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Group members

Maureen QuinMaureen Quin, Research Assistant Professor

Maureen is a Research Assistant Professor working in the Schmidt-Dannert lab.  She obtained her BSc in Biology at University of Ulster, UK and her PhD in Structural Biology in the lab of Professor Rick Lewis, at University of Newcastle UK.  She joined Claudia's lab in August 2010.  Her research focuses on discovering new fungal enzymes responsible for the production of bioactive compounds, understanding how these enzymes produce diverse pharmaceutically relevant natural products, and engineering the enzymes to create novel biocatalysts for widespread industrial applications. In her spare time she enjoys designing and creating new modular supramolecular complexes as reaction vessels for nanobiotechnology processes.

Ben HansonBen Hanson, Graduate Student

Ben is a graduate student in the BMBB program. He earned his B.A. in Chemistry from Skidmore College in New York State, and joined Claudia's lab in April 2015. Currently, he is working on assembling and analyzing the genomes of Lactarius mushrooms in order to determine the location of isoprenoid biosynthesis genes. This knowledge will be used to reconstitute genes in heterologous hosts and biochemically characterize pathways. Many isoprenoids have potential applications in pharmaceuticals or as industrially important natural products.

Guoqiang ZhangGuoqiang Zhang, Postdoctoral Researcher

Guoqiang is a Postdoctoral Research Scholar working in the Schmidt-Dannert lab. He received his B.S. in Biotechnology at Shandong University, China and his PhD in Biochemical and Molecular Biology at Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.  He joined the Schmidt-Dannert lab in November 2015. His research focuses on developing supramolecular systems which efficiently and economically co-localize biocatalysts either by compartmentalization or scaffolding. He is also interested in introducing the versatile platform into biosynthesis of different natural products.

Kelly Wallin, Graduate Student

Kelly is a graduate student in the BMBB program. She received B.S. degrees in Biochemistry and Botany from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and joined the Schmidt-Dannert lab in February 2016. Her research focuses on utilizing bacterial microcompartments for biotechnology applications, including the development of more efficient methods for biocatalysis. She also works with a local middle school Girl Scout troop.

Francois Gaascht, Postdoctoral Researcher

Francois obtained his BSc and MSc at the University of Strasbourg (France) and completed his PhD at the Laboratoire de Biologie Moléculaire et Cellulaire du Cancer (Luxembourg) in the framework of the European RedCat Project. As Marie Curie Fellow, his research project focused on the discovery and the elucidation of the mode of action of several natural and natural-based products as anticancer drugs. After acquisition of new skills in natural products isolation and structure elucidation at the Fundacíon MEDINA (Granada, Spain), he joined the Schmidt-Dannert lab in October 2016 as Postdoctoral Research Associate. His research project aims to screen and isolate new antifungal compounds from Basidiomycota.