Zachary Raad

Student NameZachary Raad
Faculty Mentor NameYousong Ding, PhD
CollegeCollege of Pharmacy
MajorChemistry and Chinese Studies
MinorAsian American Studies and English
Research InterestsBiosynthetic Pathways, Genetic Engineering, Medicinal Chemistry
Academic AwardsAmerican Chemical Society Student Leadership Institute 2020, University Scholars Program 2020
OrganizationsStudent Chapter of the American Chemical Society, Asian American Student Union, Chinese American Student Association
Hobbies and InterestsLearning languages, reading, writing

Research Project

Biosynthetic Pathways to Optimize Shinorine Production?

My project focuses on the UV-resistant mycosporine-like amino acid shinorine, which can be harvested from cyanobacteria and macroalgae. I aim to employ synthetic biology methods to engineer the shinorine gene cluster, allowing for a more commercially available way to produce environmentally friendly sunscreen. By introducing additional synthetic promoters and modifying the adenylation domain of the shinorine biosynthetic nonribosomal peptide synthetase, I strive to optimize shinorine overproduction and increase the practical applicability of this medically relevant natural product.