Perez-Mercader Group

Anders Albertsen

Associate
Perez-Mercader Lab, Rowland Institute

Anders N. Albertsen studied Chemistry at the Department of Physics, Chemistry, and Pharmacy, University of Southern Denmark. He obtained his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the Center for Fundamental Living Technology (FLinT) under the supervision of Assoc. Prof.  Pierre-Alain Monnard.  The Ph.D. thesis, "Study of Replication Processes in Minimal Self-Replicating Systems", was defended in December 2013. Anders joined the Perez-Mercader group in February 2014.

Gong Cheng

Associate
Perez-Mercader Lab, Rowland Institute

Dr. Gong Cheng is a Postdoctoral Fellow working with Dr. Juan Pérez-Mercader at Rowland Institute at Harvard, Harvard University. He earned his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Science. After graduation, he worked as a postdoctoral scholar at the Pennsylvania State University. He moved to Harvard in Dec. 2017. His research interests focus on the design of innovative materials and technology for application in biomedicine and synthetic biology. Currently, his research topic in EPS at Harvard is to explore the origin of life from the chemical and materials perspective. More specifically, construction of an artificial cell or cell-like compartment to explain the formation of protocell and decode the origin of life.

Thomas Draper

Associate
Perez-Mercader Lab, Rowland Institute

Thomas Draper completed both his BSc and MSc in Chemistry at the University of Bristol, UK, focusing on catalysis and air-sensitive inorganic synthesis, with Professor Robin Bedford. He earned his PhD jointly under Dr John Turner and Dr Qiao Chen, at the University of Sussex, UK in 2016. His PhD, situated at the inorganic/physical border, involved air-sensitive organometallic synthesis, small molecule activation, heterogeneous photocatalysis, and nanotechnology. Afterwards he worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate under Professor Andrew Adamatzky at UWE Bristol, UK for 2.5 years, studying the creation, optimisation, and use in unconventional computing, of liquid marbles. He joined Dr Juan Pérez-Mercader’s group as a Post-doctoral Fellow in November 2019 on the “Top-down Synthesis of an Ex-novo Chemical Artificial Living System” project.

Sai Krishna Katla

Research Associate
Perez-Mercader Lab, Rowland Institute
Sai Krishna Katla earned his Ph.D. in Materials Science from Jawaharlal Nehru Center for Advanced Scientific Research (JNCASR), India in 2011. After graduating, he pursued postdoctoral research in Nanofabrication and Nanomaterials group at the Center for Advanced Microstructures and Devices (CAMD), a Synchrotron Light Source at the Louisiana State University (LSU). His research at LSU was part of the Center for Atomic-Level Catalyst Design, a DOE sponsored Energy Frontier Research Center (EFRC). During this period, his research focused on (i) Application of atomically precise gold nanoclusters in catalysis and magnetism, (ii) Application of millifluidics-based lab-on-a-chip devices for synthesis and in situ time-resolved characterization of nanomaterials. Later, he worked on electrocatalytic applications of nanomaterials as a Research Scientist from 2014 to 2015 in the 3D-Nanostructuring group at Institute of Physics & Institute of Micro- and Nanotechnologies (IMN), Technische Universität Ilmenau, Germany. Further, he worked on photothermal application of atomically precise gold nanoclusters as a Research Scientist - Associate and later as a Lecturer at The University of Texas at El Paso from 2015 to 2018. He is currently working on chemical computing and other problems associated with the creation of chemical artificial life as a Research Associate in Pérez-Mercader group.

Juan Perez-Mercader

Senior Research Fellow and Principal Investigator

Juan Pérez-Mercader earned his Ph.D. from the City College of New York. He is an Elected Member of the International Academy of Astronautics and of the European Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 1998 in Association with the NASA Astrobiology Institute, he founded Spain's Centro de Astrobiología (CAB) of which he was its first Director. He is the architect of Spain's current participation with infrastructure and instrumentation on board Mars Science Laboratory that arrived on Mars in August 2012. He is Profesor de Investigación in Spain's National Research Council (CSIC) and an External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute. In 2010, he joined Harvard as a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the university's Origins of Life Initiative, where he leads a project on the "Top-down Synthesis of an Ex-novo Chemical Artificial Living System".

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Eszter Poros-Tarcali

Associate
Perez-Mercader Lab, Rowland Institute

Eszter Poros-Tarcali completed her PhD in the field of Nonlinear Chemical Dynamics under the supervision of Assoc. Prof. Krisztina Kurin-Csorgei and Prof. Miklos Orban at Semmelweis University, Hungary, entitled: Design and Study of Novel Oscillatory Chemical Systems. Prior to joining Prof. Pérez-Mercader's group in November 2017 she worked as a postdoc research fellow at Eötvös University, Hungary. Her research topic includes application of oscillatory chemical reactions for investigating the origin of life.