BUWIC is a community of both women and men climbing the academic research ladder in the fields of organic, physical, theoretical, biological and medicinal chemistry. Together BUWIC members explore the options, challenges, and opportunities of their current research and future career options.

Annually, BUWIC welcomes a substantial portion of the Chemistry Department’s graduate students, faculty, and staff into the organization.  Please email us at to become a member!

Current Officers

Gabrielle Fleming


Year in the Program: 4th

Lab: Beeler Research Group

Why I joined BUWIC: In my first year at BU I attended a number of inspiring BUWICLunch Seminars that helped me define goals for myself for being in this Ph.D. program. I think we have a fantastic opportunity to build a strong community of graduate men and women scientists and to empower each other through open discussion about personal and career goals.

Hobbies: Anything to get me outside! I love skiing, hiking, and going to the beach.



Lauren Viarengo
Vice President


Year in Program: 4th

Lab: Whitty Lab

Why I joined BUWIC: I was lucky enough to have several impactful role models who inspired me to pursue a career in science; I would like to now do the same for other young scientists.

Hobbies: I enjoy exploring New England with my camera and reading a good book on the beach.



Reem Telmesani

Reem is a fourth-year graduate student in Professor Aaron Beeler’s laboratory where she works on photochemical [2+2] cycloadditions. Reem obtained a Pharm.D. from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Public Health degree from Harvard University. During her undergraduate and previous graduate studies, Reem worked on enhancing pharmacists’ role as healthcare professionals in the global community and empowering women in the Middle East to take control of their health. In her free time, Reem enjoys running, traveling, and painting.


Sarah Neville



Melissa Marquez
Co-Treasurer in training

Melissa MarquezMelissa is a second-year graduate student in Professor Deborah Perlstein’s laboratory where she focuses on elucidating the role of Nar1 and determining protein-protein interactions between Cia2 and other CIA components and targets. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry with a minor in Mathematics from Mount Saint Mary’s University. As an undergraduate, she conducted research in Professor Eric Stemp’s laboratory concentrating on DNA-protein cross-linking resulting from oxidative damage to DNA. Melissa also enjoys reading, running and hiking. 





Margarita Tararina
Co-treasurer in training

Margarita TararinaMargarita is a third-year graduate student in Professor Karen Allen’s laboratory where she focuses on using the X-ray structure of proteins to develop biotherapeutics. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Modern Language and Linguistics from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. During her undergraduate and post-baccalaureate studies, she conducted research in Professor Robert Schwarcz’s laboratory concentrating on using in vitro biochemical techniques in efforts of pharmacologically restoring equilibrium in the kynurenine pathway. In her free time, Margarita enjoys cooking, reading and hiking.





Lauren Viarengo

Lauren ViarengoLauren is a third-year graduate student in Professor Adrian Whitty’s laboratory where she works on inhibition of Protein-Protein interactions. Lauren obtained her bachelor’s degree in Biology, with minors in Chemistry and Business from Merrimack College in North Andover, MA. Prior to starting at Boston University, she worked for several years in R&D at Enzymatics, in Beverly MA, where she formulated reagents for Next Generation Sequencing applications. As an undergraduate, she worked in the laboratory of Professor Kathleen Swallow where she identified the terpenes in citrus fruits. She also worked in the laboratory of and Professor Modica-Napolitano where she worked to determine the mechanism of action of an investigative anti-cancer chemical therapy. In her free time, Lauren enjoys traveling, being outside, and reading.


Gabrielle Fleming
Seminar Coordinator

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Katherine O’Toole
Co-Outreach Coordinator

Katherine O'TooleKatherine is a second-year graduate student in Professor Karen Allen’s laboratory where she focuses on using biophysical techniques including X-ray and neutron crystallography to further understand the mechanism of catalysis for HAD super family members. She received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry from Stonehill College in Easton, MA. During her undergraduate studies, she conducted research in Professor Magdalena James-Pederson’s laboratory studying fungal ligninases and their potential uses in breaking down biomass for biofuel. In her free time, Katherine enjoys reading, hiking, and sailing.







Leah Ray
Co-Outreach Coordinator

Leah Kressin

Leah is a fifth year graduate student in Professor Karen Allen’s lab where works on leveraging x-ray crystallography and small angle x-ray scattering to understand the structure-function relationship for a member of the bacterial protein glycosylation pathway. Leah received her bachelors degrees in cell and molecular biology and biochemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. As an undergraduate, she conducted research in natural product synthesis under Professor Dionicio Siegel. In her free time, Leah enjoys playing with her dog, practicing calligraphy, and traveling.




Amanda Vo

image1 (1)Amanda is a fifth year graduate student in Professor Deborah Perlstein’s lab where she works on understanding how iron-sulfur cluster proteins are recognized by the cytosolic Fe-S cluster assembly pathway.  She received her bachelor’s degree from University of Missouri in Medicinal Chemistry.  Amanda worked in Georgia Davis’s lab for a summer looking at different corn genetic traits.  She also worked in Jason Cooley’s lab purifying membrane proteins for deep UV resonance Raman analysis.  She enjoys running, laughing, and spending time with her boyfriend and 3 cats.




Hannah Paroline
Social Coordinator

Hannah ParolineHannah is third-year graduate student in Professor Mark Grinstaff’s laboratory where she works on synthesis of sulfated poly-amide-saccarides (PAS’s).  Hannah received her bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire.  During her undergraduate studies, she conducted research in Professor Arthur Greenberg’s laboratory investigating the mechanism of polyaromatic hydrocarbons metabolites of cytochrome P450.  She also interned at Itaconix Corporation in Stratham, New Hampshire and worked on emulsion polymerization chemistry.  In her free time. Hannah enjoys swing dancing, reading and being outdoors.




Carmen Gott
Fundraising Coordinator






Paula Ortet

Paula Ortet





Ndidiamaka Obi
Press Secretary





Mariam Stepanyan Staff Advisor



Dr. Karen Allen Faculty Advisor


Karen Allen