Brandon was born and raised on a small rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean (‘Oahu, Hawai‘i) by a father who studies rocks (geologist) and a mom who rocks. Unwilling to buy a winter coat, Brandon decided to stay home for college and study chemistry at the University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa. At Mānoa, he began researching in the lab of Prof. Ralf Kaiser, studying the reaction dynamics of simple aromatic molecules in interstellar model ice grains. Wishing to actually mix chemicals, he joined the lab of Prof. Matthew Cain with the goal of synthesizing chiral hybrid phosphine-phosphaalkene ligands. Finally ready to leave his little rock, Brandon flew 5,000 miles to New York City only to discover he was now stuck on an even littler rock. At Columbia, Brandon looks forward to studying the synthesis of indium phosphide quantum dots in the Owen lab. When not doing chemistry, Brandon enjoys eating interesting foods, aimlessly wandering around cities, and spending egregious amounts of money seeing Broadway shows.

Brandon McMurtry


BS - University of Hawai’i Manoa,

       (Research Advisors: Kaiser, R.I. and Cain, M.F.)


2016 Magistad Awardee

2015 Giichi Fujumoto Scholar

2012 University of Hawai‘i Regents Scholar