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Principal Investigator

Fu-Sen Liang

Photo: Fu-Sen Liang
Principal Investigator
  • BS in Chemistry, National Taiwan University
  • MS in Organic Chemistry, National Chiao Tung University
  • PhD in Bioorganic Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA
  • Postdoc in Chemical Biology, Stanford Medical School

Fu-Sen was born in Taipei, Taiwan. After receiving his BS in Chemistry, he conducted MS research in natural product synthesis under the guidance of Dr. Tse-Lok Ho.

He then joined the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla for PhD studies in Dr. Chi-Huey Wong's group where he designed and synthesized RNA-targeting small molecules and developed binding and specificity assays.

He did a postdoctoral research with Dr. Gerald Crabtree at Stanford Medical School where he investigated the functions of Brg chromatin remodeling complex and developed a new chemically induced proximity technique based on abscisic acid.

He moved to UNM at 2012 to start his independent research group. His research focuses on the development of novel chemical biology tools for biomedical research.


Dan Gao

Photo: Dan Gao
  • BS in Biotechnology, Inner Mongolia Medical University
  • PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Tianjin Medical University
Dan was born in Hebei, China. She got her BS in Biotechnology from Inner Mongolia Medical University in 2011. She then finished her PhD studies in Tianjin Medical University in 2016, majoring in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. She is now a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Fu-Sen Liang in the University of New Mexico where she investigated the chromatin and epigenetic regulation with chemical biology tools. In her spare time, she loves playing badminton, swimming and cooking.

Yabin Song

Photo: Yabin  Song
  • BS in Materials Chemistry, Nankai University
  • PhD in Organic Chemistry, Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences
Yabin was born in Henan, China. He got his Bachelor’s degree in Materials Chemistry from Nankai University. Then he finished PhD studies in Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, where he designed and synthesized some organic functional molecules. He is very interested in chemical biology, which includes the techniques of synthetic chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, imaging and bioengineering. He believes “The Future Is Interdisciplinary”. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, traveling and playing pingpang.

Graduate Student

Umesh Bhattarai

Photo: Umesh Bhattarai
Graduate Student
  • BS in Chemistry, Tribhuvan university
  • MS in Organic chemistry, Tribhuvan university

Umesh is a 5th year graduate student. He was born and raised in a city of midwestern region of Nepal. After schooling, he got B.Sc. in Chemistry and M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry from Tribhuvan University of Nepal. He has joined Dr. Liang's research group as a graduate student in 2013. He has deep interest on chemical biology and its application to answer important questions that will be beneficial for mankind. Beside, spending time on his research, he loves listening music and reading novel. He enjoys cycling, hiking and playing soccer.

Huong Nguyen

Photo: Huong Nguyen
Graduate Student
  • BS in Biotechnology, International University, Vietnam National University
  • MS in Biotechnology, International University, Vietnam National University
Huong is a 3rd year graduate student. She was born in Ho Chi Minh city - the largest and liveliest city in the southern of Vietnam. She got her consecutive BS and MS in Biotechnology from Vietnam before joining UNM in fall 2015. Huong is interested in applying chemical tools to understand how biological systems work , especially in human diseases and develop strategies for application in biological and biomedical problems. Besides studying, she likes swimming, cooking, traveling and photography.

Hao Yan

Photo: Hao Yan
Graduate Student
  • BS in Chemistry, Beijing Normal University
  • MS in Organic Chemistry, Beijing Normal University

Hao is a 5th year graduate student. He was born and grew up in China. He received his Bachelor's degree from Beijing Normal University in 2008, majoring in chemistry. After obtaining his Master's degree (organic chemistry) from the same university in 2011, he worked in Pharmaron as a chemist. He joined UNM as a graduate student in 2014 and is now pursuing his Ph. D. in Chemistry.

Weiye Zhao

Photo: Weiye Zhao
Graduate Student
  • BS in Chemistry, Sichuan University
Weiye is a 3rd year graduate student. He was born in China and received his Bachelor's degree in Chemistry in Sichuan University before he started his graduate studies in Dr. Liang's group. He is interested in developing chemical and biological technique platform to control cellular processes at molecular precision.

Lin Zhou

Photo: Lin Zhou
Graduate Student
  • BS in Chemsirty, Jiangsu University
Lin is a 1st year graduate student. She was born and grown up in Jiangsu, China. She joined Dr. Liang's group in the fall of 2017 to pursue her PhD degree. She is interested in taking advantage of chemical biology tools to develop novel biological functions in the mammalian system. She enjoys reading in her free time.

Huijie Zhu

Photo: Huijie Zhu
Graduate Student
  • BS in Chemistry, Lanzhou University
  • MS in Analytical Chemistry, Hunan University
Huijie is a 1st year graduate student. She is from Henan, China. After receiving her Bachelor’s degree from Lanzhou University in 2013, she started her MS research under the supervision of Dr. Weihong Tan in Hunan University, where she mainly focused on building biosensors for the detection of metal ions in the cellular microenvironment. She joined Dr. Liang’s group in UNM in 2018 and is pursuing her PhD degree now. Outside of the lab, Huijie enjoys reading and traveling.

Undergraduate Student

Brynn Cullander

Photo: Brynn  Cullander
Undergraduate Student
  • BS major in Biology and Biochemistry, minor in Chemistry, University of New Mexico
  • MARC Scholar

Brynn is a 3rd year undergraduate MARC scholar pursuing a B.S. in Biology and a B.S. Biochemistry with a minor in Chemistry. She was born in Colorado and grew up in a small town in New Mexico. She intends to go to graduate school and get her PhD and is planning to pursue a career in research in the field of cancer biology. In her spare time, Brynn enjoys many things including baking/cooking, reading, climbing, and playing cello and piano, as well as spending time with her family and their many animals.

Eunju Lim

Photo: Eunju Lim
Undergraduate Student
  • Undergraduate, Chemistry major with Biology minor, University of New Mexico
  • MPH in Public Health, Yonsei University, Seoul, South Korea
  • BS in Environmental Health Science, soonchunhyang University, Asan, South Korea
Eunju is a third year undergraduate student majoring in Chemistry and minoring in Biology at UNM. She is originally from Seoul, South Korea. Eunju worked at Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs after she got her MPH. She intends on a research career in a clinical setting and also interested in public health. She likes to watch her kids on their swimming practice and jog with her dog, Choco.

Danielle Parsons

Photo: Danielle  Parsons
Undergraduate Student
  • Undergraduate, Biology major, University of New Mexico
  • Ronald McNair Scholar
  • Donald Caughran Memorial Scholarship
  • Thomas Whaley Endowed Memorial Scholarship
  • Joan Willard Hemsing Tinoco Scholarship
Danielle was born in La Jolla, California. She is currently pursuing a B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Chemistry from the University of New Mexico. She hopes to pursue a career in biomedical research. In her spare time, Danielle enjoys reading, camping and gardening.

Honorary Member


Photo: Eason Liang
Honorary Member

Past Members & Current Positions

Visiting Scholar

Huanqiu Li, 2014-2015
Associate Professor, College of Pharmaceutical Science, Soochow University


Tingjun Chen (Fujian Normal University PhD), 2016-2017
Research Staff, Mayo Clinic

Zhi-Fo Guo (Beijing Normal University PhD), 2012-2015
Postdoc, Texas A&M University

Graduate students

Guihua Zeng, Ph.D. UNM 2012-2017 
Postdoc, UNM

Cat Wright, Ph.D. UNM 2011-2016

Qi Jin (UNM MS), 2012-2014
PhD student, Chemistry program at Ohio State University

Roushu Zhang (UNM/Sichuan University BS), 2013-2015
PhD student, Chemistry program at University of Maryland, College Park

Postbac & Undergraduates

Zac Candelaria (UNM), 2016-2017

Ian Nez (SIPI), 2017 summer
Undergraduate student, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute

Gus Pedrotty (UNM), 2016-2017

Hannah Wilcox (UNM), 2015-2017
MD student, UNM Medical School

Larisa Breden (UNM), 2015-2017
Postbac, NIH NIAID

Annette Fernandez (UNM), 2014-2016

Maria Alvarez (UNM), 2014-2015
Postbac, NIH NIAID

David Danielson (UNM), 2014-2015
Postbac, NIH NIAID

Daniel Roybal (UNM), 2013-2015
PhD student, Pharmacology program at Columbia University

Josh Rabinowitz (Arizona State), 2014 summer
PhD student, Chemistry Program at Stanford University

Destiny Martinez (UNM), 2012-2014
Science Teacher, MAS Charter School

Srijana Pokhrel (Idaho State), 2013-2014
PhD student, Biomedical Science program at UNM Medical School

Ashley Clark (UNM), 2012-2014
PA, Penn State Hershey Medical Center

Jennifer Barrios (UNM), 2012-2013
Research Technician, Sandia National Laboratories

Alex Vold (UNM), 2012-2013
MD student, UNM Medical School

High school interns

Allison Rodas (La Cueva High School), 2017 summer
High school student, La Cueva High School

Stephanie Rifkin (Albuquerque Academy), 2017 summer
High school student, Albuquerque Academy

Carolina Alvarez (Albuquerque Academy), 2016 summer
Undergraduate student, Northwestern University

Léa Godret-Miertschin (NextGen Academy, Sandia High School), 2015, 2016 summer
Undergraduate student, Rice University

Paige Nielson (Sandia High School), 2015 summer
Undergraduate student, Baylor University

Emily Eix (St. Pius X High School, University of Oklahoma), 2014, 2016 summer
Undergraduate student, University of Oklahoma

Julia Lu (Albuquerque Academy), 2013 summer
Undergraduate student, University of Texas at Austin

Alicia Williams (Albuquerque Academy), 2013 summer
Undergraduate student, Cornell University