Austin-Texas December 2023



Yunling Deng
Ph.D., Bioinorganic Chemistry, Dartmouth College, 2020
B.S., Chemistry, Nankai University, China, 2014
Yuan Ma
Ph.D., Chemistry, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, 2018
B.Sc., Materials Physics, Nanjing University, China, 2012
Quanbing Mou
Ph.D., Material Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, 2018
B.Sc., Polymer Materials and Engineering, Sichuan University, China, 2012
Yuting Wu
Ph.D., Cell Biology, Peking University, China, 2017
B.Sc., Biology, Sichuan University, China, 2011
Casey Van Stappen
D.Sc., Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion, Germany, 2019
M.Sc., University of Minnesota, Duluth, 2013
B.Sc., University of Minnesota, Duluth, 2011
Aaron P. Ledray
Ph.D., Biological Sciences, University of California Irvine, 2021
B.S., Biotechnology & Biomedical Sciences, Minors in Chemistry & Music, University of Central Florida, 2015
Zhenglin Yang
Charles F. Kade Fellowship 2019
Ph.D., Biochemistry, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2021
M.Sc., University of Toronto, 2015
B.S., Peking University, 2012
Xiangli Shao
Ph.D., Nutrition and Food Safety, China Agricultural University, China, 2022
B.S., Food Science and Engineering, Sichuan Agricultural University, China, 2015
Mingkuan Lyu
Ph.D., Chemistry, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, 2022
B.S., Chemistry, Renmin University of China, China, 2017

Graduate Students

Mandira Banik
Enta Fellowship 2019
Chemistry (Chemical Biology), 2019
B.S.A., Chemistry, UT Austin, 2019
Annie Farrell
Chemistry (Chemical Biology), 2020
B.S., Chemistry, Northeastern Illinois University, 2020
B.A., Psychology, University of Illinois at Chicago, 2012
Valeria Garcia
Biochemistry, 2020
B.S., Chemistry with Emphasis in Biochemistry, San Diego State University, 2020
Weijie Guo
B.S., Life Sciences, Peking University, 2018
Hirbod Heidari
Chemistry (Inorganic), 2019
B.S., Chemistry, Sharif University of Technology, 2018
Linggen Kong
Biophysics & Quantitative Biology, 2019
B.S., Biotechnology, Zhejiang University, 2019
Whitney Lewis
Chemistry (Analytical), 2020
B.S., Chemistry, Saint Mary’s College, 2020
Yiwei Liu
Chemistry (Inorganic), 2018
B.S., Chemistry, Peking University, 2018

Jingxiang Wang
Chemistry (Inorganic), 2019
B.S., Chemistry, Peking University, China, 2019
Yu Zhou
Chemistry (Organic)
B.S., Chemistry, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China, 2019
Ishika Rashed
Chemistry (Analytical), 2021
B.A., Chemistry, University of North Texas, 2021
Shreestika Pradhan
Chemistry (Chemical Biology), 2021
B.S., Biochemistry, University of Evansville, 2020
Aritra Roy
Chemistry (Chemical Biology) 2022
B.Sc. (Honors in Chemistry) - St. Xavier's College, Kolkata, India, 2019
M.S. (Chemical Science) - Indian Institute of Science Education and Research Kolkata (IISER-K), 2022
Lisa Phan
Cell and Molecular Biology, 2022
B. S. in Biochemistry, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, 2022
Elijah Garcia
Thrust 2000 and Wayne Nance Family Endowed Graduate Fellowships in Engineering 2023
Chemical Engineering, 2022
B.S., Chemical Engineering, The University of Texas at San Antonio, 2022
Shuya Lu
Chemistry(Chemical Biology), 2023
B.S., Chemistry(Chemical Biology), Nanjing University, 2023
Jiaqing Xu
Chemistry(Chemical Biology), 2023
M.Sc., Pesticide Science, China Agricultural University, China, 2023
B.S., Chemistry, China Agricultural University, China, 2020
Barshali Ghosh
Chemistry (Inorganic), 2023
B.Sc. (Honors in Chemistry) - St. Xavier's College, Kolkata, India, 2020
M.Sc. (Chemistry) - Indian Institute of Technology (IIT ISM) Dhanbad, 2023
Dani Lawson
Biochemistry (2023)
B.S., Molecular and Cellular Biology, minor in Biochemistry, Baylor University, 2023
Da Huo
Cell and Molecular Biology, 2023
M.Med., Beijing Gerontology Research Institute of Ministry of Health, China, 2022
B.S., Biological Science(Poling Class), Nankai University, China, 2018

Research Assistant

Jacqueline Van Stappen
M.Sc. International Degree in Technical and Applied Sciences, Hochschule Bremen, 2014
B.Sc. International Degree in Technical and Applied Sciences, Hochschule Bremen, 2013

Undergraduate Students

Karen Zhang
Junior, Biochemistry
Ethan Chow
Sophomore, Biomedical Engineering
Carson Ward
Junior, Biochemistry
Ruilin Yang
Junior, Biology
Jeyhoon Park
Senior, Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
He "Howard" Shi
Sophomore, Chemical Engineering


Leslie Hilker
Assistant to Dr. Yi Lu and Lu group administrator

Past Students

Ph. D. ConferredYearThesisCurrent Position
Mingkuan Lyu2022Methods and Applications of Using DNA-Cleaving DNAzymes to Cleave Double-Stranded DNAPost Doc, UT Austin
Gregory T. Pawel2022Alternative Signal Transduction for Functional Nucleic Acid SensorsTech Transfer Manager, Vanderbilt U
Quan Lam2022Investigating the Role of Secodnary Coordination Sphere in Designed MetalloenzymesProtein Engineering, Scientist Position, Encodia Inc. San Diego
Zhenglin Yang
2021In vitro selection of DNAzymes selective for monovalent metal ions and their developement as sensors in living cells and organismsPost Doc, UT Austin
Yiming Wang2021Quantitative analysis on the formation of metal nanocrystalsPost Doc, Harvard University
Ryan Lake2021Discovery of novel functional DNA and their applications as biological sensorsPeace Corp
Sudharsan Dwaraknath2021Engineering an Oxygen Storage Metalloprotein into Carbon Dioxide and Oxygen Reduction MetalloenzymesPostdoc, Lawrence Berkeley Lab
Kevin A. Harnden2020Expanding the Chemistry of a Cupredoxin by Designing Nonnative Active Sites and using Abiological MetalsPostdoc, U. of Oregon
Evan N. Mirts2018Complex, Non-Native Heteronuclear Metal Centers Designed in Cytochrome C Peroxidase: Expanding the Limits of Biosynthetic ModelingResearch Scientist, Amgen
Chang Cui2018Engineering heme-copper and multi-copper oxidases for efficient oxygen reduction catalysisPostdoc, MIT/Harvard
Nitya sai Reddy Satyavolu2018DNA as A Functional Molecule for Control of Nanomaterial Morphology and for BiosensingResearch Scientist, Intel
Claire E. McGhee2018In vitro selection of monovalent metal ion-dependent DNAzymesResearch Scientist, Intel
Julian Reed2017Characterizing a Structural and Functional Model of Nitric Oxide Reductase Performing NO and O2 Reduction in Engineered MyoglobinPostdoc, DoD Construction and Engineering Research Laboratory
Ambika Bhagi2016Understanding Structure-Function Relations in Heme-Copper Oxidase Using Myoglobin-Based Enzyme ModelsAssistant Professor, U of Minnesota
Igor Petrik2016Characterization and Design of Hydrogen Bonding Interactions in Oxygen Reduction by Engineered MyoglobinsStructural Biologist, Ambry Genetics
Kevin Hwang2015Cellular Metal Ion Sensing Using DNAzymesPostdoc, MIT
Shiliang Tan2015Protein Engineering Using Azurin as the Scaffold: Capturing and Studying Novel Metal-Sulfenate and Metal-NO SpeciesAssistant Professor, Purdue University
Peiwen Wu2015DNAzymes as Intracellular Sensors for Metal Ion Imaging and their Structural CharacterizationResearch Scientist, Gilead
Parisa Hosseinzadeh2015Isolating, Characterizing, and Engineering Novel Cu-Proteins and PeroxidasesAssistant Professor, Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact at the University of Oregon
Li Huey Tan2015Studying the Interface Between DNA and Inorganic Nanoparticles to Control Shape and AnisotropicityResearch Scientist, Intel
Hang Xing2014Bioinspired DNA-Nanomaterial Conjugates for Diagnostic and Therapeutic ApplicationsProfessor, Hunan U
Seyed-Fakhreddin Torabi2014In vitro Selection and Characterization of Mono-, Di-, and Trivalent Metal-Dependent DNAzymes and Their Biosensor ApplicationsPostdoc, Yale University
Yang Yu2014Metalloprotein Engineering with Unnatural Amino Acids: Application in Functional Heme-Copper Oxidase And AzurinAssociate Professor Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Science
Ngo Yin Wong2013Advances in Structural and Functional DNA Nanotechnology: Towards Complex and Dynamic Assemblies for In Vitro ApplicationsResearch Scientist, Intel
Tian Lan2012I. Isolation of aptamers for perchlorate and melamine
II. Attempts towards crystallization of DNAzymes
III. A new DNAzyme based sensor for lead detection
CTO, GlucoScentient, Inc.
Tiffany Diane Wilson2012A Biosynthetic Approach to Understanding the Assembly of CuA Center Postdoctoral researcher- U. of California at Berkeley
Ying He2011Fluorescence Resonance Energy Transfer Study of the Global Folding of Functional DNAs And Electrohydrodynamic Printing of Protein ArraysResearch scientist (MRL of UIUC)
Kyle Miner2011Rational Design of Functional Heme Copper Oxidases in MyoglobinPost Doctoral Fellow - UT San Antonio
Nick Marshall2011Fine-Tuning the Reduction Potential of Cupredoxin Proteins by Altering Secondary Coordination Sphere InteractionsPost Doctoral Fellow - UT Austin
Zidong Wang2011Bioinspired fabrication and assembly of hybrid materials for sensing and biomedical applicationsManager, Technical Operations at Siemens Healthcare
Eric L. Null2011Functional DNS: Biochemical/biophysical characterization & sensing applicationsSenior Chemical Measurement Scientist at Corning Incorporated
Weichen Xu2010Smart MRI Contrast Agents and Label-Free Fluorescent Sensors Based on Functional Nucleic Acids and Mechanistic Studies of Metal-DNAzyme InteractionsResearch Scientist, ANDalyze, Inc.
Nathan Sieracki2010Toward engineering oxygenase activity into the electron transport protein azurinStaff Scientist, Department of Pharmacology,
Univesrity of Illinois - Chicago
Kevin M. Clark2010Probing the roles of Metal binding ligands in cupredoxins: Incorporating nonproteinogenic amino acids into azurin and CuA azurinAttorney, Kilpatrick, Townsend, & Stockton LLP
Nandini Nagraj2010Development Of Functional Dna-Based Sensors And Investigations Into Their MechanismResearch Scientist, GE Research Center
Debapriya Mazumdar2009Investigation of Metal-Dependence in DNAzymes and Applications of DNAzymes and Aptamers for DiagnosticsVice President of Product Development, DzymeTech, Inc.
Jung Heon Lee2009Bioinspired Assembly of Nanomaterials for Applications in Nanoelectronics and BiosensorsAssistant Professor, Sungkyunkwan University, Korea.
Natasha Yeung2008Modeling the FeB site of bacterial nitric oxide reductasePostdoctoral researcher- Lawrence Berkeley Lab
Mehmet Veysel Yigit2008Novel MRI contrast agents based on Functional DNA and nanomaterial conjugates for biomedical applicationsAssistant Professor- University at Albany, SUNY
Masha Savelieff2008Biosynthetic approach to protein models in long-range electron transferAssistant Prof, Michigan State Univ.
Dewain Garner2008Metalloprotein Design and Engineering Using Unnatural Amino Acids and Nonnative CofactorsResearch Scientist, Clorox Company
Hee-Kyung Kim2007Probing metal binding sites and metal ion-dependent conformational changes of a DNAzymePostdoctoral researcher- U. of California, Berkeley
Ningyan Wang2007Exploring the Roles of Heme Type and Histidine-Tyrosine Cross-Link in Heme-Copper Oxidases Using a Myoglobin ModelResearch Scientist, ImmuVen, Champaign, IL
Daryl P. Wernette2007Immobilization of Catalytic DNA for Advanced Materials and SensorsResearch Scientist, Owens Corning
Thomas P. Pfister2006Metalloprotein Engineering using Heme Protein Scaffolds to Investigate the Oxidation of Endogenous Aromatic Amino Acids and Exogenous SubstratesResearch Scientist, SAIC-Frederick, Inc., Frederick, MD
James R. Carey2006Design and Synthesis of Redox or Catalytically Active Artificial Metalloproteins Containing Non-native Inorganic and Organometallic ComplexesAssociate Professor, National University of Kaohsiung, Taiwan
Andrea K. Brown2006In vitro Selection and Characterization of Highly Selective Metal-Dependent DNAzymes with Potential Biosensor ApplicationsM.D. program- UIUC
Hee Jung Hwang2005Modulation of Metal Coordination and Redox Properties of the Engineered Purple Cu A and Ferrocene Centers in AzurinPostdoctoral Researcher- Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
Kevin E. Nelson2005In vitro selection and metal selectivity of transition metal dependent DNAzymesAssistant Professor (Clinical) of Pediatrics, University of Utah Health Care and Primary Children's Hospital
Juewen Liu2005Fluorescent and Colorimetric Biosensors Based On DNAzymes and DNA AptamersAssistant Professor, U. of Waterloo
Peter J. Bruesehoff2003In Vitro Selection and Characterization of Transition Metal-Dependent DNAzymes and RNAzymesResearch Scientist, Abbot Labs
Steven M. Berry 2003Designing Novel Blue Copper and Purple Cu A Centers in Azurin with Natural and Unnatural Amino AcidsAssociate Professor, U. of Minnesota at Duluth
Steven K. Ma2001Encapsulation of Achiral Mn(Salen) Complexes into Cytochrome c Peroxidase: Spectroscopic Characterizations and Epoxidation StudiesProduct Manager, Lonza, Inc.
Jing Li2000In Vitro Selection of Highly Efficient DNA Enzymes as RNA Nucleases and Metal BiosensorsStaff Scientist, Genomic Institute of the Novartis Research Fdn.
Alan Gengenbach2000The Protein Redesign Approach to Modeling Manganese PeroxidaseAssistant Professor, U. of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
Jeffrey A. Sigman2000Metalloprotein DesignProfessor, Saint Mary's College
Lynette A. Cunningham1999Studies of the Catalytic-Metal-Binding site in the Hammerhead Ribozyme using the Phosphorothioate ApproachResearch Scientist, Colgate-Palmolive
Michael T. Hay1998Engineering a Purple Cu A Site into the Blue Copper Protein Azurin: Construction Spectroscopy, and Metal Substitution StudiesAssociate Professor, Penn. State Beaver
M.S. ConferredYearThesis TitleCurrent Position
Isabelle Rodriguez2023Delivery of DNAzyme-Based Biosensors for Metal Ion Sensing in Plants
Brady Wells2021Using Myoglobin Models of Oxidases for Mechanistic
Understanding of the Oxygen Reduction Reaction
Rachel Martini2021Primary and Secondary Sphere Coordination in Heme EnzymesPh.D. program-UIUC
Zhe Shen2013Novel Methods for On-Site and Cost-Effective Quantification of Multiple Targets Using Functional DNA and Portable Instruments
Darius Brown2013Ultrasensitive DNA Aptasensors Based on Exponential Amplification ReactionResearch Specialist- Cornel University
Hannah Ihms2012The In Vitro Selection and Biochemical Characterization of MetalloDNAzymes
Bryant Kearl2012Characterization and Catalytic Application of an Engineered Cupredoxin Possessing a Potential in Excess of 1 VoltPh.D. program- Arizona State U.
Lanyu Lei2009Introduction and Modification of Hydrogen Bonding Network into the Active Site of an Engineered Myoglobin Model of Cytochrome c Oxidase
Qian Chen2007Design and Engineering of Artificial Metalloenzymes for Asymmetric Catalysis: Investigation of Mn(Salen) Containing Myoglobin Catalyzing SulfoxidationPh.D. program- Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne
Hyeon Keol Kim2003Engineering and Characterization of Heme-Copper Binuclear Center in Sperm Whale MyoglobinMBA program- UIUC
Caroline Marie-Brigitte Pavot2001Metal Ion Interactions with Phosphorothioate and Phosphoroselenoate DNA/RNA and Biochemical Characterization of a Lead-Dependent Deoxyribozyme
Marjorie C. Ang1998An Engineered Purple Cu A Site in Azurin: Understanding a Novel Copper Site in BiologyResearch Scientist, Genencor Inc., CA