Principal investigator

Professor A. James Link

207 Hoyt Laboratory

Jamie Professor Link grew up in Newburyport, MA and obtained his B.S.E. in Chemical Engineering from Princeton University in 2000. Following undergraduate studies, he moved to southern California to pursue a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering at Caltech under the direction of David Tirrell. After receiving his Ph.D. in 2005, Prof. Link was an NIH Kirschstein Fellow at the University of Texas, Austin, in the lab of George Georgiou. He began his appointment as assistant professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering at Princeton in July 2007 and was promoted to associate professor in 2013 and professor in 2018.

Current graduate students

Li Cao

Li Li is a fifth-year graduate student in the CBE department. He grew up in Shanghai, China, and moved to San Jose, California when he started college. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a concentration in biotechnology. His undergraduate research involved synthesizing alkyne derivatives to improve Raman Imaging efficacy and analyzing inertial migration entry lengths of bi-disperse microspheres. Outside of lab, he enjoys traveling and weightlifting.

Drew Carson

Drew Drew is a fourth-year graduate student in the CBE department from Lititz, Pennsylvania, a small town outside of Lancaster, PA. He graduated from Penn State University and its Schreyer Honors College with a major in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Mathematics. At Penn State, he worked with Dr. Manish Kumar to develop novel biomimetic membranes using amphiphilic block copolymers and the protein, Outer Membrane Protein F (OmpF). He is excited to join the Link lab and hopes to expand what is known about lasso peptides as well as discover new and exciting enzymology. In his free time, Drew enjoys traveling and experiencing different cultures, spending time with friends, and playing with his dog, a miniature poodle named Tia.

Brian Choi

Brian Brian is a fourth-year graduate student in the CBE department from Yangpyeong, South Korea. He graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and a concentration in biotechnology. His work as an undergraduate researcher includes improving the heterologous production of benzylisoquinoline alkaloids in yeast (i.e., breaking bad with yeast!) and engineering yeast peroxisomes as compartments for sequestering toxic biomolecules. In the future, Brian hopes to make groundbreaking discoveries towards expanding our limited food supply, creating greener alternative fuels, finding therapeutics for illnesses that are difficult to treat, and improving the combat readiness of our U.S. military warfighters. Outside of lab, he enjoys spontaneous cooking, creative writing, and sipping coffee at local cafés.

Alina Thokkadam

Alina Alina is a fourth-year graduate student in the CBE department. She grew up right around the corner in Plainsboro, NJ and graduated from Rutgers University's Honors College in May 2019 with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and a minor in Biological Sciences. Her undergraduate research with Prof. Shishir Chundawat at Rutgers involved studying and modifying cellulase enzymes in order to improve the use of lignocellulosic biomass as a renewable energy source. She looks forward to further exploring the antimicrobial properties of lasso peptides in the Link Lab. Outside of lab, Alina is on the Princeton Bhangra team, and enjoys to read!

Angela Zhu

Angela Angela is a second-year graduate student in the CBE department. She grew up in Maryland and graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.S. in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Her undergraduate research with Dr. Jamie Spangler involved developing novel protein therapeutics through directed evolution. Outside of lab, Angela likes reading and swimming.

Current undergraduate students

Arthur Acuña '23


Arthur Arthur is a senior in the CBE department from Las Vegas, Nevada. Arthur is very eager to work in the Link Lab for his summer research and senior thesis. His current research project focuses on expressing and characterizing a novel graspetide. Outside of the lab, Arthur enjoys reading really old books and playing card games that involve risk.

Kelly Gallagher '23


Kelly Kelly is a senior in the CBE department from Cold Spring Harbor, NY. She joined the Link Lab in Summer 2022 and is investigating thermophilic enzymes. She looks forward to continuing this work in the Link Lab for her senior thesis in the 2022-2023 academic year. Outside of the lab, Kelly enjoys spending her time with the Princeton University Band, Tigressions Acapella, and serves as a project manager for Princeton’s Engineers Without Borders Kenya Team.

Aavi Gupta '24


Aavi Aavi is a junior in the Chemistry Department from Oyster Bay, New York. He joined the Link Lab in the spring of 2023 to begin his senior thesis work. Currently, he is learning about the antibacterial applications of lasso peptides. Outside of the lab, Aavi enjoys playing his trombone, enjoys a good television show, and is a member of/leads a few pre-med organizations on campus.

Michael Kostolansky '26


Mike Michael is a first year in the chemistry department from Walnut Creek, CA. He joined the Link Lab in spring of 2023 and is investigating new activities in lasso peptides. Outside of the lab, Michael enjoys mountain biking, reading, and listening to music.



  • affiliation after Princeton/current affiliation
    • Truc Do, PhD 2020-2023, Merck
    • Hader Elashal, PhD 2018-2022, NJ Bio
    • Hendrik Schröder, PhD 2019-2021, Universität Ulm
    • Yi Zhang, PhD 2019-2020, AbSci

    Graduate Students

  • affiliation after Princeton/current affiliation
    • Wai Ling Cheung-Lee, PhD *19, Merck
    • Joseph Koos, PhD *19, enEvolv/Zymergen
    • Frank Piscotta, PhD *18, Rockefeller University/Lieber Institute for Brain Development
    • Chuhan Zong, PhD *18, Merck/Wu Capital
    • Caitlin Allen, PhD *16, enEvolv/Zymergen
    • Alan Futran, PhD *16, BMS/Schrodinger
    • Mikhail Maksimov, PhD *15, Illumina/Mitra Chem
    • Diya Abdeljabbar, PhD *12, Merck
    • Siyan Zhang, PhD *12, Merck
    • Jessica Pan, PhD *12, postdoc at Sloan-Kettering/Merck
    • Larry So, MA *19
    • Jack Lu, MA *14, Johnson and Johnson
    • Jingjing Sun, MA *09


  • affiliation after Princeton/current affiliation
    • Monica Patiño '22, Stemloop
    • Nathan Alam '21, SpaceX/Amazon
    • Jane Brown '21, Princeton M.Eng. program
    • Basira Daqiq '21 (Smith College exchange student, spring 2020)
    • Maggie Orlova '20, research tech at Harvard/Princeton M. Eng. program
    • Devorah Saffern '20, Marwood Group
    • Megan Whitley '20, Anheuser-Busch/University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
    • Angelo Kayser-Browne '22 (summer research, summer 2019)
    • Moshe Beiser '19, MD program at Albert Einstein College of Medicine
    • Annie Wang '19, Research tech at Rutgers/MS program at Rutgers Med
    • Isabel Hsu '19
    • Heather White (Mississippi St, REU student, summer 2018), PhD program at Northwestern
    • Theo Yang (Caltech, SURF student, summer 2018)
    • Madison Parry '18, Merck/DPS Group Global
    • Michelle Richardson '18, Hospital for Special Surgery/MD program at Rochester
    • Danielle Taylor '18, MS program, Duke/ZS Associates
    • Shubham Chatterjee '17, Boston Consulting Group/masters program at Penn
    • Aastha Chokshi '17, MD program, New Jersey Medical School, Newark/Resident, Brown University
    • Garrett Skrbich '17, Pfizer
    • Aded Yako '17, DDS program, Columbia
    • Rebecca Philpott (REU student, summer 2016, Lyon College)
    • Kenneth Hubbell '16, Merck/MD program at Columbia
    • Caroline Kim '16, USDA
    • Jason Qin '16, Kallyope/PhD program at Stanford
    • Chad Wangsanuwat '16, PhD program, UCSB/Moderna
    • Lawrence Yu '16, Beyond Meat
    • Cat Nguyen '17 (summer research, summer 2015)
    • Steven Tsai '17 (independent work, spring 2015), MD Program at UPenn
    • Ariel Kunkel '15, Seilevel/dv01
    • Dan Thanh (Nini) Le '15, Medtronic/Pramand LLC
    • Caitlin Wood '15, PhD program, University of Delaware/Merck
    • Cathy Chen '14, MD program, University of Mississippi/Resident Physician, University of Mississippi Medical Center
    • Maria Chen '14, MD-PhD program, Baylor
    • Bozhena Lisko Murphy '14, Goldman Sachs
    • Allyse Terrell '14, Capital One
    • Michelle Wu '14, PhD program, Stanford/Verily Life Sciences
    • Michael Foglio (REU student summer 2013, Richard Stockton College), Atlanticare
    • Yan Wu '14, PhD program, UCSD/Altos Labs
    • Edwin Jeng '13, PhD Program, Stanford/Abbvie
    • Hannah Kaplan '13, Dana Farber Cancer Institute/Duolingo
    • Santiago Martinez Legaspi '13, PhD program, Rice
    • Jen Siegel '13, Integra Life Sciences/Verily
    • Eugenia Zah '13, PhD Program, UCLA/Amgen
    • Norah Ashoura (REU student summer 2012, Florida Inst. of Tech.), PhD program, UT Austin/Elevate Bio
    • Angel Placeres Beltran (REU student summer 2012, University of Puerto Rico), PhD program CWRU
    • John Tian '12, Epic Systems Corporation/Intelligent Medical Objects
    • Mehek Punatar '12, Masters Program, Columbia University/Adobe
    • Michelle Luo Petkov '12, PhD Program, NC State/BMS
    • Moises Montalvo (REU student summer 2011, University of Puerto Rico), Merck/Michelin
    • Hank Song '11, Princeton in Latin America/Associacao Saude Crianca
    • Angel (Long) Hatef '11, MD Program, Duke University/Neuroradiology Fellow, Ohio St. University
    • KL Huang '11, Epic
    • Jakub Rajniak '11, PhD Program, Stanford University/Postdoctoral Fellow, Stanford
    • Molly Herring '10, DO Program, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine/Internal Medicine Resident, Geisinger Medical Center
    • Jayne Choi '10, CNT Energy/Architecture Research Office
    • Wai Ling Cheung-Lee '10, Exelus/Merck
    • TJ Klein '09, MD-PhD Program, Wright State/Clinical Instructor, University of Michigan
    • Jay Kwak '09, MD Program, Yonsei University
    • Igor Dikiy '09, PhD Program, Weill Cornell Medical School/Regeneron
    • Nicole Clarke '09, PhD Program, Stanford University/BioNTech
    • Lucy (Xu) Chang '08, Nomura/Investment Officer, University of California
    • Dave Uppal '08, Chevron/Moveworks
    • Ishani Sud '08, Federal Government
    • Rochelle (Murray) Robertson '08, General Mills/Facebook
    • Karen Aherne '08, University College Dublin/Medtronic

    High School Students

  • affiliation after Princeton/current affiliation
    • Aneesh Karuppur, Pingry School, summer 2019, now at Duke
    • Caren Ju, Princeton HS, summer 2016, now at Princeton
    • Akhil Dondapati, West Windsor Plainsboro HS, summer 2014, attended NJIT
    • Karen Zhang, Lawrenceville School, summer 2014, attended Princeton
    • Angelo Villaneuva, Union City HS, summer 2013, attended Rutgers
    • Kimberly Perez, Union City HS, summer 2012, attended Princeton/McLaren Engineering Group
    • Christian Ugaz, Union City HS, summer 2011, attended St. Peter's College/Stanford Medicine
    • Shruti Patel, Union City HS, summer 2011, attended Rutgers/TRI Princeton
    • Paola Severino, Union City HS, summer 2010, attended Yale/GCP Applied Technologies
    • Emma Russo, Union City HS, summer 2010, attended Brown/The Groden Network
    • Yan Wu, Montgomery HS, summer 2009, attended Princeton/UCSD PhD program
    • Ana Kakkar, Lawrenceville School, summer 2008, attended Claremont McKenna College/