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

Huaimin Wang, Ph.D.

Ph.D.: School of Energy and Environment, The City University of Hong Kong

M.S.: Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

B.S.: Environmental Engineering, Shenzhen University

Email: huaimin.wang AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in metabolic engineering based plastic biodegradation and biorefinery.

Interests: Big fan of Texas BBQ, try to do a review for all the BBQ restaurants in Texas. I also love badminton and video games.

Sangdo Yook, Ph.D.

Ph.D.: Food Science and Human Nutrition, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

M.S.: Environmental Engineering, Pohang University of Science and Technology

B.S.: Environmental Engineering, University of Seoul

Email: sangdo.yook AT austin.utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in practical problem-solving through synthetic biology and genetic engineering, particularly in biorefinery, bioremediation, and the production of genetically modified foods.

Interests: I enjoy camping and traveling with family and friends.

Graduate Students

Daniel Acosta (co-advised with Dr. Ellington)

PhD Student in Microbiology (ILSGP)

B.S.: Microbiology, University of Arizona

Email: d.acosta AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in utilizing metabolic engineering/synthetic biology in bioremediation and renewable feedstock applications, specifically microbial techniques for disposing of plastics.

Interests: I love backpacking and outdoor activities like hiking and rock climbing. I also enjoy skiing and winter sports when presented the rare opportunity to go somewhere cold.

Mayur Bansal

PhD Student in Biochemistry (ILS)

B.S.: Biochemistry and Genetics, Texas A&M University

Email: mayursst AT utexas.edu

Research: I am working on applying synthetic biology techniques to develop more efficient strategies to produce industrially important and/or specialty chemicals.

Interests: I enjoy reading science fiction, watching movies and practicing muay thai. If I'm not at the lab you can find at Barton springs where I can regret not spending all my money on bitcoin 15 years ago.

Amelia Bergeson

PhD Student in Chemical Engineering

B.S.: Chemical Engineering, Tulane University

Email: amelia.bergeson AT austin.utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in research related to sustainability, specifically plasticdegradation, through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology techniques.

Interests: I enjoy skiing, knitting, spending time with family and friends, and trying new things.

Sarah Coleman

PhD Student in Chemical Engineering

B.S.: Chemical-Biological Engineering, MIT

Email: sarahcol AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in the synthesis of specialty chemicals in yeast using synthetic biology and metabolic engineering tools.

Interests: I enjoy being outdoors, concerts, gardening and when journal articles have puns in the title.

Natalia Estrada

PhD Student in Microbiology (ILS)

B.S.: Microbiology and Immunology, The University of Texas at San Antonio

Email: natalia.estrada AT utexas.edu

Research: I’m interested in using synthetic biology tools for high throughput screenings and the production of speciality chemicals.

Interests: I enjoy cooking/baking, gardening, and spending time outdoors.

Angela Gordillo Sierra

PhD Student in Chemical Engineering

B.S.: Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering, Universidad de los Andes Bogotá, Colombia

M.Sc.: Chemical Engineering, Universidad de los Andes Bogotá, Colombia

Email: ar.gordillo AT utexas.edu

Research: I’m interested in developing synthetic biology tools for the production of industrially important and/or specialty chemicals.

Interests: I enjoy trying new recipes, being active outside, traveling and eating pizza.

Lizzie Klatt

PhD Student in Chemical Engineering

B.S.: Engineering, Smith College

Email: lklatt AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in utilizing tools in polymer science and synthetic biology to create new, living materials with biological functionality.

Interests: I enjoy drawing, gardening, cooking/baking, video games, hanging out with my cats, and wasting my time on the internet.

Sung Gyung Lee

PhD Student in Chemical Engineering

B.S.: Chemical Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles

Email: sunggyunglee AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in using synthetic biology tools to produce novel natural products with industrial and medicinal applications.

Interests: I enjoy running and going to the beach, exploring new cuisines, and watching reality TV shows.

Celeste Marsan

PhD Student in Chemical Engineering

B.S.: Chemical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Email: celeste.marsan AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in using synthetic biology and genetic engineering tools to produce novel bioactive metabolites.

Interests: I enjoy hiking, playing sports, exploring new places, and pretty much anything else I can do outdoors with my dog, Milo.

Morgan Martinez

PhD Student in Chemical Engineering

B.S.: Chemical Engineering, University of Dayton

Email: morgan.martinez AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in using synthetic biology and cell metabolisms to recover and repurpose industrial waste products into useful and environmentally benign products.

Interests: I love cooking, painting, drawing, woodworking, going to concerts, and playing sports (baseball, football, tennis, ultimate frisbee). I’d be remiss to forget memes and my dog, Woodford.

Ryan O’Connor (co-advised with Dr. Keatinge-Clay)

PhD Student in Biochemistry (ILSGP)

B.S.: Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences, Bradley University

Email: roconnor AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in engineering microbes and polyketide synthases for the large scale production of novel/industrially relevant secondary metabolites.

Interests: I live for kayaking, live music, anything to do with plants, and busting out some funky tunes on my bass.

Rodney Ridley (co-advised with Dr. Lynd)

PhD Student in Chemical Engineering

B.S.: Biological Engineering and Chemistry, Geneva College

M.S.: Biological Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology

Email: rodneyridey AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in the bioremediation and upcycling of plastics, via microbial, statistical learning, and polymer science techniques.

Interests: I enjoy lots of outdoor activities like hiking and kayaking, as well as traveling and playing piano.

Ashli Silvera

PhD Student in Chemical Engineering

B.S.: Chemical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Email: ajsilvera AT utexas.edu

Research: I am interested in applying metabolic engineering and synthetic biology techniques to research in sustainability.

Interests: I enjoy reading and watching documentaries & reality tv shows.

Visiting Scholars

Karol Nogueira, Ph.D.

Ph.D.: Biochemistry, University of São Paulo

B.S.: Biochemistry, Federal University of São João del-Rei

Email: kmvnogueira AT utexas.edu

Marcel Lopez Reed

B.S.: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of California Santa Cruz

Email: marcellopezreed AT gmail.com

Undergraduate Students

Larissa Aspiras

Email: lga589 AT my.utexas.edu

Anjana Balaji

Email: anjanabalaji14 AT utexas.edu

Ryan Dittoe

Email: redittoe AT utexas.edu

Geena Kaown

Email: geena.kaown AT gmail.com

Sanchali Karthikeyan

Email: sanchali AT utexas.edu

Jessica Lam

Email: jlam4104 AT utexas.edu

Gia Maioriello

Email: gmaioriello AT me.com

Rebeka Nickell

Email: rebekanickell2 AT gmail.com

Blanton Priebe

Email: blanton.priebe AT utexas.edu

Esha Ramanan

Email: esha.ramanan AT utexas.edu

Santosh Soule

Email: santoshsoule AT utexas.edu

Anupama Subramanian

Email: anupama.subramanian AT utexas.edu

Adit Trivedi

Email: adit.trivedi AT utexas.edu