient of a PhD in environmental sciences/hydrology from the University of Virginia, Ravi comes to Temple from Stanford University, where he was a postdoctoral fellow.

Brent Sewall 
Assistant Professor, Biology 
 Brent Sewell’s research focuses on understanding critical and emerging threats to biodiversity and developing effective strategies for conservation. He has received several awards, including the American Society of Mammalogists William T. Hornaday Award for outstanding contributions to mammal conservation and, as a non-tenure track Temple faculty member, CST’s William Caldwell Memorial Distinguished Mentoring Award.  Prior to arriving at Temple, Sewall was a Visiting Assistant Professor of Conservation Biology at the College of William and Mary.  Sewall received his PhD in Ecology from the University of California, Davis.

Chelsea Walton
Assistant Professor, Math

Chelsea Walton's mathematical areas of interest include noncommutative algebra, noncommutative algebraic geometry, noncommutative invariant theory and representation theory. A 2011 recipient of a PhD in mathematics from the University of Michigan, Walton has presented her research at conferences across North America, including at the Mathematical Sciences Research Institute in Berkeley, California. She comes to Temple from a role as an NSF-funded postdoctoral fellow at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Katherine Willets
Associate Professor, Chemistry

Katherine Willets' research focuses on the effectiveness of super-resolution imaging techniques. As co-primary investigator, she received a $7.5 million grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research for electrochemical imaging and mechanistic studies on the nanometer scale. She earned the 2013 Early Career award from the Department of Energy. Willets, who earned her PhD at Stanford, comes to Temple from a role as assistant professor at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Sarah Wengryniuk
Assistant Professor, Chemistry

Sarah Wengryniuk's research interests include organic synthesis and methodology. She comes to Temple from a role as an NIH-funded postdoctoral research fellow at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif. In that capacity, Wengryniuk worked in collaboration with Bristol Meyers-Squibb on late stage functionalization of macrocyclic drug candidates. She earned her PhD in organic chemistry from Duke University in 2012, where she was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow.