Lab Members

 mohamed Mohamed S. Abou Donia
Principal Investigator

Research Interests:  Small-molecule-mediated interactions in complex microbial communities
 Jie headshot 

Jie Liu

Postdoctoral Fellow
Bio: I had my PhD in Microbiology at Rutgers University in studying the eco-physiology of organohalide respiring bacteria from marine environment. My broad research interests are the interaction of microorganisms with its environments/hosts. In Donia lab, I study the chemical sequestration and kleptoplasty in a complex tripartite marine symbiosis.

Paola Estrada

Postdoctoral Fellow
Bio: I obtained my B.S in Forensic Science from John Jay College of Criminal Justice. I then went to Hunter College where I worked in the Kawamura lab isolating small molecules from soil bacteria. For my PhD I went to the University of Illinois (UIUC) and worked in the Nair lab on the biochemical and structural characterization of enzymes involved small molecule biosynthesis. In the Donia lab I will be investigating small molecules from the human microbiome.
 moamen headshot

Moamen Elmassry

Postdoctoral Fellow
Bio: I received my Bachelor of Pharmaceutical Sciences from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Cairo University, Egypt. Then, I obtained my Ph.D. in biology from Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas. In my dissertation, I focused on Pseudomonas aeruginosa pathogenesis during sepsis in trauma patients. In Donia lab, I study the contribution of the gut microbiota to the human metabolome (and health). I value collaborative research and teaching. I enjoy reading, humanities talks, Tai Chi, sports, and video games.

Ruojun Wang

Postdoctoral Fellow
Bio: I grew up in Shanghai, China, and received my B.S. degree from Fudan University. I then received my Ph.D. in Immunology and Microbial Pathogenesis from Weill Cornell Medical College before joining the Donia lab. My top interests are host-microbe interactions in health and disease. Outside of the lab, I enjoy birdwatching, photography, and traveling.

Laura Ióca

Postdoctoral Fellow
Bio: I received my BSc in Physical and Biomolecular Sciences, following to Organic and Biological Chemistry grad school, at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, where I also obtained my MSc and PhD. In Donia lab, I am investigating the biosynthesis machinery of marine symbionts to produce unique natural products scaffolds. Outside of the lab, I enjoy listening podcasts and doing puzzles together with a nice cup of tea.

Luis Jesus Linares-Otoya

Postdoctoral Fellow
Bio: I received my BsC and MSc in Animal Science at National University of Trujillo (Peru) and Bonn University (Germany). Later I got my PhD at the University of Bonn / JLU- Giessen (Germany) studying the biosynthesis of natural products from marine bacteria. I am highly interested in understanding the role of secreted metabolites in microbial communities. In Donia lab I study the regulation and biosynthesis of small molecules produced by obligated bacterial endosymbionts and marine bacteroidetes. Outside of the lab I enjoy watching/reading Sci-FI, swimming and cooking.
 Amira S. Mira

Amira S. Mira

Postdoctoral Fellow
Bio:  I received my BSc and master degrees from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Mansoura University, Egypt. I Obtained my PhD From Kyushu University, Japan in the field of the development of cytotoxic and neuroprotective compounds from natural products. In the Donia lab, I am investigating small molecules from marine symbionts and their biological activities. In my free time, I enjoy listening to music on long walks and watching movies.
Sunghoon Hwang

Sunghoon Hwang

Postdoctoral Fellow
Bio: I am from South Korea. I received my BS in Pharmacy from Seoul National University. For my PhD, I studied about microbial natural product chemistry, especially structure elucidation at the same school. In Donia lab, I am interested in the expression of genes and discovery of the compounds from human microbiome. In my free time, I enjoy exercising, reading and travelling around.



Shuo Wang

CBE Graduate Student
Bio:  I received my B.S. in Chemical Engineering in 2016 from UC Berkeley, CA. I am interested in applying statistical models and machine learning methods to analyze biological data. In my free time, I enjoy exploring the cities, playing tennis, and playing video games.

Jaime Lopez

QCB Graduate Student, joint with Ned Wingreen
Bio:  I received my BSE in chemical engineering from Arizona State University and was an undergraduate researcher at the Swette Center for Environmental Biotechnology. I'm broadly interested in using mechanistic modeling to better understand the inner workings of microbial communities. Currently, my work focuses on the implications of trade-offs in microbial communities and the interplay between drugs and the human microbiome.
Jeff headshot 

Jeffrey Lee

Mol Bio Graduate Student
Bio: I was born in Holmdel, NJ and grew up in Plano Texas. I received my Bachelors at Washington University in St. Louis and enrolled in the MPH program specializing in Global Health where I studied undernutrition, helminthic diseases, and community participatory approaches in international settings. I later received an MEng in Energy, Environment, and Chemical Engineering from WashU and worked to develop probiotics that regulate neurotransmitters. In the Donia Lab, I plan to study the bacterial secretome. Outside of lab, I am the co-founder of the graduate think tank club Innovative Approaches in Science, play for the Princeton club field hockey team, enjoy long walks on the beach, and cooking.
catherine headshot

Catherine Day

Mol Bio Graduate Student
Bio: I grew up in northern California and received my B.S. in Biology from the California Institute of Technology. In the Donia lab, I will be studying antibiotic resistance. Outside of research, I enjoy travelling, playing video games and doing puzzles.
JB headshot

Jongbeom Park

Mol Bio Graduate Student
Bio: I grew up in Daegu, South Korea and received my BA in Biology from Grinnell College. I am broadly interested in evolutionary biology and developmental biology. I currently plan to investigate the role of peptides in mammalian development. My hobbies include indoor rock climbing, driving, and eating.



Christian Hernandez

Mol Bio Undergraduate
Bio: I am a proud Tejano from Manvel, Texas, and member of the Class of 2022. My work in the lab is investigating possible origins of antibiotic biosynthesis genes in human microbiome organisms. My other interests include studying Amerindian oral history, serving in Princeton Christian Fellowship, scootering, and observing native flora with friends.

Mary Davis

Mol Bio Undergraduate, joint with Ned Wingreen
Bio:  I am from Central Pennsylvania and a member of the Class of 2022. I am working jointly with the Donia and Wingreen labs, exploring the quantification of bacterial defense systems and how they interface with various cellular properties. My other hobbies include, singing in the Princeton Chapel Choir, volunteering with a mental health hotline, and listening to audiobooks on long walks. 



Seema Chatterjee

Lab Manager

Anna Schmedel

Faculty Assistant       



Janie Kim (Princeton Undergrad '21)   
Nisha Chandra (Princeton Undergrad '21)  
Jared Balaich (PhD Graduate Student)  
Bahar Javdan (MD-PhD Graduate Student)  
Amir Erez (Post-doc)  
Dani Peters (Princeton Undergrad '20)  
Francine Camacho (PhD Graduate Student) Viome
Yuki Sugimoto (Post-doc)  
Zhiyuan Li (Post-doc) Assistant Professor, Peking University
David Romero (Undergrad SURP Intern) Undergrad, California State University, Northridge (CSUN)
Evan Zhao (Visiting Post-doc) Post-doc, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Lucy Williamson (Princeton Undergrad '19)  
Pranatchareeya Chankhamjon (Post-doc) Scientist, VL55, Flagship Pioneering
Maria Diarey Tianero (Post-doc) Senior Scientist (Program Lead), Lodo Therapeutics
Mohamed Farag (Visiting Associate Professor) Associate Professor, Cairo University
Allison Chang (Princeton Undergrad '18) Masters Student, Computer Science, Princeton University
Diana Chin (Princeton Undergrad '18) Post-bac, Yu lab, Boston Children's Hospital
Anna Posfai (Post-doc) Post-Doc, Kinney lab, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
Tanya Tafolla (Summer Undergrad Intern) Grad Student, University of California, Merced
Jindong Zan (Post-doc) Staff Scientist, Becton Dickinson
Arman Odabas (Princeton Undergrad '17) Med Student, Washington University in St. Louis
Audrey Abend (Princeton Undergrad '17) Clinical Research Associate II, OpenBiome
Raphaella Hull (Oxford-Princeton Exchange Student) Grad Student, University of Cambridge
Phoebe Huang (Princeton Undergrad '16) Med Student, University of Rochester
Christian Shema Mugisha (Summer Undergrad Intern) Grad Student, Washington University in St. Louis