Goldsmith Group Photo

Current Group Members

Principal Investigator

Picture of Dr. Randall GoldsmithRandall 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.

Post Docs

Picture of Dr. Mike MatteiMike 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.

Picture of Dr. Ruohan ZhangRuohan 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.

Lisa-Maria Needham

Lisa-Maria is Marie-Skłodowska Curie Global Fellow in the Goldsmith group and joined in January 2021 after completing her Ph.D. and first postdoc in the Lee Lab at the University of Cambridge. Lisa-Maria loves single-molecules and is really excited about developing new techniques to look at the non-fluorescent ones. Her current research is focused on developing new optical microcavity-enhanced methods for single-molecule light scattering. Outside the lab, Lisa-Maria loves outdoor activities, exploring the wilderness, singing, and playing the guitar.

Graduate Students

Photo of Andrew CavellAndrew Cavell

Picture of Feng PanFeng 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.

Picture of Levi Hogan

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

Picture of Cecilia Vollbrecht 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

Photo of Veronica KraseckiVeronica 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.

Picture of Brandon MehlenbacherBrandon 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.

Photo of Katherine ParrishKatherine 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, Katie enjoys playing cello, walking her dog, and laughing at her own jokes.

Beau SchweitzerPicture of Beau Schweitzer

Beau joined the group in the Fall of 2019. After falling for the UW-Madison chemistry department, he decided to come back for more after graduation. He was inspired to be a spectroscopist by one of his professors. He enjoys working with lasers because they’re cool. Besides chemistry, Beau enjoys running, video and board games, and all other sorts of media.

Brandon Hacha

Brandon joined the group in Fall 2019. While he calls himself an analytical chemist, it’s mostly because he hasn’t fully accepted being an experimental physical one. He currently works on the photonic crystal project (one of the few that did not already include a Brandon or Brendan). Outside of lab, Brandon enjoys exploring Madison, trying to bake sourdough bread, and following the most boring parts of local and state politics.

Picture of Mackinsey SmithMackinsey Smith

Mackinsey is an inorganic chemistry student who joined the lab in Fall 2019. She has always loved trying to figure out how things work, and she’s excited to shoot lasers at catalysts to figure out how they work. Outside of the lab, she enjoys swing dancing, playing with cats, and baking.

Picture of RayRay Czerwinski

Ray joined the Goldsmith group in the fall of 2019. She thinks all chemistry is super cool, especially single-molecule spectroscopy. When she isn’t doing science, Ray likes to make music, play tabletop games, and climb things, generally not all at once. She’s the one on the left in that photo.

Alex Fairhall

Alex joined the Goldsmith Group in the Fall of 2020 as a physical chemistry student after a short break from academia. He’s excited to be getting back into research under such a diverse group and looks forward to exploring single molecule spectroscopy in temperatures even lower than Madison’s cold winters. Outside of the lab, he enjoys reading and writing, playing sports such as ultimate frisbee or volleyball, and practicing his Japanese.

Simi Kaur

Simi is a biophysics student who joined the Goldsmith group in the Fall of 2020. Although her first love is Chemistry, she is fascinated by all walks of science and finds it difficult to just choose one field. She is super excited to combine her broad experimental and computational interests as a part of the ABEL trap team. Outside of lab, Simi loves baking sweet treats, trying new foods, traveling to new places, hiking in scenic locations, and learning how to bike.

Julia Rasch

Julia is an analytical chemistry student who joined the group in Fall 2020. She is excited to develop new instrumentation to study single molecules. Outside of chemistry, Julia enjoys walking her dog, ogling other peoples’ dogs, avoiding writing bios for the group page for nine months, and cooking.