Lab Members

Head of Laboratory

Sean Brady, Tri-Institutional and Evnin Professor


Laboratory Members

Paula Calle, Laboratory Manager

Olivia Pilling, Research Assistant

I earned my BA in Biological Sciences from Smith College. In the Brady lab, I construct and sequence metagenomic libraries from soil samples from around the United States alongside my fellow Research Assistant Carolina. I am currently one of the resident bakers and cupcake connoisseur. 


Carolina Santamaria, Research Assistant

I received my BA in Biochemistry from Hunter College.  Joined Brady Lab in 2017, I am currently working on the construction and sequencing of metagenomic libraries from our collection of soils.  Outside the lab, Olivia (see above) and I are on the search for the best NYC cupcake.  


Melinda Ternei, Research Assistant

Christophe Lemetre, Bioinformatics Specialist

After completing my Ph.D. in Machine Learning approaches in the context of gene expression from microarrays in breast cancer context, I came to the U.S. for a postdoc in a computational lab of the department of Genetics at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx. I then went on to do a second postdoc at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in a Pathology lab before moving to a staff position in the sequencing facility of Memorial Sloan Kettering. From there I joined the Brady Lab in January of 2016.


Louis Cohen, Guest Investigator

Andreia Estrela, Postdoctoral Associate

​​After my Bachelor and Master studies in Molecular and Cell Biology in my home country Brazil, I moved to Germany, where I earned my PhD degree in Microbiology at the University of Braunschweig. My main research interest is the chemical basis of the interaction between host defenses, microbes, and the environment, and what are the implications for animal and human health. Here at the Brady Lab, I use functional metagenomics and high-throughput image analysis to identify bacterial effectors driving host-microbe interactions in the intestinal human microbiome.


John ChuPostdoctoral Associate

I was raised in Taiwan and came to the US for my PhD studies at Scripps Research, California. I am working on a new natural product discovery approach called synthetic-bioinformatic natural product (syn-BNP). It uses bioinformatic algorithms to interpret the biosynthetic instructions encoded by natural product gene clusters and predict the structures of the output molecule; the predicted molecules are then chemically synthesized and screened for bioactivities. Using syn-BNP, I have discovered new antibiotics, antifungal, and anti-proliferative agents from both the soil and human microbiomes.

Neev Antonovsky, Postdoctoral Fellow

As a graduate student at the lab of Prof. Ron Milo in the Weizmann Institute of Science, I used rational metabolic design and directed evolution to engineer synthetic CO2 fixation pathways in an E. coli host. In 2017 I joined the Laboratory of Genetically Encoded Small Molecules where I currently develop sequencing based approaches and computational tools to identify biosynthetic gene clusters that encode for novel natural products. In particular, I’m interested in studying the vastly uncharted biosynthetic potential that is encoded in the soil metagenome.


Zhuo Shang, Postdoctoral Associate

After being awarded a PhD degree in marine natural products chemistry at The University of Queensland, Australia in 2016, I pursued my postdoctoral research at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD to explore new chemicals from marine actinomyces for the treatment of infections and neurodegenerative diseases. In quest of the hidden treasure from unculturable bacteria predominated in soil, I joined the Brady laboratory in 2018 and am currently working on new antibiotics discovered from soil eDNA libraries using sequence-tag based metagenomics approach.


Seong-Hwan Kim, Postdoctoral Associate

I have studied PhD course at Seoul National University about natural product chemistry. I have worked on structure determination of secondary metabolites by NMR, mass, spectroscopic analysis, and chemical reaction. I am working on discovering secondary metabolites with anti-gram negative bacteria activity by metagenomic approach from soil.


Vincent Libis, Postdoctoral Associate

I am interested in developing systems and synthetic biology approaches to accelerate the discovery of novel bioactive molecules. I get excited when things suddenly become scalable, systematic, automatable. I completed a PharmD followed by a PhD in synthetic biology at the university Sorbonne Paris Cite (France).

Toshiki Nakashige, Postdoctoral Associate

I earned a B.S. in chemistry and B.A. in art history from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. My graduate research focused on metal-binding proteins involved in human innate immunity. In the Brady lab, I study host-microbial interactions of the human intestinal microbiome.


James Peek, Postdoctoral Associate

I earned my PhD in protein biochemistry from the University of Toronto.  In the Brady Lab, my project involves the identification and characterization of natural product congeners of clinically relevant antibiotics.


Zongqiang Wang, Postdoctoral Associate

I got my phD degree from China Pharmaceutical University. In the Brady Lab, my research aims to find novel classes antibiotics from unculturable bacteria found in nature. I am using sequence-based PCR screening approaches to screen soil metagenomic libraries for medically relevant NRPS and PKS gene clusters. The gene clusters are then heterologously expressed in model hosts.


Changsheng Wu, Postdoctoral Fellow

I worked at the interface of chemistry and biology for new bioactive natural products discovery during my Phd. In April 2017, I joined Brady lab and utilized the metagenomics approach for new antibiotics discovery from soil eDNA libraries.


Dominic Colosimo, Postdoctoral Associate

After earning a B.S. in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL, I pursued a Biochemistry PhD at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, TX. During my time in Texas, I primarily studied natural products, derived from marine bacteria, that demonstrated anti-cancer effects against specific sub-types of non-small cell lung cancer. After earning my PhD, I joined the Brady lab and am currently studying the mechanisms by which human-associated bacteria of the gastrointestinal tract interact with their human hosts.


Jeffrey KohnPostdoctoral Associate

Jan BurianPostdoctoral Associate

I earned my PhD at the University of British Columbia studying transcriptional regulation of intrinsic antibiotic resistance in Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Understanding the need for new antibiotics, my goal is to increase the discovery rate by a two pronged approach. On one side, I am working towards increasing the size of isolated metagenomic DNA to allow for direct anti-microbial screening of intact large biosynthetic clusters. On the other side, my goal is to improve the discovery rate through 'hands-free' tandem amplification of biosynthetic clusters to increase product levels to detectable concentrations. I hope to combine both approaches into a single pipeline for rapid, functional antibiotic screening of soil metagenomes.


Frank Piscotta, Postdoctoral Associate

I received my B.E. in chemical engineering from The Cooper Union, followed by my M.A. and PhD from Princeton University. My PhD research investigated topologically constrained lasso peptide natural products, as well as toxin-antitoxin systems responsible for regulating cell growth and stasis. In the Brady lab, my work focuses on the human microbiome, specifically the manner in which bacterial small molecules interact with human receptors.


Shawn Whitfield, Postdoctoral Associate

I earned my PhD at the University of British Columbia studying protein-trafficking complexes predicted from yeast genome-wide screens. In the Brady lab, I’m interested in adapting the functional metagenomics approach to be more relevant to bacteria of the human gut microbiome.


Mengyin Zhang, Research Assistant




Head of LaboratorySean Brady, Tri-Institutional and Evnin Professor Laboratory MembersPaula Calle, Laboratory ManagerOlivia Pilling, Research AssistantI earned m