June 2 Summer 2023



Back row left to right and up: Kunjian Yuan (Chinese University of Hong Kong), Xinyi Liu (Pine View School), Om Rajasekharan (Fossil Ridge), Callie Slaughter (CMB PhD), Emma Magna (CMB PhD), Tyson Keller (Hispanic Metropolitan State University), Jacob DeRoo (SBME PhD), Ethan Shields (SBME PhD), Isaac Lewis (CBE)
Middle row: Richie Park (CBE), Ashlyn Chen (CBE PhD), Rachel Cohen (CHEM PhD), Anika OBrian (CBE), Tim Ahr (CBE), Alec Jones (SBME PhD), Austin Knight (BMB PhD), Sam Stroup (CHEM), Brian Kelly (CBE)
Front row: Robert Lamm (EnvrEng), Fletcher (service canine), Dr. Snow


Abby Graduation Sendoff Dinner December 2022



Clockwise from lower left: Ethan Shields (SBME PhD), Julius Stuart (CHEM PhD), Tim Ahr (CBE), Abby Orun (CHEM PhD), Callie Slaughter (CMB PhD), Onur Orun, Alec Jones (SMBE PhD), Ashlyn Chen (CBE PhD), Austin Knight (BMB PhD), As Chen (CBE Ph.D.), Michael Scroggins (SBME MS), Dr. Snow, Jacob DeRoo (SBME PhD), Brian Kelly (CBE), Cole Shepherd (BMB), Sara Dmytriw (CBE+SBME)


Goodbye Celebration July 2022



Last day in lab for Lauren Beatty and Moe Masri! Pictured here (left to right): Anika OBrian, Dr. Snow, Moe Masri, Ethan Shields, Julius Stuart, Lauren Beatty, Cole Shepherd, Brian Kelly, Tim Ahr, Marissa Zintel, Alec Jones, Rachel Cohen, Callie Slaughter


BIOMOD Photo February 2022



The CSU BIOMOD team is an official student organization dedicated to creative biomolecular design projects since 2017. We've competed in multiple BIOMOD Jamborees. The current project involves engineering porous protein crystals to light up in response to viral genomic sequences. Not all team members are pictured here, but we did have, from left to right: Dr. Snow, Lauren Beatty, Alison Shad, Brian Kelly, Alec Jones, Richie Park, Shepherd Cole, Tim Ahr, and Dr. Brian Geiss.

[Old Photos]




Principal Investigator

Christopher Snow Ph.D. [CV]
orcid logo 16px0000-0002-7690-3519
[Google Scholar] [ResearcherID]
Associate Professor

Program Affiliations:

  • Chemical and Biological Engineering
  • Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
  • Department of Chemistry
  • School of Biomedical Engineering
  • School of Advanced Materials Discovery
  • Cell and Molecular Biology Program
  • At CSU, Dr. Snow leads a research group focus on computer-guided molecular engineering. Most projects in the group fall into two large categories. Category 1 includes the design and engineering of individual proteins or enzymes. Category 2 includes the design and engineering of crystalline assemblies. Diverse application areas of interest include structural biology, catalysis, information storage, biosensors, biomaterials for therapeutic delivery, intracellular imaging, synthetic biology for olfactory signaling, and novel affinity reagents . Methods of particular interest include directed evolution, macromolecular crystallography, protein structure prediction, and new algorithms for reliable computational protein engineering. Dr. Christopher Snow joined the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2011, and has proceeded to join the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the Department of Chemistry, the School of Biomedical Engineering, the Cell and Molecular Biology Program, and the School of Advanced Materials Discovery. Dr. Snow received a B.S. degree in Chemistry from MIT in 2001 and his Ph.D. in Biophysics from Stanford University in 2006. As a Howard Hughes fellow at Stanford, Dr. Snow studied the biophysics of protein folding using distributed computing. Before arriving at CSU, Dr. Snow was a Jane Coffin Childs Fellow and a KAUST Research Fellow at Caltech where he developed software for computational protein engineering, designed libraries of cellulase enzymes, and studied protein recombination using high-throughput crystallography.

    Alec Jones

    Ph.D. Student, Biomedical Engineering (2019-)

    Alec completed his BS in Biology at University of South Carolina Aiken in 2018, prior to joining the Snow lab. His current research focuses on using porous protein microcrystals as a scaffold for DNA and RNA delivery in cells and tissues, for scavenging viruses from municipal wastewater, and as a marking system for mosquitoes. He also volunteers in educational outreach with the CSU Biomedical Engineering Society. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and fossil hunting.



    Jacob DeRoo

    Ph.D. Student, Biomedical Engineering (2019-)

    Jacob is a 3rd year PhD student joint between the Snow Lab and the Reynolds Lab at CSU. Jacob's research combines both computational tools and wetlab techniques to combine a hybrid organic-inorganic polymer called Metal Organic Frameworks (MOFs) with proteins and protein crystals. This unique combination of MOFs and protein crystals allows for dual combination of chemistries in a spatially efficient material. His current pursuits with this combination are centered around the in vivo elimination of manufactured chemical threats. Jacob has also contributed to the fabrication of a 2D MOF nanostructure, exploration of MOFs as a stationary phase for HPLC separation, enzyme design for increased product formation, and antibody design.




    Ethan Shields

    Ph.D. Student, Biomedical Engineering (2021-)
    Former Undergraduate Researcher (2019-2020)


    Ethan joined the Snow lab in 2019 as an undergraduate in the CSU Biochemistry program. In 2021 he became a graduate student in the CSU SBME program. His research includes work on developing protein-DNA co-crystals. This research involves taking existing co-crystals and trying to expand them into porous and designable scaffolds. He is also involved on a collaborative project with the Peebles' lab working on enhancing olfactory abilities by engineering the nasal microbiome.

    Szu-Hsuan (Ashlyn) Chen

    Ph.D. Student, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2020-)

    Ashlyn is a graduate student in CBE majoring in Chemical Engineering. She joined the Snow Lab in August 2020, started with learning the Finite Volume (FV) model, and then built it in MATLAB and Python to discover the secret of transportation in CJ Crystal. Currently, she is focusing on CJ crystal loading data fitting with the FV model, protein crystallization, crystal structure solving, and bioreactor optimization. Ashlyn received her B.S. in Chemical and Material Engineering from Chang Gung University in Taiwan. She loves twerking, karaoke, and Snow folks.



    Rachel Cohen

    Ph.D. Student, Chemistry (2022-)

    Rachel joined the Snow Lab in November 2021 and started work on metal reductases for the Clonable Nanoparticle project in collaboration with the Ackerson Lab. When engineered correctly, these enzymes can be utilized to generate and retain heavy metal nanoparticles that serve as contrast markers for electron microscopy and X-Ray imaging techniques, expanding the realm of what can be seen within the cell.



    Callie Slaughter

    Ph.D. Student, Cell and Molecular Biology (2022-)

    Callie received her undergraduate degree in microbiology from Colorado State University. After joining the Cell and Molecular Biology program, Callie joiuned the Snow lab in Spring 2022 and received a T32 fellowship award. Currently she is working on the nasal microbiome aspects of the Odor Encoder project and is also exploring the use of engineered co-crystals for RNA delivery applications.




    Emma Magna

    Ph.D. student, Cell and Molecular Biology (2023-)

    Emma joined the group in Spring 2023. She is coming into the Cell and Molecular Biology Ph.D. program after working at Moderna. Initial interests include developing novel technology for therapeutic delivery.


    Austin Knight

    Ph.D. student, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (2023-)

    Austin joined the group in Spring 2023 as a second year PhD student in the Biochemistry and Molecular Biology department, with a particular interest in learning cutting-edge protein engineering techniques. His current project is in collaboration with SasyaBio, an industrial lab with metabolic engineering expertise, to design a novel dioxygenase for ketoisocaproic acid and develop a sensitive, high throughput assay for determining enzyme variant activities. The final product will be a novel yeast strain that over-produces the small molecule hydroxymethylbutyric acid, which has significant promise is agriculture and pharmaceuticals.


    Anika O'Brian

    Undergraduate researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2021-)

    Anika is an undergraduate student dual majoring in biomedical engineering and chemical and biological engineering on track to graduate in 2024. She joined the BIOMOD team in 2021 and has been working on strengthening porous protein crystals by cloning specific amino acids to the protein to form disulfide bonds at protein-protein interfaces and expedite the crosslinking process. In her free time she enjoys climbing, skiing, and finding or cooking great food.


    Cole Shepherd

    Undergraduate researcher, Biochemistry (2021-)

    Cole Shepherd will graduate in Fall 2023 with a major in Biochemistry with minors in Microbiology and Physics. Cole joined the BioMod team in Spring 2021 and has been working on the development of microfluidic devices and a Rolling Circle Amplification protocol for the detection of small nucleic acid sequences. He intends to pursue a doctoral degree in Synthetic Biology or an adjacent field. His interests include hiking, fishing, and building models.


    Caroline Loewecke

    Undergraduate researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2022-)

    Caroline first started research in the group by supporting the Odor Encoder project with our ongoing animal behavioral study. Over the Summer 2022, via a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology REU, Caroline transitioned to working on optimizing the crosslinking protocol for the breakthrough porous DNA-protein co-crystals. The porous co-crystals as they are, are held together by weak interactions that can be strengthened by the formation of covalent bonds at the DNA-DNA junctions using relevant chemical crosslinking agents.


    Tim Ahr

    Undergraduate researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2021-)

    Tim found his love for research collaborating on existing projects when he joined the BioMod team in 2021. Getting more involved in the Snow lab he worked on several projects ranging from enzyme optimization to designing and implementing microfluidic systems. He hopes to utilize his experience in research and development for future career aspirations. In his free time he enjoys learning new skills, spending time in nature, and listening to live music.


    Ashanna Narrie

    Undergraduate researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2023-)

    Ashanna is working with the co-crystal team to create porous crystalline solids using DNA building blocks and protein building blocks. Once crystals with guest binding sites have formed, the crystals are ligated throughout where it is ultimately strengthened. This will allow for crystal survival in diverse solutions. The high copy number of binding sites in the crystals can precisely hold guest molecules for X-Ray Diffraction and structural biology along with later applications in drug delivery.


    Robert Lamm

    Undergraduate researcher, Civil and Environmental Engineering (2023-)

    Robert is an undergraduate student majoring in Environmental Engineering with a minor in Sustainable Water Management set to graduate in the Spring of 2026. He joined Biomod in the Summer of 2023 as part of a NIH funded REU (Research Experience for Undergraduates) where he helped scale the production of microfluidic devices for the production and utilization of various protein crystals. Corelating with his lab experience, Future career and research goals include scaling desalination practices involving protein membranes. In his free time, Robert enjoys spending time with his guide dog Fletcher, slacklining, disc golfing, gardening and just about anything outdoors.


    Lauren Frueh

    Undergraduate researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering & Biomedical Engineering (2022-)

    Lauren is double majoring in chemical engineering and biomedical engineering. She joined biomod a year ago and has been helping with their projects has recently joint the the wastewater virus capture senior design team affiliated with Dr.Snow’s lab. In her free time she love to hike and snowboard.



    Group Alumni


    Brielle Patlin

    M.S. student, Neuroscience: Cell and Molecular (2021-2023)
    Linked-In
    Brielle investigated the localization of crystals in an organotypic lung slice model in collaboration with Stu Tobets laboratory. The goal of this project is to be able to target crystallization to specific cell types as a first step toward allowing the crystals to act as a delivery method for therapeutic agents. As of Fall 2023, Brielle is a Ph.D. student at Washington University in St. Louis.


    Sara Jones

    Undergraduate researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2020-2023)
    Linked-In
    Sara was an undergraduate researcher who joined the Snow lab in August of 2019. She explored biomolecule design, crosslinking chemistry, and co-crystal and DNA crystal scaffold structures. Sara earned dual degrees in Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) and Biomedical Engineering (BME) in Spring 2023.


    Brian Kelly

    Undergraduate researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2021-2023)
    Linked-In
    Brian joined BIOMOD in spring of 2021 as an undergraduate in Chemical and Biological Engineering. He worked on covalent installation of guest enzymes and peptides within porous protein crystal scaffolds. Brian was part of the 2023 CBE senior design team working on a virus capture crystal functionalized for SARS-Cov-2 detection within municipal wastewater. He also worked on cloning and the Snow lab expression pipeline.

    Julius Stuart

    Ph.D. Student, Chemistry (2018-2023)

    Julius joined the Snow Lab in 2017 as a graduate student in the Chemistry Department (Chemical Biology) at CSU. As a CSU GAUSSI Fellow, Julius began his research on evaluating the efficacy of DNA-barcoded nanoporous protein crystals as tracking materials for disease-spreading mosquitoes. Additionally, Julius employed computational sequence design (e.g., Python, NUPACK) for constructing distinct, modular DNA barcodes compatible with Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS). He also studied the biophysical interactions governing guest nucleic acid transport into (loading), and within (equilibrium), host porous protein crystals using fluorescence microscopy. Julius received his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry in Fall of 2022. After several months as a postdoctoral researcher, Julius took a position at IDT in Boulder, CO.



    Michael Scroggins

    M.S. Student, Biomedical Engineering (2019-2022)

    Michael joined the Snow lab in early 2020 and worked on the Odor Encoder project in collaboration with Christie Peebles' lab. This project goal is to create enhanced olfactory abilities via engineering of the nasal microbiome, with Michael's work focusing on the engineering and characterization of the enzyme salicylic acid methyltransferase (SAMT). Prior to arriving at CSU, Michael obtained his BS in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. After graduating in Fall of 2022, Michael took a position at AGC Biologics




    Marissa Zintel

    Linked-In Undergraduate researcher, Biochemistry and Molecular Biology REU (Summer 2022)

    Marissa was an undergraduate researcher through the molecular biosciences REU program. She was working to strengthen the DNA-protein co-crystal scaffold by mutating specific amino acid residues to cysteine, hopefully creating auto-disulfide bonds at the protein-protein interfaces. She will graduate with a BA in Biochemistry from Lawrence University in Spring 2023.


    Lauren Beatty

    Linked-In Undergraduate researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2020-2022)

    Lauren joined the lab as an undergraduate researcher in February 2020, and has led the undergraduate research team BIOMOD from August 2020 until 2022. Her project sought to use a split enzyme reporter stored in porous protein crystals to create a mass-producible Covid-19 test. Lauren graduated with a BS in Chemical and Biological Engineering in May 2022 and has moved on to graduate school at U. Buffalo.

    Moe Masri

    M.S. Student, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2019-2022)

    Moe completed his BS in CBE at CSU in 2018. He worked with Alec on using porous nanocrystals for RNA and DNA delivery. Additionally Moe pioneered the design and development of microfluidic flow cells to image loading and release of guest small molecules over time. Congratulations to Moe for graduating in Summer 2022, and best of luck at Cambrex in Charles City IA

    Abby Orun

    Ph.D. Student, Chemistry (2017-2022)

    Abby joined the Snow Lab in January 2017 and started work characterizing protein crystals with atomic force microscopy and temperature studies. Shortly after, she began working with a team of eight undergraduate students on a project using existing protein and DNA co-crystals as an exandable, designable scaffold. The project has developed to explore co-crystal crosslinking chemistry and designs of original co-crystal scaffolds. She continued to mentor a team of undergraduate students for the BIOMOD competition. Abby recieved a B.S. degree in Chemistry Health Sciences from UCO and finished her Chemistry PhD Program at CSU with a specialty in Chemical Biology in June 2022. We wish her excellent luck in her postdoctoral research in the Blind lab at Vanderbilt




    Ananya Vajapayajula

    Undergraduate researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2020-)

    Ananya was an undergraduate researcher in the lab, making contributions to the isoreticular co-crystal project. She is now a graduate student at Georgia Tech.

    Brinn Thomas

    SURE scholar, Biomedical Engineering with Mechanical Engineering (2022-)
    Brinn started research in the group as a SURE 1st year scholar in January 2022. She worked with biomolecular crystal growth and simple microfluidic device fabrication.




    Vishakha Pawar

    Linked-In Postdoctoral Fellow, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2020-2021)

    Current position: Postdoc at Harvard Medical School


    Christopher Kovacic

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2019-2020)

    Current position: Associate Industrial Sales Engineer at Phoenix Contact USA


    Xandria Amash

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2018-2020)

    Current position: Technical Analyst at Karchem Consulting LLC


    Isabel Drews

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2017-2018)

    Current position: Renewable Energy Resource Analyst at TransAlta


    Sarah Tan

    Linked-In Rat olfaction project researcher, Veterinary Medicine (2020-2021)

    Current position: DVM Candidate CSU


    Lucas Gintner

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2016-2018)

    Current position: Process Development Engineer at Magris Talc


    Holland Dierl

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2018-2019)

    Current position: Process Engineer at HollyFrontier


    Gayani Dedduwa-Mudalige

    Linked-In Postdoctoral Fellow (2018-2019)

    Dr. Gayani Dedduwa-Mudalige in Snow group led a protein engineering and evolution project for identification of novel protein scaffolds for intracellular imaging applications. Prior to joining Snow lab in 2018, Gayani was a postdoctoral associate in McNaughton lab at CSU, where she developed a Sortase-mediated protein evolution platform for in-cell screening. Gayani obtained her PhD from Wayne State University, Michigan. Her doctoral studies focused on studying kinetics of cisplatin interactions with bacterial ribosomal RNA and identifying platinated RNA products. Current position: Hologic, Inc.


    Alex Frickenstein

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2017-2019)

    Was a Ph.D. student at the University of Oklahoma (Wilhelm Lab) Currently, an Assistant Professor at U. Oklahoma.


    Ramsey Smith

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2017-2019)

    Current position: Senior Software Engineer at Alfi, Inc.


    Sergei Driga

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2018-2020)


    Ezon Zhao

    Linked-In M.S. Chemical and Biological Engineering (2016-2019)


    Yaya Fan

    M.E. Chemical and Biological Engineering (2017-2018)


    Sheridon Kelly

    Sheridon was one of the founders of the first CSU BIOMOD team. She worked with computational and experimental teams to crystalize wild-type and team-designed proteins for the competition. (2017-2018)


    Sarah Wakumoto

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2019-2020)

    Current position: Dow


    Ann Kowalski

    Ph.D. Student, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2012-2018)

    Linked-In
    Ann began her PhD at CSU in August 2012 as an NSF IGERT Fellow in Bioenergy and finished in 2018. Her work focused on the use of protein crystals as biotemplating materials for gold nanoparticles and nanorods and other metal nanoarchitectures. She developed methods to image the protein crystal scaffold through small angle x-ray scattering and atomic force microscopy. Ann received her B.S. from Clemson University in Biosystems Engineering with a focus on Environmental Engineering. Current position: Texas Instruments


    Thaddaus Huber

    Ph.D. Student, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2011-2017)
    Former WRF Innovation Fellow in Protein Design, Postdoctoral Fellow in the Neil King lab at UW.
    Current position: Founder Colorado Biofactory.


    Amanda Cherwin

    Summer Undergraduate Researcher (2018)
    Current position: SMBE PhD student in Chuck Henry's laboratory at CSU.


    William Wright

    Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2017)

    Linked-In Current position: Komodo Health


    Eli McPherson

    Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2014-2017)


    Samantha Sloan

    Linked-In
    Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2015-2017)
    Current position: Emerson Automation Solutions.


    Stacey Zintgraff

    Linked-In
    Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2015-2017)
    Current position: US Environmental Protection Agency


    Jeffrey Bennett

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2015-2016)
    Current position: Postdoctoral Scholar Abolhasani lab at North Carolina State University.


    David Andales

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2014-2018)
    Current Position: Mars


    Carolyn Keating

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2013-2018)
    Current Position: Terumo Blood and Cell Technologies


    Karina Appel

    Linked-In Undergraduate Researcher in the Lab (2012-2016), Chemical and Biological Engineering
    Current position: Development Associate at Bayer Pharmaceuticals


    Luke Hartje

    Linked-In
    Ph.D. Student (2014-2018), Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
    Current position: Associate Directory - Oncology R&D at Invitae


    Lucas Johnson

    Linked-In
    Ph.D. Student (2011-2016), Chemical and Biological Engineering
    Current position: Director of Portfolio Modeling at Wolverine Power Cooperative


    Mark Lunt

    Linked-In
    Undergraduate Researcher & Masters Student, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2012-2015)
    Current position: Principal Software Engineer at Northrop Grumman.


    Sehoo Park


    High School Intern and Undergraduate Student (2013-2017), Chemical and Biological Engineering


    Jarad Yost

    Linked-In
    Undergraduate Student, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2013-2015)
    Current position: Graduate student at Texas A&M University.


    Sara Yamashiro

    Linked-In
    Undergraduate Student, Neuroscience (2013-2014)


    Jacob Sebesta

    Linked-In
    Masters Student (2013-2015), Chemical and Biological Engineering
    Current position: Postdoctoral Researcher at the National Renewable Energy Lab


    Matt Baker

    Linked-In Graduate Student, Biomedical Engineering (2011-2012)
    Current position: KBI Biopharma.


    Joseph Chiavetta

    Linked-In Undergraduate, Chemical and Biological Engineering (2012-2013)
    Current position: Broadcom Inc.