About Me

Born in Saigon, Vietnam, my family migrated to Orange County, CA in 1994. My family moved around Southern California until finally settling in Redondo Beach, CA in 1998. I attended Mira Costa High School and led community outreach clubs such as a section of People Attaining Complete Equality (PACE) and Amnesty International. I hosted chartiable events such as battle of the bands to raise awareness for Darfur. In addition, I coordinated conferences and brought in speakers to speak about diversity and humanitarian causes in our community.

After high school I attended California State University, Long Beach (CSULB)where I received my B.S. in Chemistry (2013). While there I created a student newsletter for the chemistry department, The Beaker. My other proud moment was receiving the Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participants (LSAMP)fellowship two years in a row (NSF grant: HRD-0802628), which supported my research and tremendously helped me get into graduate school. In 2017, I received my Ph.D. in Chemistry at the University of California, Davis with support from the Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Needs (GAANN) fellowship from the Department of Education #300RKSM-ETCPP.

I worked at LBNL as a postdoc prior to joining Lockheed Martin as a Senior Systems and Test Integration Engineer. My job was focused on testing and developing infrared sensors. At Lockheed, I was also the events committee chair for 2021 during challenging COVID regulations and conditions. I maintained my community outreach by volunteering at recruiting events for Asian-American engineers at UCSB. Community service and mentorship remains an important aspect of my life. I've mentored and trained over 15+ junior scientists and engineers at UC Davis, UC Berekeley, and Lockheed. I am open to taking on mentors and helping the community any way I can! Feel free to drop a message if you're looking for volunteers, a mentor/mentee, or collaborator.

Some personal information about myself, I enjoy outdoor activities like hiking, biking, backpacking, camping, and tennis. Other hobbies include cooking, traveling, and arts & crafts. I have traveled to thirteen different states and twelve different countries. My graduate and post-doc career allowed me to spend long periods of time in Japan. Having been there eight times, I've traveled to Kyoto, Osaka, Nara, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Okayama, Hyogo, Himeji, Fuji, Nagano, Aioi, and more. Post-pandemic I picked up backpacking and biking. Thus far my longest bike ride has been 50 miles from Santa Barbara to Ventura and back. My most recent backpacking trip was a 30mi loop in Mineral King, CA. Trying to find activities that bring me joy and provide depth in my life is something that I constantly strive for. Making sure that I improve myself professionally and personally is a high priority.

My partner and I have recently became pawrents to our goldendoodle, Matcha! Matcha loves fruits, dog parks, and his donut toy. He dislikes roomba's and brooms but can't seem to get enough of other hoomans and dogs. Here's Match at 4 months and on his first camping trip!

Research Publications


16. J. John,...C.C.Pham...,J.F. Kern,H. Lebrette, J.Yano Redonx-controlled structural reorganization and flavin strain within the ribonucleotide reductase R2b-Nrdl complex (monitored by serial femtosecond crystallography) Manuscript Submitted.

15. R. Hussein,...C.C.Pham...,J.F. Kern,V.K.Yachandra, J.Yano Structural dynamics in water and prton channels of photosystem II during the S2 to S3 transition Nature Communications, 11/2021; 12(1). DOI: 10.1038/s41567-021-26781-z

14. S.M.Keable,…C.C.Pham…,V.K. Yachandra, J. Yano, A. Zouni, J. Kern. Room Temperature XFEL Crystallography reveals asymmetry in the vicinity of the two phylloquinones in Photosystem I. Scientific Reports, 11/2021; 11(1). DOI:s41598-021-00236-3

13. XP.Rabe,...C.C.Pham...,V.K.Yachandra, J.Yano, J.F. Kern, A.M. Orville, and C.J. Schofield. X-ray free electron laser studies reveal correlation motion during isopenicillin N synthase catalysis. Science Advances, 08/2021; 34(7). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abh0250


12. V. Srinivas,…C.C.Pham…,V.K. Yachandra, J, Yano, J.D. Lipscomb, J. Kern, M.Högbom. High Resolution XFEL Structure of the Methane Monooxygenase Hydroxylase Complex with its Regulatory Component at Ambient Temperature in Two Oxidation States. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 07/2020; 142(33). DOI: 10.1021/jacs.0c05613.

11. M. Ibrahim,…C.C.Pham…,J. Kern, V.K. Yachandra, and J. Yano. Untangling the sequence of events during the S2 → S3transition in photosystem II: Implications for the water oxidation mechanism. Proceedings of National 06/2020; 117(23). DOI:10.1073/pnas.2000529117

10. E.S Burgie,…C.C.Pham…,R. Alonso-Mori, M.S. Hunter, J.E. Koglin, J. Yano, V.K. Yachandra, N.K Sauter, AE Cohen, J. Kern, A.M. Orville, G.N. Phillips, R.D. Vierstra. Photoreversible interconversion of a phytochrome photosensory module in the crystalline states. Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences. 01/2020; 117(1). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1912041116.


9. R. Chatterjee,…C.C.Pham…,V.K. Yachandra, J. Kern, J. Yano. XANES and EXAFS of dilute solutions of transition metal of XFELS. Journal of Synchrotron radiation. 09/2019; 26,1716-1724. DOI: 10.1107/SI16005775190075550


8. *C.C.Pham,…,Y. Yoda, and S.P. Cramer. Terminal Hydride Species of [FeFe]-Hydrogenases are Vibrationally Coupled to the Activated Site Environment. Angewandte Chemie, 08/2018; 130(33). DOI: 10.1002/ange.201805144

7. M.R. Carlson,...C.C. Pham..., L.B. Gee, H. Wang, S. P. Cramer. Sterically Stabilized Terminal Hydride of a Diiron Dithiolate. Inorganic Chemistry 01/2018; 57(4)., DOI:10.1021/acs.inorgchem.7b02903


6. *V.Pelmenschikov, *J.A. Birrell, *C.C.Pham,...,Yoshitaka Yoda, Thomas B Rauchfuss, Wolfgang Lubitz, Stephen P Cramer. Reaction Coordinate Leading to H2 Production in [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Identified by NRVS and DFT. Journal of the American Chemical Society 10/2017; 139(46)., DOI:10.1021/jacs.7b09751

5.*E.J. Reijerse, *C.C.Pham,...,Wolfgang Lubitz, Thomas B. Rauchfuss, Stephen P. Cramer. Direct Observation of an Iron-Bound Terminal Hydride in [FeFe]-Hydrogenase by Nuclear Resonance Vibrational Spectroscopy. Journal of the American Chemical Society 03/2017; 139(12)., DOI:10.1021/jacs.7b00686


4. D.L.M Suess, C.C.Pham, I. Bürstel, J. R. Swartz, S.P. Cramer, R.D. Britt. The Radical SAM Enzyme HydG Requires Cysteine and a Dangler Iron for Generating an Organometallic Precursor to the [FeFe]-Hydrogenase H-Cluster. Journal of the American Chemical Society 01/2016; 138(4)., DOI:10.1021/jacs.5b12512


3. D.L. M. Suess,… C.C.Pham..., S.P. Cramer, J. R. Swartz, R.D. Britt. Cysteine as a ligand platform in the biosynthesis of the [FeFe]- hydrogenase H cluster. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 08/2015; 112(37)., DOI:10.1073/pnas.1508440112

2. R.Gilbert-Wilson,...C.C Pham,...,S.P. Cramer, W. Lubitz, T.B. Rauchfuss. Spectroscopic Investigations of [FeFe]-Hydrogenase Maturated with [ 57 Fe 2 (adt)(CN)2(CO)4] 2–. Journal of the American Chemical Society 06/2015; 137(28)., DOI:10.1021/jacs.5b03270


1. C.C.Pham, M.H. Park, J.Y. Pham, S.G. Martin, M.P. Schramm. Modular Preparation of Diverse Dipyrrolemethanes. ChemInform 08/2013; 44(34)., DOI:10.1002/chin.201334099

*These authors contributed equally to this work.

Previous Experience

I am currently a Program Integration Systems Engineer at Northrop Grumman. Previously, I worked at Lockheed Martin as a Systems Integration and Test Engineer at Santa Barbara Focal Plane focusing on industry-leading infrared detectors and camera systems. I earned my Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis and Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from California State University, Long Beach. I was a post-doctoral scholar at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in the Molecular Biophysics and Integrated Bioimaging Division. My academic career has allowed me to conduct research at various Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories and international energy laboratories such as LBNL, Argonne National Laboratory (ANL), Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC), and Japan Synchrotron Radiation Research Institute (JASRI). I have published research in Nuclear Resonance Vibrational Spectroscopy (NRVS), X-ray Free Electron Lasers in X-ray Spectroscopy and Crystallography, Mössbauer, and stopped flow Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectroscopy with a focus on metalloenzymes relevant to alternative energy catalysis. Some journals that I have published with are Journal of the American Chemical Society, Science Advances, Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences, Angewandte Chemie International Edition, and Inorganic Chemistry. My diverse technical background in chemistry, spectroscopic studies of energy catalysts, infrared detector, national laboratories, and defense has equipped me with the skills for a wide range of expertise. My previous role at Lockheed afforded me many opportunities to advance my career as well as help others develop their skills. My career focus has and will continue to be improving and adding to my own skill set through work, projects, and self/online learning. Mentorship has always been a priority for me since graduate school and continues to be a passion of mine wherever I work. Northrop Grumman is a great company to work for and I'm excited about the opportunities to come.

Expertise : Microfludics and N2/He cyrogenic systems, X-ray and infrared optics, and technical writing. My strong suit is hardware/electronics and moderate at software.

For more detailed information please click here for my CV.

Send me a message if you have more questions.



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