Archaea represent the third domain of life on Earth. Even though these enigmatic microorganisms are prevalent within and around us, they have been constantly overlooked and, thus, remain poorly characterized. The overarching goal of my research program is to build the infrastructure to study methanogens, a subset of Archaea that have a considerable impact on climate change, human health, as well as the origins of life. Accordingly, I will develop CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing tools to study methanogens at different levels of biological organization from enzymes that produce and consume methane gas to organisms that inhabit the human gastrointestinal tract and influence host metabolism. Ultimately, my research program will deepen our fundamental understanding of the Archaea and also facilitate the development of strategies to mitigate the climate crisis, produce renewable biofuels, as well as ameliorate cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.

Awards and Achievements

  • Rose Hills Innovator Grant awarded to two distinguished early-career faculty in STEM disciplines at UC Berkeley ( 2020-2022)
  • Beckman Young Investigator Award ( 2020-2024)
  • Searle Scholars Award ( 2020-2023)
  • Life Sciences Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship funded by the Simons Foundation ( 2015-2018)
  • Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology Postdoctoral Fellowship ( 2015-2018)
  • Sigma Xi Grants in Aid of Research (GIAR) ( 2012)
  • John F. P. Braitz Fellowship. Stanford University ( 2007)