Dr. Takeshi Miyazawa

Takeshi is a Research Associate who received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at RIKEN (Saitama University) in 2016 under the supervision of Hiroyuki Osada and Shunji Takahashi where his research focused on the biosynthesis of reveromycin, especially the formation of unusual extender units and post-PKS modifications. He is currently investigating the higher-order structures of modular PKSs and how to best engineer these assembly lines. In his free time, Takeshi seeks out delicious US beer.


Dr. Jie Zhang

Jie is a Postdoctoral Fellow who completed his Ph.D. in 2021 at the University of Tokyo, Japan. His Ph.D. research, under the supervision of Tomohisa Kuzuyama, focused on the biosynthesis of natural products containing o-dialkylbenzene moieties formed by a new type of pericyclase. He is currently working on the engineering PKS assembly lines to improve the production of polyketides in vitro and in vivo. In addition, he is interested in using cryo-EM to understand the structure of modular PKSs. Outside of the lab, he enjoys traveling.


Melissa Hirsch

Melissa is Analytical Chemistry graduate student who received a BS in Chemistry from John Brown University and an MS in Organic Chemistry from the University of Arkansas. Her research under Dr. Wei Shi focused on the total synthesis of the lead compound ipomoeassin F, as well as synthetic and computational methodology development. Currently, she is recombining PKS modules to produce novel chiral building blocks.


Kate Ray

Kate is a biochemistry graduate student who received her B.S. from East Carolina University. She is currently working on editing PKS assembly lines, both in vivo and in vitro. Outside the lab, she likes to spend time with her pet sugar gliders.


Ramesh Bista

Ramesh is a Biochemistry graduate student who received his B.S. in Biochemistry from University of Louisiana at Monroe. He is currently working on engineering of polyketide synthases to produce a library of designer polyketides. He like to read fiction novels in my free time.


Josh Lutgens

Josh is a Cell and Molecular Biology graduate student who received his B.S. from The University of Texas at Austin. He is combinatorially assembling engineered PKSs.


Ronak Desai

Ronak is a fourth-year undergraduate student pursuing degrees in Chemistry and Biochemistry. He works on recombining PKS modules to engineer designer PKSs and understanding the interactions that drive domains and modules to assemble into PKSs. After graduating, he plans to pursue M.D.-Ph.D. dual degree training and continue performing research at the interface of chemistry and biology. In his free time, he enjoys watching and playing sports, reading, and spending time with his dog, Simba.


Nisha Saif

Nisha is a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry and Health & Society with a minor in Health Communication. She joined the lab in January 2020 and has worked on both bioinformatics and combinatorial biosynthesis projects. In the future, she hopes to continue pursuing her research interests and advocating for health equity as a physician-scientist.


Shreyas Annaswamy

Shreyas is a third-year undergraduate student majoring in Biochemistry. He is helping construct and assay new PKS assembly lines.