Lab Members

Postdoctoral Fellows

Juan Mauricio Mora Pale
E-mail: morapj@rpi.edu
Phone: (518) 276-2811

Curriculum Vitae

Education
PhD (2002-2007): Chemical Engineering at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (U.N.A.M.), Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Food and Biotechnology.
Master studies (2000-2002): Chemical Engineering at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (U.N.A.M.), Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Food and Biotechnology.
Bachelor (1994-2000): Chemical Engineering at Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico (U.N.A.M.), Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Theoretical Physics and Chemistry.


Graduate Students

Namita Bhan
Email: bhann@rpi.edu

Education
B.Tech. Chemical Engineering, SVNIT, India, 2007
M.S. Chemical and Biological Engineering, University at Buffalo, 2010
Ph.D. Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Expected May 2014

Project
I am working with plant natural products, mainly Resveratrol. We have developed a high Resveratrol producing strain in the lab, and am now concentrating on producing resveratrol analogues, by site-directed mutation of the enzyme Stilbene Synthase. Also, we are working on forming oligomers of natural products and finding their anti-microbial activities, in collaboration with Dr. Mauricio Mora-Pale from Dr. Dordick’s group. Previous research has suggested that oligomerization of active small natural products can lead to an improvement in activity.


Brady Cress
Email: cressb@rpi.edu

Education
B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas, 2007
M.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Arkansas, 2010
Ph.D. Chemical and Biological Engineering, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Expected May 2015

Project
My primary research project is a collaboration between my coadvisors, Dr. Koffas and Dr. Robert Linhardt, and involves metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for production of heparosan, a precursor to the anticoagulant pharmaceutical heparin.

Research Interests
The confluence of protein engineering, synthetic biology, and metabolic engineering for production of chemicals of significant economic and societal value.

I believe that metabolic engineers, utilizing the most recent protein engineering and synthetic biology tools, will revolutionize the health, energy, and materials industries by supplying both commodity and specialty chemicals at low cost from waste and renewable sources. My goal is to create the tools that will enable high-level production of any chemical from virtually any feedstock and showcase their utility by producing high-impact, complex chemicals from simple carbon sources.

Future Plans
My ambition is to pursue my own research. This goal will best be supported by expanding my expertise in areas related to metabolic engineering during a post-doc and then pursuing a faculty position.


Peng Xu
Email: pxu999@gmail.com

Education
BS,  Biotechnology, Jiangnan University
MS, Biochemical Engineering, Jiangnan University

Project
I moved to RPI at 2011 from State University of New York at Buffalo, where I have spent two and half years working on flavonoids pathway in Koffas group. My current research is focused on (I) modular optimization of multi-gene pathway for improving fatty aicds production in E. coli; and (II) construction of malonyl-CoA-responsive genetic circuits to dynamically control central carbon flux and its application to fatty acids production.


Undergraduate Students

Zachary Greene
Email: greenz@rpi.edu
Education: B.S. Chemical Engineering 2013
Research Interests: Metabolic Engineering, Metabolic Optimization
Hobbies: Video games, rock climbing
Future Plans: Graduate School for PHD


Qin Gu
Email: guq2@rpi.edu
Education: B.S. Chemical Engineering 2013
Research Interests:
Hobbies:
Future Plans:


Omar Khalidi
Email: khalio2@rpi.edu
Education: B.S. Chemical Engineering 2013
Research Interests: Metabolic Engineering, Resveratrol
Hobbies: Basketball, working out, video games
Future Plans: Graduate School (PHD)


Haiyun Li
Email: lih6@rpi.edu
Education: B.S. Chemical Engineering 2014
Research Interests:
Hobbies:
Future Plans:


Katherine Woychik
Email: woychk@rpi.edu
Education: B.S. Chemical Engineering 2013
Research Interests:
Hobbies:
Future Plans:

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