Janda Lab

Kenneth C. Janda

Contact E-mail: kcjanda@uci.edu Phone: (949) 824-2613 (email)


The 2013 - 2014 Janda Research Group

Back row from left to right: Jerry Guo, Michael Nguyen, Michael Yamano, Stephanie Cheng, Kathy Marvin, Dr. Ken Janda

Front row:  Suvrajit (Suv) Sengupta


Dr. Kenneth C. Janda received his PH.D from Harvard University in 1977 and has been a professor at UCI in the Chemistry School of Physical Sciences before being named Dean of UC Irvine's Physical Sciences in 2011. He has been a loyal and passionate supporter of public education and UCI since arriving on campus more than 20 years ago. Dr. Janda was inspired as a youth in high school by his chemistry and physics teachers in Denver Colorado. He attended Hope College in Michigan where he earned undergraduate degrees in both chemistry and physics before going on to Harvard to continue his studies and complete his PH.D. Dr. Janda is an inspiring educator who works closely with undergraduates and graduate students while giving them unique opportunities to work on projects in his lab. He is a strong supporter of collaboration and works closely with the neighboring public school district to offer support, outreach, supplies and research opportunities. Married for more than 40 years, Ken and Patsy Janda enjoy spending their time off traveling the world, doing yoga and spending time with their family and friends.



Suvrajit (Suv) Sengupta was born and raised in Kolkata (formerly spelled Calcutta), India.  After graduating from high school, he completed his undergraduate studies at Jadavpur University, Kolkata where he earned a B.Sc. in Chemistry, with honors, in 2004.  He continued his studies and received his M.Sc. in Chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay in 2006 where Suv worked with Prof. Sambhu Nath Datta.  For his thesis, Suv investigated the theoretical effect of temperature on exciton transport rate in the photosynthetic center of green plants and its overall effect on the photosynthetic process.  After completing his M.Sc in Bombay, Suv travelled to the U.S. to pursue his graduate education at Yale University.  While at Yale, Suv switched his study to experimental physical chemistry and worked under Prof. Kurt W. Zilm.  For his Ph.D thesis, Suv investigated the dynamics of water in micro-crystalline protein samples, using solid-state Magic Angle Spinning (MAS), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR).  In January 2013, after being awarded his Ph.D, Suvrajit joined UC Irvine in a joint appointments with Prof. Kenneth C. Janda and Prof. Rachel W. Martin in the Department of Chemistry as a post-doctoral researcher.  He is currently studying the dynamics of water in ice and various clathrates using solid-state MAS NMR.



Michael Nguyen is a 4th year chemistry and chemical engineering double major at UCI. When Michael was young, his mother entertained him with magic tricks. Michael fell in love with chemistry and he dreamed of someday becoming a chemist. He is grateful for the research opportunity Janda Lab offers him because through it, Michael is able to live his childhood dream. Together with his partners Stephanie Cheng and Michael Yamano, Michael Nguyen is studying clathrate hydrate’s kinetic formation of the fluoromethane series. The results of this project will reveal the effect of the dipole moment on the formation of clathrate hydrate. In addition, this study may also help find a better helper gas for clathrate hydrate formation. Besides studying the kinetics of clathrate hydrate, Michael also helps Suv Sengupta on the NMR project with the hope of learning more about the dynamics of the gas that is trapped inside the clathrate cage. In the future, Michael hopes to use what he has discovered from his work in Janda Lab and Martin Lab to formulate a general mechanism on the formation of clathrate hydrate.





Stephanie Cheng is a third year Chemistry major with aspirations of attending law school. Her passion for Chemistry, and science in general, was sparked when she had a seizure her junior year of high school and was told its cause was a medical mystery. Since then, she has spent countless hours volunteering and interning at hospitals which led to her study of the science behind the medicine; Chemistry.

The research of the Janda Lab immediately appealed to Stephanie because of the potential practical applications of studying the kinetics of chlathrate hydrate formation, which include a potential solution to the energy crisis and global warming. Stephanie works closely with Janda lab partner, Michael Yamano, to investigate the effect of an increasing dipole moment in the guest molecule on the kinetics of clathrate hydrate formation.





Michael Yamano’s scientific curiosity began when he was in high school.  He was interested in the reactivity of certain gases; mainly when they would blow up or catch fire! He is a 4th year chemistry major at UCI and began working in Janda Lab in the spring of 2013. Michael is currently taking on the challenge of designing and building a new experimental apparatus for the laboratory that will assist the lab in furthering the research of the kinetics of gas hydrate formation. Michael works with Stephanie Cheng to study the effects of dipole on a gas hydrate system and his plans include to study the effects of pressure on the conversion of ice to gas hydrates. The current study he is conducting will contribute to scientists’ knowledge of gas hydrates and may lead to applications for storing and transporting gasses in a safer and more compact manner. When Michael not working in Janda Lab you can find him playing either table tennis or volleyball at the UCI gym or downhill skateboarding around Southern California. 




Jerry Guo came from an engineering background and remembers that as a child, he grew up being interested in how to make or build things on his own. As an undergraduate at U. C. Berkeley, Jerry worked in a NMR (Nuclear Magnetic Resonance) lab conducting research and found his interests in NMR grow.  He especially liked NMR’s unique ability to study the interactions and dynamics of molecules and felt that this field had a lot of future practical applications. Jerry graduated from UC Berkeley with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2011 and joined Martin Lab at UCI as a graduate student in the same year. Currently, he is working on a project studying H2O and clathrate using solid-state NMR with Suvrajit Sengupta from Janda lab.  Jerry says that joining Martin Lab offers him a good combination of developing instrumentation and studying structural information combined.  His future plans include building the next generation of Switched Angle Spinning (SAS) NMR probe in Martin lab. 




Kathy Marvin joins the Janda Lab each summer as an outreach consultant who works on different projects each year. Kathy is an 8th grade science teacher from Irvine, CA. In addition to teaching her curriculum, Kathy strives to engage her students in positive ways and encourage them into fields of science in the future. She started a Science Olympiad team at Sierra Vista Middle School that has gone on to the State level competition. Kathy was honored in 2010 with the award of Orange County Teacher of the Year and California Teacher of the Year and she continues to be active in Sacramento working to promote a passion for excellence in teaching, especially in science, technology, engineering and math. The collaboration with Janda Lab and UCI enables Kathy to offer her classes many labs and experiences that she would not otherwise be able to offer. Kathy is very grateful that each year more than 1000 students are affected positively by the partnership with Janda Lab and UCI.