My academic background includes an interdisciplinary focus on law, psychology, and chemistry. I developed new organic synthesis methods during my Ph.D. program at Virginia Tech, which culminated an international collaboration as a Fulbright Scholar. Thereafter, I came to Stanford as Manager of the Undergraduate Laboratory Program, where I packaged our chemistry experiments and shipped them worldwide during the pandemic. Embracing my new career as the Chemistry and Chemical Engineering Librarian, I now turn my attention to curating information and teaching information literacy in science.

Current Role at Stanford

I am a science librarian for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. I work closely with these departments to provide services and resources for students, researchers, postdocs, staff, and faculty. I manage our chemistry and chemical engineering collections, as well as the science software privileges for Stanford affiliates.

Honors & Awards

  • STAR (Safety in Training and Research) Award, Stanford University (2019)
  • Fulbright Fellowship, U.S. Department of State (2015-2016)
  • Graduate Research Development Program – Funded Research Proposal, Virginia Tech (2015-2016)
  • Graduate Research Development Program – Funded Research Proposal, Virginia Tech (2013-2014)
  • Magna Cum Laude Distinction, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2010)
  • The Robert Lassiter Outstanding Undergraduate Paper, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2010)
  • Cecil Prince Memorial Scholarship, University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2009-2010)

Education & Certifications

  • PhD, Virginia Tech, Chemistry (2016)
  • BA, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Chemistry (2010)
  • BS, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Psychology (2010)
  • BA, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Criminal Justice (2010)


  • Hands-on Laboratory Kits for Remote Learning, Stanford University (6/2020 - 6/2021)

    Developed and shipped Chemistry Laboratory Kits for remote learners, which featured 20 experiments uniquely tailored to the general chemistry (Chem 31A, 31B, and 31M) and the analytical chemistry (Chem 131) coursework. Collaborated with the instructors to redesign the experiments to be safe for home environments and liaised with EH&S to review and approve the content and protocols. Garnered departmental support and approval from Stanford’s Risk Management Team. OSHA Certified packaging and shipment of the chemicals. Ordered reagents and materials; packaged over 20,000 vials of chemical reagents; assembled and shipped 600 laboratory kits to students around the world. This pioneer project inspired other departments and Stanford University to prepare kits for hands-on learning in the remote world.


    376 Lomita Dr. Stanford


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Professional Affiliations and Activities

  • Chair, ACS Local Section (2024 - Present)
  • Programming Co-Chair, CINF Division ACS (2023 - Present)
  • Alternate Councilor, American Chemical Society (2022 - Present)
  • Chapter Advisor, Alpha Chi Sigma (2019 - Present)
  • Laboratory Safety Committee, Stanford EH&S (2017 - Present)

All Publications

  • Photoactivated cell-killing involving a low molecular weight, donor-acceptor diphenylacetylene CHEMICAL SCIENCE Chisholm, D. R., Lamb, R., Pallett, T., Affleck, V., Holden, C., Marrison, J., O'Toole, P., Ashton, P. D., Newling, K., Steffen, A., Nelson, A. K., Mahler, C., Valentine, R., Blacker, T. S., Bain, A. J., Girkin, J., Marder, T. B., Whiting, A., Ambler, C. A. 2019; 10 (17): 4673-4683


    Photoactivation of photosensitisers can be utilised to elicit the production of ROS, for potential therapeutic applications, including the destruction of diseased tissues and tumours. A novel class of photosensitiser, exemplified by DC324, has been designed possessing a modular, low molecular weight and 'drug-like' structure which is bioavailable and can be photoactivated by UV-A/405 nm or corresponding two-photon absorption of near-IR (800 nm) light, resulting in powerful cytotoxic activity, ostensibly through the production of ROS in a cellular environment. A variety of in vitro cellular assays confirmed ROS formation and in vivo cytotoxic activity was exemplified via irradiation and subsequent targeted destruction of specific areas of a zebrafish embryo.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c9sc00199a

    View details for Web of Science ID 000465940700012

    View details for PubMedID 31123578

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6495688

  • Tandem fluorescence and Raman (fluoRaman) characterisation of a novel photosensitiser in colorectal cancer cell line SW480 ANALYST Gala de Pablo, J., Chisholm, D. R., Steffen, A., Nelson, A. K., Mahler, C., Marder, T. B., Peyman, S. A., Girkin, J. M., Ambler, C. A., Whiting, A., Evans, S. D. 2018; 143 (24): 6113-6120


    The development of new imaging tools, molecules and modalities is crucial to understanding biological processes and the localised cellular impact of bioactive compounds. A small molecule photosensitiser, DC473, has been designed to be both highly fluorescent and to exhibit a strong Raman signal in the cell-silent region of the Raman spectrum due to a diphenylacetylene structure. DC473 has been utilised to perform a range of novel tandem fluorescence and Raman (fluoRaman) imaging experiments, enabling a thorough examination of the compound's cellular localisation, exemplified in colorectal cancer cells (SW480). This multifunctional fluoRaman imaging modality revealed the presence of the compound in lipid droplets and only a weak signal in the cytosol, by both Raman and fluorescence imaging. In addition, Raman microscopy detected the compound in a cell compartment we labelled as the nucleolus, whereas fluorescence microscopy did not detect the fluoRaman probe due to solvatochromatic effects in a local polar environment. This last finding was only possible with the use of tandem confocal Raman and fluorescence methods. By following the approach detailed herein, incorporation of strong Raman functional groups into fluorophores can enable a plethora of fluoRaman experiments, shedding further light on potential drug compound's cellular behaviour and biological activity.

    View details for DOI 10.1039/c8an01461b

    View details for Web of Science ID 000452110500025

    View details for PubMedID 30468234

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC6336151

  • Chemo-, Regio-, and Stereoselective Copper(II)-Catalyzed Boron Addition to Acetylenic Esters and Amides in Aqueous Media JOURNAL OF ORGANIC CHEMISTRY Nelson, A. K., Peck, C. L., Rafferty, S. M., Santos, W. L. 2016; 81 (10): 4269-4279


    Aqueous conditions were developed for conducting an open-to-air, copper(II)-catalyzed addition of pinBBdan to alkynoates and alkynamides. The simple and mild β-borylation protocol proceeds in a remarkably chemo-, regio-, and stereoselective fashion to afford 1,8-diaminonaphthalene protected (Z)-β-boryl enoates and primary, secondary, and tertiary enamides in good to excellent yields. These reactions demonstrate a high tolerance toward a variety of alkyl, aryl, and heteroatom functional groups and provide convenient access to a diverse range of vinylboronic acid derivatives.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.joc.6b00648

    View details for Web of Science ID 000376476400032

    View details for PubMedID 27104638

  • Regio- and Chemoselective Diboration of Allenes with Unsymmetrical Diboron: Formation of Vinyl and Allyl Boronic Acid Derivatives ACS CATALYSIS Guo, X., Nelson, A. K., Slebodnick, C., Santos, W. L. 2015; 5 (4): 2172-2176