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Assistant Professor

Ross earned a B.Sc. (Hons) in biochemistry from The University of Western Australia. He obtained his PhD at the Western Australian Institute of Medical Research (renamed the Harry Perkins Institute of Medical Research) in the laboratory of Dr. Oliver Rackham and Dr. Aleksandra Filipovska. Ross carried out postdoctoral research in the Ellington research group in the Center for Systems and Synthetic Biology at the University of Texas at Austin working primarily on protein engineering with non-canonical amino acids. In the Summer of 2020, he joined the faculty at Rice University in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Ross enjoys growing pitcher plants in his office.

Email: ross.thyer[at]

Devon Kulhanek

Graduate Student - CHBE

Devon is a 2020 graduate of Texas A&M University (Gig'em!) with a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering and a minor in materials science. He is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. His research focus is on the development of biocatalysts and production of biomaterials like melanins. In his free time, Devon enjoys DIY projects and cooking experiments!

Email: dk48[at]

Andrew Gilmour

Graduate Student - SSPB

Andrew is a 2020 graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a B.Sc. in Biochemistry. He is a Ph.D. student in the Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology program. His research focus is on protein engineering using the non-canonical amino acid selenocysteine and developing of novel protein affinity assays. When not revolutionizing the field of protein engineering, he enjoys cooking and guitar.

Email: arg11[at]

Zach Jansen

Graduate Student - SSPB

Zach graduated from Michigan State University in 2018 with a B.Sc. in microbiology and went on to work as a research assistant at Michigan State for another two years. He is now pursuing a Ph.D. in the Systems, Synthetic, and Physical Biology (SSPB) program at Rice. In the Thyer lab Zach is working to develop novel pathways for bioremediation and upcycling industrial waste into high-value natural products. In his free time Zach likes to spend time outside, read, play board and video games, and explore the Houston area.

Email: zj11[at]

Sophie Reilly
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Undergraduate Researcher - CHBE

Sophie is a junior undergraduate student studying Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She is interested in the intersection of chemical engineering, biotechnology and sustainability. Sophie is also a member of the Rice Women’s Swim team and enjoys cooking and spending time outside.

Email: srr10[at]