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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, Tissue Imaging and Proteomics Laboratory
Co-Director, Murdock Metabolomics 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.

Research Associates




Dr. Anna Berim

Research Associate

LCME Analytics Lab Manager

aberim at wsu dot edu

Anna’s work focuses on flavonoid metabolism, particularly in the mint family, and application of metabolomics and lipidomics in plant biochemistry. She also currently is a participant in the CLCC Project, where she is developing methods to analyze the primary metabolome and lipidome of individual insects, such as infected psyllids that are carrying CLas, the causative agent of Citrus Greening Disease. In recent years she has also overseen management of our metabolomics instrumentation.




Dr. Ruifeng He

Research Associate

rfhe at wsu dot edu

Ruifeng’s work applies 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.

Post-doctoral Fellows






Hopefully we will have open Post-doc positions available soon. Check back later!

Graduate Students








This could be you!

We currently have a graduate research assistant position available in our lab. This could focus on one of two areas. One area involves further development of Ancient Residue Analysis tools, based on metabolomics, with emphasis on dental calculus and drink/decoction studies (e.g., cacao). The second involves either plant chemistry/biochemistry related to specialized metabolism, or drug discovery from marine microbes.

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.

Xioayue “April” Chen, Recent Graduate!

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 recent 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.

Rebecca Weed, Recent Graduate!

PhD Candidate, Molecular Plant Sciences Program

Rebecca’s research focuses on the application of metabolomics in basic plant biology, particularly the grasses. In one project, she is comparing the metabolomes of invasive haplotypes of common reed (Phragmites australis) to native strains. In a second study, she is comparing the metabolome, lipidome and transcriptome of P. australis to Giant Reed (Arundo donax). A third project includes characterization of metabolic changes in the metabolome of wheat plants upon infection with Common Bunt (Tilletia caries). She hopes to graduate Spring 2018. Her LinkedIn page is here.

Korey Brownstein, Recent Graduate!

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.

Ruhnaz Kashfi, Recent Graduate!

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.



Abdelgader El Haddar

PhD Student, Department of Chemistry

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