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Laboratory for Cellular Metabolism and Engineering Home of the Gang Lab

Current Lab Members

Principal Investigator



David R. Gang
Professor and Fellow
Institute of Biological Chemistry
Director, Center for Cannabis Policy, Research and Outreach
Director, Tissue Imaging and Proteomics Laboratory
gangd at wsu dot edu
Clark Hall 385
PO Box 646340
Pullman, WA 99164 USA


When he isn’t collecting marine sediment or ginger family samples from around the world, David enjoys diving, biking and hiking, especially on volcanoes, and board and strategy games.

Research Associates




Dr. Anna Berim

TIMPL Lab Manager

aberim at wsu dot edu

Anna manages the Tissue Imaging, Metabolomics and Proteomics Laboratory. Her personal research work focuses on flavonoid metabolism, particularly in the mint family, and application of metabolomics and lipidomics in plant biochemistry. She develops methods methods to analyze the metabolome and lipidome of various biological samples, such as infected psyllids that are carrying CLas, the causative agent of Citrus Greening Disease, or human samples related to cannabis research. She oversees management of our metabolomics instrumentation.

Post-doctoral Fellows






We currently have a post-doctoral researcher position available, effective immediately.

We have funding from the State of Washington’s Department of Ecology to investigate the uptake and distribution of the pesticide DDT and its breakdown products DDE and DDD in Cannabis sativa plants. Although C. sativa is a well-known phytoremediator, the mechanisms by which it takes up various xenobiotics is not well characterized. This groundbreaking project will seek to fill important gaps in our knowledge.

If this sounds like a project for you, check out and apply for the position announcement on WSU’s jobs website, position # R-10922 and contact Dr. Gang.

Graduate Students








This could be you!

We currently have a graduate research assistant position available in our lab working on the sustainability and biochemistry of hemp.

If you have a passion for science, and have a solid background in chemistry (analytical or organic) or biochemistry with strong interests in biological chemistry or biochemistry, then our lab might be a great place for you to pursue your graduate degree. Dr. Gang is affiliated with WSU’s graduate programs in Molecular Plant Sciences and the Chemistry of Biological Systems. Check out those PhD programs and then contact Dr. Gang if you think that either might be right for you.

Profile photo of Ameneh Tarakemeh

Ameneh Tarakemeh

PhD Student, Molecular Plant Sciences Program

Ameneh’s research focuses on the biology and biochemistry hemp (Cannabis sativa). She is investigating how the plant makes various compounds associated with specific aromas and how those processes are controlled and regulated within the plant. She is using novel . Her LinkedIn page is here.

Former Lab Members

Former Research Associates and Post-docs





Dr. Ruifeng He

Research Associate

Ruifeng’s work applied genomics and transcriptomics (and now proteomics) approaches to several project areas: rhizome-producing plant species, psyllids, insect vectors of significant plant pathogens, such as of Ca. Liberibacter asiaticus, the causative agent of Citrus Greening Disease (also called Huanglongbing, or HLB for short), and cultivated and wild rice. He now works for the USDA Agricultural Research Service. His LinkedIn page is here.

Former Graduate Students



Korey Brownstein, PhD

Molecular Plant Sciences Program

Korey’s research was connected by two themes: medicinal plants and metabolomics. In his first project area, funded by the National Science Foundation GRFP, he investigated the metabolome of some very interesting medicinal plants that have potentially potent anti-inflammatory properties, such as harpagoside producing devil’s claw (Harpagophytum procumbens) and other species in the Lamiales. In the second project, funded by an Archeometry Program grant from the National Science Foundation, he workied with Dr. Gang and Dr. Shannon Tushingham in WSU’s Anthropology Department to develop robust methods for identification of plants used anciently. He participated in the budding field of Ancient Residue Analysis. He now works for the USDA Agricutlural Research Service. His LinkedIn page is here.

Xioayue “April” Chen, PhD

Molecular Plant Sciences Program

April’s research focused on the biology and biosynthesis of salvinorins and divinatorins in the medicinal plant, Salvia divinorum (Diviner’s Sage). Her publication describes the cloning and characterization of the enzyme that catalyzes the first step in the pathway to these interesting medicinal compounds. Salvinorin A is an unusual compound with significant psychiatric potential, as it is a kappa opioid receptor agonist. It is best known as the most potent natural hallucinogen known. She is now a Post-Doc at UC Berkeley. Her LinkedIn page is here.

Ruhnaz Kashfi, PhD

Department of Chemistry

Ruhnaz’s research involved application of mass spectrometry to identification and characterization of marine microbes. She worked on developing methods to identify unusual/novel strains of bacteria and improve our screening process. She also used LC-MS to characterize the metabolites produced by different bacterial isolates. Her focus was on identification of new anti-microbial compounds that could be turned into useful antibiotics. She is currently a Staff Scientist, Project Lead at Johnson & Johnson. Her LinkedIn page is here.

Rebecca Weed, PhD

Molecular Plant Sciences Program

Rebecca’s research focused on the application of metabolomics in basic plant biology, particularly the grasses. In one project, she compared the metabolomes of invasive haplotypes of common reed (Phragmites australis) to native strains. In a second study, she compared the metabolome, lipidome and transcriptome of P. australis to Giant Reed (Arundo donax). A third project included characterization of changes in the meta. bolome of wheat plants upon infection with Common Bunt (Tilletia caries). She is currently a Research Scholar of Mass Spectrometry in the Molecular Education, Technology and Research Innovation Center (METRIC) at North Carolina State University. Her LinkedIn page is here.



Abdelgader El Haddar, PhD Student

Department of Chemistry

Abdelgader’s research applied metabolomics approaches, coupled to phylogenetics, to study the evolution of diversity in marine microbes, particularly across varying climate ranges. He helped us develop our collection of marine microbes for natural product bioprospecting.