Kou-San Ju
Assistant Professor
Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy
290 Aronoff Laboratory


  • Natural Product Discovery
  • Microbial Metabolism
  • Biocatalysis
  • Genomics

Professional Interests

My interdisciplinary research program is inspired by the metabolic diversity of microorganisms and the vast array of compounds they produce. Working at the interface of chemistry and biology, my group combines approaches in chemistry, biochemistry, bioinformatics, genetics, and systems biology to discover new natural products, identify bioactivity and mode of action, and to decipher the metabolic basis of their biosynthesis. Ultimately, we seek to translate insights gained from our investigations into solutions for modern day challenges facing human health and the environment. These include new antibiotics to counter drug-resistant pathogens, novel herbicides and biocontrol agents to improve pest management and food security, and engineered biocatalysts to facilitate chemical production by green chemistry and industrial biotechnology.


  • Postdoctoral, 2016, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • PhD, 2009, University of California at Davis, Microbiology
  • BA, 2001, University of California at Berkeley, Molecular & Cell Biology and Earth & Planetary Science
  • BS, 2001, University of California at Berkeley, Environmental Sciences

Recent Publications