Dr. Cole Stevens

David Cole Stevens received his PhD in chemistry at the University of Ottawa in 2011 under the supervision of Christopher Boddy where his research focused on increasing the utility of heterologous expression towards the discovery of microbial natural products. From 2011-2014 he investigated the biosynthesis and heterologous expression of polyketides as a postdoctoral fellow in the Richard Taylor laboratory at the University of Notre Dame. Currently, he is investigating the catalytic potential of polyketide synthases to facilitate complex chemical transformations.

Dr. Jia Zeng

Jia received his doctoral degree from Utah State University where he obtained a background in biological engineering, especially on natural product biosynthetic pathways. While working on polyketide compounds, he realized the importance of structural information in understanding the synthases that produce them. He is currently crystallizing key domains of multimodular polyketide synthases. When he is not publishing papers, he likes playing basketball, swimming, and piano.

Dr. Luisa Moretto

Luisa grew up in the Netherlands and got her PhD in biochemistry at the University of Cambridge in 2016, working on the interaction between domains of modular type I polyketide synthases. Her main interests are enzymology and the interactions between proteins investigated by biophysical and structural characterization of enzymes. In her free time, Luisa likes to play volleyball, go horseback riding and enjoy music.

Drew Wagner

Drew is in the biochemistry program at UT Austin. Drew enjoys designing recombinant polyketide synthases, solving the Schrodinger equation for 7 body systems and street fighter II turbo. He is also a connoisseur of fine whiskeys.

Jessica Meinke

After Jessica graduated with her B.S. in Biochemistry from UC Davis, she worked in biotech designing and developing RNA diagnostics. She subsequently decided to switch fields and pursue protein crystallography. When she isn't in the lab, Jessica enjoys playing sports, hiking and finding new live music shows.

Zhicheng (Alex) Zhang

Alex studied music for 20 years before he finally switched to chemistry. He received his bachelors degree in Fudan University in 2013. He is now in the organic chemistry program at UT Austin. His project aims to perform the total synthesis of triketides utilizing enzymatic reduction.