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Iona McWhinnie

B.Sc., Duke University, 2022

Half Scottish and half American, Iona was born in London where she lived until age 7 when her family moved to Westchester, NY. After developing a passion for Chemistry in 10th grade, she went on to major in Chemistry at Duke University where she received her B.S. in Chemistry with Distinction in May of 2022. While at Duke, Iona worked in the Hong Lab, where she focused on several projects, including the synthesis of xanthocillin X dimethylether, the synthesis of a TLS inhibitor candidate for prostate cancer therapy, and the derivatization of FK506. For her thesis, she employed palladium catalyzed coupling reactions to synthesize conjugated macrocycles for the study of the infra-red control of electron transfer mechanisms. Eager to venture into the world of reaction development, Iona decided to move to Princeton and join the MacMillan lab. Outside of the lab, Iona enjoys skiing, horseback riding, playing backgammon and cribbage, hanging out with her family’s golden retrievers, and anything James Bond related.

Fun Facts
  • Haggis, Neeps, & Tatties is Iona's favorite meal (breakfast, lunch, or dinner). Rumors that she had haggis sandwiches for breakfast on the school bus in high school cannot be confirmed or denied.
  • Iona has a life-sized cardboard cutout of James Bond (Sean Connery of course) which her parents gave her for her 16th birthday. She also likes the color pink (see photo).
  • Iona has a taxidermy squirrel named Walther on the wall in her room at home.
  • Iona is an avid proponent of the oxford comma and is deeply pained by how often they are forgotten.