Research Staff
Principal Investigator

Hal Alper, Ph.D.

B.S: Chemical Engineering, University of Maryland at College Park

Ph.D: Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Post-doc: Whitehead Institute

Post-doc: Shire Human Genetic Therapies

Postdoctoral Scholars

Aaron Lin, Ph.D.

B.S: Chemical Engineering, National Taiwan University of Science

M.S: Genetics, National Yang Ming University

Ph.D: Chemical Engineering, University of California, Riverside

Email: aaronlin39308008 AT gmail.com

Research: I’m interested in developing high throughput technology to detect chemicals and new technology to control gene expression in yeast.

Interests: I enjoy exploring new things, including unknown scientific questions, exotic but not bizarre gourmet food, and places I’ve never been to.

Graduate Students

Lauren Cordova

B.S: Chemical Engineering, University of Delaware

Email: lcordova AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in applying genetic and metabolic engineering tools for the production of industrially important and/or specialty chemicals in Yarrowia lipolytica

Interests: I love STEM outreach, running, traveling and being outdoors.

Matt Deaner

B.S: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

Email: mhdeaner AT gmail.com

Research: I am interested in developing novel synthetic biology tools to optimize gene expression of metabolic pathway enzymes in yeast.

Interests: I enjoy listening to and playing music, going to music festivals, college sports (Go Bears), science fiction and fantasy books/movies, and traveling abroad.

Simon d'Oelsnitz (co-advised with Dr. Ellington)

B.S: Pharmacology, Stony Brook University

Email: doelsnitz AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in directed evolution and protein engineering for the production of specialty chemicals and biopharmaceuticals.

Interests: Bouldering, playing piano, cooking, meditation, soccer, dank memes, web programming, and cheetahs.

Haibo Li

B.S: Biochemistry, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Email: haiboli AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in engineering yeast to promote biofuel production

Interests: I enjoy cooking, traveling, movies and live music. I’m a huge fan of professional basketball and occasionally do Kendo for fun.

Kelly Markham

B.S: Chemical Engineering, Iowa State University

Email: kmarkham AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in studying enzyme function and regulation as well as engineering yeast to be a biofactory for the production of renewable chemicals.

Interests: I love baking, kayaking, crafts, Cyclone basketball, and drinking coffee.

Nick Morse

B.S: Chemical Engineering, University of Connecticut

B.S: Chemistry, University of Connecticut

Email: nicholas.morse AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in developing metabolic engineering tools in yeast and E. coli for use in novel synthetic pathways

Interests: I enjoy hiking, all kinds of music, good food, biking, college basketball, and hanging out with friends

Claire Palmer

B.A: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Wesleyan University

M.A: Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Wesleyan University

Email: cmpalmer15 AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in studying metabolic regulation and engineering yeast to produce novel bioactive molecules.

Interests: I love baking, running, live music, hiking and traveling.

Kristin Presnell

B.S. Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Email: kpres48 AT gmail.com

Research: I am interested in using computational methods to develop more rational approaches to the design of a wide range of metabolic engineering tools.

Interests: I enjoy cooking, board games, painting, and Netflix... but primarily cats. I really enjoy cats.

Kevin Reed

B.S: Chemical Engineering, New Mexico Tech

Email: kevin.reed AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in developing metabolic engineering tools to facilitate novel bioproduct synthesis in yeast.

Interests: I enjoy playing and writing music, basketball, soccer, snowboarding, mountaineering, rock climbing, investing, traveling, and volunteering around my local community.

James Wagner

B.S: Chemical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University

Email: james.wagner AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in developing synthetic biology and metabolic engineering tools for the production of specialty chemicals and biopharmaceuticals.

Interests: I enjoy reading, playing soccer, learning new board/card games, brewing beer and cider, and traveling.

Shuo-Fu (Joseph) Yuan

B.S: Biological Science and Technology, National Chiao Tung University

M.S: Biochemical Sciences, National Taiwan University

Email: shuofuyuan AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in developing nucleotide-based biosensors for high-throughput screening and engineering microorganisms to produce pharmaceutical compounds and value-added products.

Interests: I enjoy watching Animal Planet, playing basketball and tennis, bubble milk tea and traveling.

Undergraduate Students

Ishani Chakravarty

Email: ishanic AT utexas.edu

Holly Ekas

Email: holly.ekas AT gmail.com

Madan Gopal

Email: mgopal AT utexas.edu

Lars Lauffer

Email: lars.lauffer AT utexas.edu

Sayuri Monarrez Yesaki

Email: smonarrez AT utexas.edu

Clare Murray

Email: clare.murray AT utexas.edu

Priya Nair

Email: nair.h.priya AT utexas.edu

Samantha Refvik

Email: samantharefvik AT utexas.edu

Olivia Schmitz

Email: Olivia_Schmitz AT austin.rr.com

Emory Siedel

Email: williamsiedell AT gmail.com

Arvind Swaminathan

Email: arvind.swaminathan6 AT utexas.edu

Sofia Vazquez

Email: sofia.vazquez AT utexas.edu

Maya Venkataraman

Email: maya.venkataraman AT gmail.com

Eden Williams

Email: eden.williams AT utexas.edu