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 postdocs

Toby Johnson

Toby Toby is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Link group, working to develop stimuli-responsive supramolecular systems from interlocked lasso peptides. He recently completed his PhD in Chemistry at the University of Oxford, working with Prof. Matthew Langton on molecular machines for the control of transmembrane transport. Toby recently moved to the US with his wife, supported by a Lindemann Trust Fellowship, and is excited to let as many people know that he was born in the original Jersey (a small island nestled between England and France) and the state's namesake.

Current graduate students

Drew Carson

Drew Drew is a fifth-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 fifth-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 caf├ęs.

Alina Thokkadam

Alina Alina is a fifth-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 third-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.

Matthew Chertok

Matthew Matthew is a first-year CBE graduate student from Northbrook, Illinois. He holds a degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Biomolecular Engineering from the University of Florida, where his undergrad research involved designing a plasmid to estimate intracellular protein content using fluorescence. In his free time, Matthew enjoys music production and flag football.

Moises Alejo Hernandez

Alejo Alejo is a graduate student enrolled in the Biochemical Science program at UNAM University in Mexico. He joined the lab in the spring of 2024 as a VSRC student for a research stay. He is focused on the study of Lanthipeptides, the characterization of resistome profiles, and antimicrobial resistance in general. Outside the lab, he likes to read Russian writers, run, cycle, and climb mountains.

Current undergraduate students

Aavi Gupta '24


Aavi Aavi is a senior 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.

Seyi Jung '24


Seyi Seyi is a senior in the CBE department from Seoul, South Korea. She joined the lab in Summer 2023 for summer research and the following senior thesis. Her research project focuses on engineering of graspetides with antiviral applications. Outside the lab, she has various hobbies such as drawing, playing video games, and reading.

Eoin Gaffney '24


Eoin Eoin is a senior in the CBE department from Cork, Ireland. He joined the lab in Fall 2023 for senior thesis research. His research project focuses on engineering lasso peptides into more complex mechanically interlocked peptide structures. Outside the lab, he co-captains the Princeton men's lightweight rowing team, enjoys reading sci-fi novels, and learning about early Roman republic history.

Dawood Virk '25


Dawood Dawood is a junior in the CBE department from Riverview, Michigan. He joined the lab in the Summer of 2023 and is investigating thermally-resistant PETases. Outside of the lab, he enjoys traveling, gardening, and anything involving espresso.



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

    Graduate Students

  • affiliation after Princeton/current affiliation
    • Li Cao, PhD *23, Bain
    • Wai Ling Cheung-Lee, PhD *19, Merck
    • Joseph Koos, PhD *19, enEvolv/ArkeaBio
    • Frank Piscotta, PhD *18, Rockefeller University/Lieber Institute for Brain Development
    • Chuhan Zong, PhD *18, Merck/Qatar Investment Authority
    • Caitlin Allen, PhD *16, enEvolv/ArkeaBio
    • 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
    • Arthur Acuña '23, Aquinas Institute
    • Kelly Gallagher '23, research tech at Penn
    • Monica Patiño '22, Stemloop
    • Nathan Alam '21, SpaceX/Amazon
    • Jane Brown '21, Princeton M.Eng. program/Booz Allen Hamilton
    • Basira Daqiq '21 (Smith College exchange student, spring 2020)
    • Maggie Orlova '20, research tech at Harvard/Vanderbilt PhD program
    • Devorah Saffern '20, Marwood Group/Progyny
    • 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/NYU Langone Health
    • Annie Wang '19, Research tech at Rutgers/MS program at Rutgers Med
    • Isabel Hsu '19, McKinsey
    • 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, MD program at Rochester/NYU Langone Health
    • 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/Abbott
    • 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/United Dwelling
    • 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/resident at Mass General Hospital
    • Bozhena Lisko Murphy '14, Goldman Sachs
    • Allyse Terrell '14, Capital One/NuBank
    • 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/ECS
    • 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/Radiologist
    • 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/Attending Physician Beaumont Health
    • 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/Meta
    • Karen Aherne Hayes '08, University College Dublin/Medtronic

    High School Students

  • affiliation after Princeton/current affiliation
    • Melody Tang, Harvard-Westlake School, summer 2021 (virtual), now at U Chicago
    • Katherine Li, Garnet Valley HS, summer 2020 (virtual), now at MIT
    • Aneesh Karuppur, Pingry School, summer 2019, now at Penn
    • Caren Ju, Princeton HS, summer 2016, attended Princeton/BCG
    • Akhil Dondapati, West Windsor Plainsboro HS, summer 2014, attended NJIT and Rutgers Med
    • Karen Zhang, Lawrenceville School, summer 2014, attended Princeton/Meta
    • Angelo Villaneuva, Union City HS, summer 2013, attended Rutgers/Rahway Public Schools
    • Kimberly Perez, Union City HS, summer 2012, attended Princeton/HTNB
    • Christian Ugaz, Union City HS, summer 2011, attended St. Peter's College/ resident at Mt. Sinai
    • Shruti Patel, Union City HS, summer 2011, attended Rutgers/Johnson and Johnson
    • Paola Severino, Union City HS, summer 2010, attended Yale/L'Oreal
    • Emma Russo, Union City HS, summer 2010, attended Brown/The Groden Network
    • Yan Wu, Montgomery HS, summer 2009, attended Princeton/Altos Labs
    • Ana Kakkar, Lawrenceville School, summer 2008, attended Claremont McKenna College/Athelas