Lab Photo 2016

Gaucher Group Fall 2012

Primary Investigator

Eric Guacher

Eric Gaucher

Associate Professor, Associate Chair
Nelson and Bennie Abell Professorship

School of Biology
School of Chemistry & Biochemistry
Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering & Bioscience

DuPont Young Professor Award

Curriculum Vitae


Lab Manager

Ryan Randall

Ryan Randall

Graduated from the University of Georgia in 2008 with a degree in Cellular Biology. She manages the laboratory and performs original research. Ryan evolved monomeric red fluorescent proteins in the laboratory. Her data were used to construct an experimental phylogeny to benchmark computational methods of ancestral sequence reconstruction. Since joining the group, Ryan has earned a M.S. in Biology and a M.B.A., both from Georgia Tech.


Graduate Students

Vanessa Cox

Vanessa Cox

Vanessa is a graduate student in Georgia Tech’s School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. Her research goals involve engineering components of the ribosomal translation system to promote the efficient incorporation of unnatural amino acids. Her interests center on medical research and drug development.

Vanessa Cox

Jennifer Farrar

Jenni graduated from Louisiana State University in 2014 with a degree in Biological Engineering. She is now a first-year Ph.D student interested in studying the functionality of ancestral uricases in humans. She hopes to develop an effective treatment for gout.

Vanessa Cox

Petar Penev

Petar is a M.S. Bioinformatics student. He completed his bachelor's degree from Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”, and then spent one year at Wageningen University, the Netherlands. Petar is currently a Fulbright scholar, exploring the way a fluorescent protein family evolves through structural and computational methods.


Post-doctoral Fellows/Visiting Scientists/Research Scientists

Betul Kacar

Lily Tran

Lily is a research scientist and her work currently focuses on evolving fluorescent proteins for commercial utility.


James Kratzer

Adam Thomas

Adam is a visiting scientist from Dr. Nicholas Harmer's group at the University of Exeter. Adam combines ancient proteins and directed evolution in order to engineer biomolecules with novel functions.



Lily Tran

Caelan Radford

Caelan is a Biology major and has become an expert in experimental characterization of fluorescent protein extinction coefficients. Caelan is now focusing on becoming an expert in ASR studies.


Shakara Wright

Kelsey Roof

Kelsey is a Biochemistry major and she characterized the quantum yield for >70 fluorescent protein variants as part of our ASR benchmark project. She is graduating in the Spring of 2016 with plans to attend Medical School.


Shakara Wright

Wendy Sheu

Wendy is Biomedical Engineering student at Tech and provides general assistance to everyone in the laboratory.


Shakara Wright

Dongju (Damien) Lee

Dongju, also known as Damien, is an undergraduate student at Georgia Tech. He is currently a major in Biomedical Engineering and working in the lab to gain a greater understanding of lab work.


Shakara Wright

Kira Combs

Keira is a Biology major and receipient of a Fast-Track Scholarship.Keira is engineering fluorescent proteins in the laboratory.


Shakara Wright

Marc Leber

Marc is a Biomedical Engineering student at Tech. Marc started in the Gaucher Lab in 2014, working with Ryan to purify and characterize >70 fluorescent protein variants. He is currently working on novel drug delivery for hemophiliac patients using ancient FVIII proteins.


High School Students

Ali Amacherdramirez

Mary Catherine Statham, Areilla Tsfoni, Rachel Morochnik

MC, Arellia and Rachel were three ambitious seniors at Dunwoody High School who excelled in academics and laboratory research. This trio competed in a national science competition, the Siemens Competition, and performed research in our lab to tag cancer cells using fluorescent proteins. As of 2016, MC and Arellia are Freshman at the University of Georgia, while Rachel is a Freshman here at Tech (33% success rate is not bad).



Rosa Adames and Citali Saloma

Rosa and Citali engineered components of the protein translation system with Peter Schnaak and Betul Kacar. Janetta Greenwood (middle) is the Dunwoody High School teacher and advisor for all of our high school students.



Lab Alumni




Next Position

Aakanksha Angra Undergraduate 2011 Purdue University PhD program
Kayla Arroyo High Schooler 2012 Spellman Undergraduate
Ali Amacher High Schooler 2013 Auburn Undergraduate
William Butler PhD Student 2012-2013 Amazon
Ercan Cacar MS Student 2009-2011 Georgia State Biology PhD Program
Megan Cole Post-Doc 2010-2013 Faculty, Emory University
Krutika Gaonkar MS Student 2014 Informatics Specialist, Mayo Clinic
Kelsey Gratton Undergraduate 2012 Petit Scholar@GT,
Christina Graves Undergraduate 2010-2011 University of Florida PhD Program, now Post-Doc at Rockefeller University
Michael Gromiha Visiting Scientist 2010 Associate Professor, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
Ben Hsieh MS Student 2009-2010 GT Bioinformatics PhD Program
Betul Kacar Post-Doc 2010-2014 Fellow Harvard University
Penny Kahn High Schooler 2012 Macalester College Undergraduate
James Kratzer PhD Student 2008-2013 Benzer Pharmacy
Brian Kwan Undergraduate 2012-2013 Research Technician at UGA
Divya Natarajan Undergraduate 2015 University of Cambridge MS program
Darsy Ramirez High Schooler 2013 Undergraduate
Peter Schnaak Undergraduate 2014-2015 Petit Scholar@GT, Medical School, University of Pennsylvania
Jessica Shiel Undergraduate 2010 Medical College of Georgia
Racchit Thapliyal MS Student 2011 Sheth Leadership Academy
Deepak Unni MS Student 2012-2014 Research Analyst, University of Missouri
Joshua Stern MS Student 2010-2013  
R. Zane Wolf Undergraduate 2014-2016 Harvard University PhD Program
Joanna Wright Undergraduate 2009 Teacher
Ziming Zhao PhD Student 2008-2012 Postdoctoral Fellow at Yale University