Emmanouil (Manos) Alexis

Emmanouil (Manos) is interested in Systems and Control Theory applications in Systems and Synthetic Biology. He received his Diploma (combined Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Patras in Greece. Subsequently, he moved to the UK to pursue his PhD in Biomolecular Control Theory at Oxford…

Alzoray D. Rojas Altuve
Research Specialist

Alzoray is a Venezuelan Biologist with a Masters Degree in Structural Biology from the Universidad Menedez Pelayo of Madrid. She has worked as a Lab Manager, Research Fellow and Research Assistant. Before joining our lab she was in charge of the High-throughput Crystallization Platform in the Department of Crystallography and Structural Biology…

Jeremy D. Cortez
Graduate Student

Jeremy is inspired by the genomic and structural diversity of the microbial world, particularly the many neat molecular tools we, as humans, can utilize in our own biotechnological and research adventures.

He received his B.S. from the University of Texas-Arlington, where he studied microbiology and investigated the molecular biology…

Lisset A. Duran Rosario
Graduate Student

Lisset’s research involves understanding the molecular mechanisms that lead to resistance in different extremophiles.


She received her B.S from John Jay College at CUNY in molecular biology. There she studied DNA Methylation in Breast Cancer. She has also done summer internships at Brown University studying Acute Lung…

Max Elikan
Graduate Student

The natural environment is a huge concern to Max. Driven by this and his fascination of chemistry, biology, and engineering, Max plans on using synthetic biology and protein engineering for tackling environmental challenges. Ultimately, Max hopes to engineer proteins and biological systems for making the chemical, pharmaceutical, remediation,…

Sebastian Espinel Rios

Sebastián is interested in machine-learning supported and -driven modeling, optimization, control, monitoring, and automation methods for advanced biotechnological applications. He holds a Doctoral degree in Engineering (Doktoringenieur) from the International Max Planck Research School for Advanced Methods in Process and Systems Engineering …

Elijah Gallimore-Repole
Graduate Student

Elijah is interested in using synthetic biology to improve current industrial yeasts and studying non-conventional microbes for their industrial chemical production potential. He’s originally from Kingston, Jamaica. Elijah received his bachelors from Cornell University where he double majored in  Biological Sciences and Chemistry &amp…

Sergio Garcia Echauri
Postdoctoral Fellow

Sergio's research focuses on synthetic biology for the production of recombinant proteins in cells and microorganisms such as microalgae. He is interested in understanding mechanisms that regulate transgene expression and applied sciences. In the Avalos Lab, Sergio has been establishing microalgae-based research and synthetic biology tools…

Archontoula Giannakopoulou


Archontoula Giannakopoulou joins the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, with a research goal to deepen understanding of the design principles of biotechnological tools for numerous applications in the areas of renewable energy, the environment and human health. She aims to develop novel multifunctional synthetic…

Chris Gonzalez
Graduate Student

Chris works on developing new technologies to control engineered metabolisms in yeast at the protein level.

Shannon Hoffman
Graduate Student

Shannon's research focuses on using yeast to more sustainably and efficiently produce proteins that we traditionally source from animals. She is originally from Ohio, where she received her Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from the University of Dayton.  Out of the lab, she enjoys hiking, playing the piano, and popping off in League of…

Jaewan Jang

Jaewan’s research focuses on engineering optogenetic circuits to control microbial growth for metabolic engineering.He comes from South Korea while completing his BSc and PhD in Chemistry from the University of Toronto, Canada. In his free time, he likes to enjoy one amazing cup of coffee, watch documentaries, and loves to host lab socials.

Sarah Kwartler
Graduate Student

Sarah strives to apply molecular biology to efficiently counter our plastic pandemic. Originally from Oregon, Sarah received her B.S. from Duke University in Biology, with a concentration in Marine Biology, and a certificate in Innovation & Entrepreneurship. Her undergraduate research with Dr. Jason Somarelli at the Duke University Medical…

José Montaño López
Graduate Student

José currently works on systems biology of yeast branched-chain alcohol production. He is originally from Mexico where he received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico. He likes hiking, watching soccer and eating authentic Mexican tacos.

Saurabh Malani
Graduate Student

Saurabh is a Singaporean chemical engineer with a Bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley. He is interested in the intersection of computation and experiments in biology, and currently works on developing neural network models for metabolic engineering. He's most commonly found at a quaint little coffee shop or aimlessly…

Krishi Mantri
Graduate Student

Finding new industrial processes for the production of relevant chemicals or energy sources through synthetic biology is of immense interest to Krishi. Ultimately, Krishi hopes to engineer new strains to produce value-added chemicals for industrial production. He did his undergraduate from IIT Bombay in India. In his spare time, Krishi…

Joyce Mo
Undergraduate Student

Joyce Mo is a senior undergraduate student in the chemical and biological engineering department. Her independent research project focuses on transcription factor biosensors applied in branched-chain amino acid and branched-chain higher alcohol metabolism. Broadly speaking, her interests lie in consumer biotechnology and sustainability…

Melan Rojas

Melan is interested in well-being, sleep, and the great outdoors. He received his Bachelor's in Forensic Sniffs from Barkmouth College and his Master's and PhD in Woofs from Pawston University. Melan enjoys cuddles, walks, and high fashion.

Mansha Seth-Pasricha
Research Associate Scholar

Mansha comes from an evolutionary microbiology background with previous experience in exploring evolutionary mechanisms in extremophilic Archaea, and double-stranded RNA viruses. She also worked in the industry in genomics. Mansha will be utilizing her experience with Archaea in metabolic engineering in the lab.


Kay Siu

Kay’s work focuses on developing tools to study and engineer biomolecular condensates. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University and Ph.D. from the University of Delaware. Outside of the lab, he enjoys going on hikes, cooking (and eating), and raving about movies.

Allison Tang
Graduate Student
Allison is interested in engineering protein systems for applications in metabolic engineering. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at Caltech. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano, solving puzzles, and exploring the city.
Mack Walls
Graduate Student

Mack is interested in designing controllable clustering systems in vivo to perturb cellular processes. He is co-advised by Dr. Cliff Brangwynne.

Outside of lab, he is interested in beer brewing, board games, hiking, and climbing.

Scott Wegner
Graduate Student

Scott’s research interests involve genomic and protein engineering in the context of metabolic engineering, with a particular focus on the production of complex molecules from microorganisms. Scott received his bachelors from Arizona State University where he double majored in psychology and biochemistry. Following graduation, Scott worked as a…

Kevin Xu
Graduate Student

Kevin is interested in engineering multiphase synthetic organelle systems. He received his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Outside of lab, he likes fencing, skiing, and enjoying good food. He is co-advised by Dr.…