Group Members



Principal Investigator

Randall Goldsmith

Room 3309A

When Randall Goldsmith was an undergraduate, he was one of those chemistry majors who couldn’t quite figure out which type of chemistry he liked best.  He later learned that it was ok to be interdisciplinary.  When not doing or teaching chemistry, he can be found chasing frisbees or cooking lentil soup.  His least-favorite part of being a chemistry professor is having to (sometimes) tuck in his shirt.


Postdoctoral Reseachers

Ruohan Zhang
Joint Student with Baron Chanda
Ruohan is a joint post-doc in both the Goldsmith group and the Chanda group (Department of Neuroscience). He joined the group in September 2017 after he received the Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from ASU. Ruohan really enjoys his role between the two labs so that he could maintain two relationships simultaneously, with chemistry and biophysics, of which his wife approved. Ruohan’s research is mainly on using single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to study the ion channel activities. Outside of lab, he enjoys travelling, playing basketball and laughing at his son’s photos.
Hoang Nguyen

Hoang joined the Goldsmith group in March 2018 after completing his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry and Chemical Biology from Cornell University, NY. 

Although he came from a scanning-probe microscope background, Hoang's research interest is now focusing on single-molecule microscopy using Raman scattering. 

Outside of research, Hoang enjoys exploring the city and trying out the wide variety of cuisines that Madison has to offer.

Mike Mattei
Mike joined the Goldsmith Group in July 2018 after completing his PhD in chemistry at Northwestern University with Professor Rick Van Duyne. His current research revolves around molecular spectroscopy inside photonic crystals. Outside of the lab, Mike enjoys cooking, hiking, playing the bass guitar, and being kept up all night by half-baked ideas.


Graduate Student Researchers, 5th Years

Alex Foote 

Alex joined the group in Fall of 2014 as a physical chemistry student. Although he had an acute fear of proteins, randy somehow managed to convince him to join the ABEL trap team. Alex finds single molecules absolutely fascinating, but also enjoys them when they’re grouped together, preferably in the form of mac-n-cheese. His hobbies include rock climbing, tennis, and obsessively playing videogames until 4 am.

There. Are you happy, Juju?

Erik Horak

Erik joined the group in Fall 2014.  He likes all kinds of chemistry, although he wasn't very good at organic chemistry.  Outside of school he enjoys traveling (favorite place so far: Yosemite), hiking, and watching movies.  He prefers cooler weather and during the summer will often complain about heat and humidity.


Graduate Student Researchers, 4th Years

Morgan Rea

Morgan was first introduced to the Goldsmith group as a REU student in 2014. After having an awesome experience, she decided to come to grad school at UW-Madison. While in lab, Morgan enjoys shooting lasers at different materials and talking to her amazing group members. Outside of lab, she enjoys running, reading, baking, and playing with her dog-niece Pickles. 

Andrew Cavell

David White
Joint student with Baron Chanda

Although David joined the neuroscience graduate program, he could never abandon his love affair with chemistry. Fortunately, he is a joint-student in the Goldsmith and Chanda groups and can pursue both of his scientific passions. His primary research interest is to use single-molecule fluorescence microscopy to study the function of the voltage-gated ion channels found in neurons. Out side of lab, he enjoys trying new beer, attempting to catch up on sleep, and waiting for the return of his favorite season- winter. 


Graduate Student Researchers, 3rd Years

Feng Pan

Feng was born and raised in China. In 2013 he went to Texas A&M becoming an Aggie. He has worked on laser diagnostics of high-speed non-equilibrium gaseous flows under the guidance of Prof. Simon North. After obtaining his master degree, he now steers to the route of studying single-molecule spectroscopy. We’re excited to see how this Aggie will play with the tiny and ultrasensitive thermometer—microresonator, to shed light on the world of single molecules in the Goldsmith group. In addition to spectroscopy, he loves traveling, cooking, and playing badminton.  

Levi Hogan

Levi joined the Goldsmith Group in Fall 2016. He wants to spend his scientific career teaching, learning, and trying to merge as many disciplines of science as possible in the name of discovery. Some of Levi's favorite hobbies include reading books, running, playing and listening to music, firebreathing, and aspiring for world conquest


Graduate Student Researchers, 2nd Years

Ceci Vollbrecht
Ceci is a physical chemistry student that joined the lab in the fall of 2017. While in lab Ceci enjoys working on anything that might lead to learning or making something new and discussing ideas with her great lab mates. Outside of lab she enjoys exploring the Madison area through both hiking and riding her horse, playing on any sports teams she can and helping with science outreach programs.
Veronica Krasecki
Veronica joined the group in Fall 2017. She thinks single molecule spectroscopy is ridiculously cool. She loves chemistry and loves having the opportunity to learn, teach, and do research. Outside of lab she loves cooking, watching horror movies, eating sour cream & onion chips, and (occasionally) hiking. 

Graduate Student Researchers, 1st Years

Katherine Parrish
Katherine joined the group in the fall of 2018. She likes all kinds of chemistry and is eager to combine them in cool new ways! She loves reading, writing, and teaching science, and is grateful to all the incredible teachers who've helped her along the way. When not doing chemistry, Katherine enjoys playing cello, being outdoors, and laughing at her own jokes. 
Brandon Mehlenbacher
Brandon joined the group in the fall of 2018. He enjoys all areas of science but was drawn to understanding why systems work the way they do. He enjoys learning and implementing many of the ideas he comes across. When not doing science, he enjoys learning how to cook, going to the gym, and binge watching shows on Netflix. 
Brendan Cullinane
Brendan is biophysics student who joined the lab in the fall of 2018. He is thrilled to study the chaotic world of protein dynamics as part of the ABEL trap team. Outside of the lab, he enjoys music, dungeons and dragons, and overly dramatic cooking shows.