Current Group Members

Faculty Assistant

Jacqueline (Jackie) Armstrong

Room: A220B Engineering Quad
Phone: 609-258-1830

Post-Doctoral Fellows

Bumjun Kim

Bumjun Kim grew up in Busan in S. Korea and moved to US for his doctoral program. He received Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University. His doctoral research focused on the engineering targeted lipid nanoparticles for the treatment of triple negative breast cancers. In Prud'homme Lab, Bumjun focuses on the development of nanoparticles for the delivery of biologics such as nucleic acids, peptides, and proteins. Outside of the lab, Bumjun likes to cook, watch and play soccer, and play with his kids.

Dawei Zhang

B.S. & M.S. Beijing University of Chemical Technology
Ph.D. University of Colorado Boulder

Dawei was born and grew up in Sichuan, China. He obtained B.S. in Polymer Sci. & Eng. in 2007 and M.S. in Mate. Sci. & Eng. in 2010. Then He worked for Purolite Co., Ltd, as an application engineer in bio-refinery industries (chromatographic materials). His Ph.D. study from 2014 focused on the construction of photo-responsive phospholipids and liposomes, and potential application as a Drug Delivery System. Dawei joined the RKP group in 2019. His current research uses canonical chemistry (specifically "click" chemistry) and device-assisted tools to finely control the structure of drug-loading nanoparticles.


Ph.D. Students

Kurt Ristroph

B.S.Ch.E. and B.A. Classical Civ., Louisiana State University, 2016
NSF GRFP, 2016

Current projects:
(1) Nanoparticles with hydrophobic ion pairing -- encapsulating charged biologic therapeutics; assessing release kinetics and dynamics; designing stimulus-responsive systems
(2) Nanoparticles for global health -- designing nanoformulations to improve the oral bioavailability of antimalarial and antituberculosis drugs at scale

Hobbies: educational outreach and reading

ORCID: 0000-0002-6771-6105
Douglas Scott

2012-2016: BChE, University of Delaware
2016-Present: PhD, Princeton University

Doug grew up in the Lehigh Valley near Allentown, Pennsylvania. He attended the University of Delaware where he earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering with minors in materials science and economics. During his undergraduate years, he has had the opportunity to work in a variety of research settings including academia, industry, and a national laboratory conducting research focused on both the fundamental and applied aspects of polymer science. At Princeton, his current research focuses on developing nano- and microcapsules for industrially relevant applications using scalable production techniques. Outside of the lab, Doug enjoys cycling, traveling, and the company of friends and family.


Nick Caggiano

B.S. The Pennsylvania State University, 2017

Nick grew up in Media, PA, and stayed in Pennsylvania to attend Penn State. He graduated summa cum laude in 2017 with honors in chemical engineering and a minor in economics. While at Penn State he was a proud member of the Penn State Marching Blue Band. Following R&D internships in the performance coatings and pharmaceutical industries, he decided to pursue a PhD at Princeton, where his research focuses on oral nanoparticle formulations, solid drug dispersions, and the thermal properties of these drug-containing systems. Outside the lab, Nick spends a lot of time cooking and is an avid bread baker. In the fall he enjoys making the drive back to Penn State for football Saturdays, and in the winter he enjoys skiing.


Associated Researchers

Robert Pagels

2008-12: BChE, University of Delaware.
2012-2018 : PhD, Princeton University.

Robert grew up in Hampstead, MD. As a DuPont Scholar, he attended the University of Delaware for his bachelor's degree in chemical engineering, with a minor in biochemical engineering. Upon graduation, he received the Taylor Award and was named the outstanding male of the 2012 graduating class. He currently attends Princeton University as an NSF fellow, and his research interests are in drug delivery and protein-nanoparticle constructs. Outside of the lab he enjoys running and cycling.

Lab location: A306, E-Quad
E-mail: robertfp (AT)
Chester 'Chet' Markwalter

2008-2012: BChE, University of Delaware.
2015-2020 : PhD, Princeton University.

Chet left his hometown of Vienna, VA to attend the University of Delaware, graduating summa cum laude in 2012 with an honors degree in chemical engineering and minors in biochemical engineering and history. While there, he worked in the Robinson Lab studying G-Protein Coupled Receptors. After a 3-year stint in Pharmaceutical Development at Bristol-Myers Squibb, he began his graduate studies at Princeton in 2015 completing them in spring 2020. His research focused on the controlled release of peptides, proteins, and oligonucleotides from microparticles and nanoparticles. Chet is now a Senior Research Scientist at Optimeos Life Sciences and continues to collaborate closely with the RKP group. In his spare time, he enjoys volleyball, biking, and playing his banjo.

Maddie Armstrong

Madeleine was born in Guam and grew up in San Diego, California. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Princeton University, with a certificate in Engineering Biology. She joined the RKP group in 2018 and currently works on developing nanoparticles via Flash Nanoprecipitation for multiple applications, including the treatment of malaria. Outside of the lab, she enjoys practicing martial arts and traveling.



Nancy Yang

Hello, I’m Nancy. I am a Princeton University senior undergrad student (’21) from New York majoring in Chemical and Biological Engineering. Under the guidance of my postdoc mentor, Dr. Bumjun Kim, I’m getting some exposure to research in the field of nanoparticle encapsulation while doing my senior thesis work. I wanted to see how else one could contribute to or participate in healthcare besides medicine, so here I am exploring one of those ways. Lab research often reminds me of cooking (I’m a total foodie trying to learn how to make as many things from scratch as possible), except cooking is a bit more forgiving of mistakes.

Amila Kujovic

Amila Kujovic works in the lab as a senior undergraduate student in Chemical and Biological Engineering, also pursuing a certificate in Engineering Biology. Her senior thesis focuses on fundamental work surrounding the use of nanoparticles as drug delivery vehicles and making their production industrially applicable and cost effective. Upon graduation, she hopes to pursue a PhD degree in gene therapy and help cure diseases.

Amila is from Montenegro and loves to talk about her homeland! In her free time, she watches a lot of movies and she is very passionate about fashion and photography.

Satya Nayagam

Satya is an undergraduate student (’22) studying Chemical and Biological Engineering. Satya started in the Prud’homme Lab as a sophomore research student and is currently working on nanoparticle encapsulation of mRNA for vaccine applications. Satya grew up outside of Cleveland, OH and has previously interned at NASA and Lubrizol. Upon graduation, Satya intends to pursue a Ph.D. in biology/life sciences.

Outside of chemE, Satya has been involved with various aerospace and aviation activities, including a group called Operation Space which attempted the first non-university backed student rocket launch to space. Satya also has a private pilot’s license and enjoys making short trips over campus and around the NYC area in small Cessna and Piper aircraft.