Gözde S. Demirer
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering (2022)
Gözde was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey and received her B.S. in Chemical and Biological Engineering from Koc University in 2015. Gözde completed her Chemical Engineering Ph.D. at UC Berkeley with Prof. Markita Landry in 2020. During her Ph.D. studies, she developed nanotechnologies for plant genetic engineering. For her postdoctoral work, Gözde joined Prof. Siobhan Brady's lab at UC Davis, where she studied nutrient use efficiency of tomato and developed high-throughput functional genomics tools to study transcriptional regulation in crops.
Tufan was born and raised in Turkey. He completed his PhD in Biotechnology at the Middle East Technical University in Ankara. He pursued various research opportunities in plant biotech and worked at the Palacký University Olomouc, the University of Florida and the Earlham Institute as a postdoctoral scientist. He developed genetic transformation and gene editing methods for model plants and non-model crops including sugarcane, barley and chickpea, and used synthetic biology and advanced mol bio techniques to generate and verify engineered plants.
Yuan was born in Turpan, China and earned her Ph.D. in Plant Biology at Purdue University in 2022. During her time at Purdue, she worked with Prof. Yun Zhou studying molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying meristem development by using the flowering plant Arabidopsis and the fern Ceratopteris as model systems. She is now a postdoc in the Demirer lab, where she is focused on the development of an efficient nanoparticle delivery platform for plant genetic engineering. In her free time, Yuan likes to cook, play video games, and spend time with her cat Xiaobao.
Adia was born in Berkeley, California and earned a B.S in Molecular and Environmental Biology from UC Berkeley in 2020. During her time as an undergraduate and young professional, Adia discovered her interest in ethnobotany and plant biology, while also developing skills in molecular and synthetic biology. As a Lab Technician Assistant in the Demirer Lab, Adia plans to focus on building and utilizing these skills to apply to her passion of plant focused research. In her free time, Adia is an artist, home cook, and edible/medicinal plant identification enthusiast.
Chemical Engineering 2021
Mark G. Legendre NSF Fellow
Mark was born in New Orleans, Louisiana and earned his B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame in 2021. During his time at UND, Mark developed supramolecular surface treatments for biomedical materials. He is currently pursuing his PhD degree in Chemical Engineering at Caltech as a member of the Demirer Lab where he is primarily focused on in planta protein delivery strategies for plant genetic engineering and developmental regulation. In his free time, Mark enjoys working out, playing and listening to music, and fly fishing.
Yunqing Wang FFAR Fellow
Yunqing was born in Chengdu, Sichuan, and earned her B.S. in Biomedical Sciences at Shanghai Jiao Tong University in 2021. During her undergrad, Yunqing participated in iGEM and developed a DNA detection toolbox based on CRISPR-Cas12a. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. degree in Bioengineering at Caltech as a member of the Demirer lab. She is passionate about applying synthetic biology techniques to plant engineering. Outside the lab, Yunqing enjoys hiking and photography, and is getting in the habit of working out and rock climbing.
Chemical Engineering 2022
Eugene was born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in Taipei, Taiwan. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. During his undergrad, Eugene worked with Prof. Mukherjee to develop biomolecular MRI reporters. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering at Caltech as a member of the Demirer Lab. His research focuses on developing engineered living materials to achieve controlled release of agrochemicals in the rhizosphere. In his free time, Eugene enjoys playing sports and watching movies.
Chemical Biology 2022
Jesus M. Galeana
Jesus received his B.S. degrees from the University of California, Irvine in Chemistry and another in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology in 2021. While in Irvine he conducted research in the Yang lab, where he spearheaded research for the electrochemical capture and release of carbon dioxide. He is now pursuing his PhD. degree in Chemical Biology where he focuses on the development of new carbon based nanoparticles for the delivery of bio-macromolecules into plants for genetic engineering. Jesus likes to cook, play boardgames, and watch movies in his spare time. He never says no to a good game of CATAN.
Chiara was born and raised in Los Angeles, CA. She received her B.S. in Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics in 2021 from the University of California, Los Angeles. During her time at UCLA, she worked under Dr. Jeffrey F. Miller studying the role of diversity-generating retroelements in the accelerated evolution of gut microbiota. She is now pursuing a Ph.D. degree in Biology as a member of the Demirer Lab. Her research focuses on plant-microbiome interactions and the ways in which the plant microbiome can be manipulated for sustainable agriculture. In her free time, Chiara enjoys going to the beach and spending time with loved ones.
Kimberley Tanatswa Muchenje
Kimberley was born in Harare, Zimbabwe and earned her B.S in Biology from Davidson College while investigating determinants of gene regulation at the transcriptional level in C.elegans. She has honed skills in genomic techniques and bioinformatic data analysis. She is now pursuing a PhD in Biology as a member of the Demirer Lab. Her research involves reconstituting biosynthetic pathways for efficient production of rare bioactive molecules with medicinal value in model plants using a synthetic biology approach. Kimberley enjoys mountain hikes, crocheting, running, reading novels, writing poetry and candid photography.
Catherine Griffin NSF Fellow
Catherine received her B.S. in Biological Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2023. While at MIT, she researched bacteriophage behavior in mucus environments and participated in internships working on microfluidic lab automation and directed evolution of genome editing enzymes. She is now pursuing a P.h.D in Bioengineering at Caltech as a member of the Demirer Lab. Her research focuses on engineered living materials for plant stress resilience. Catherine is an avid rock climber and if not in the lab, can be found in the climbing gym or bouldering around California!
To be continued
To be continued
Biochemistry with ESE minor