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Alper, Hal

Hal S Alper

Professor, CBRS Executive Director
McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, Center for Biomedical Research Support

Kenneth A. Kobe Professorship in Chemical Engineering (Holder)


Phone: 512-471-4417

Office Location

Postal Address
AUSTIN, TX 78712

Alper Lab Research Area:

The Alper Lab rewires cellular metabolism to produce next-generation biochemicals, polymer precursors, fuels, and pharmaceuticals. In doing so, we are addressing global challenges including sustainability, human health, circular bio-economies, and clean energy/energy security. We rewire cells by uniquely merging the areas of synthetic biology, directed evolution, and pathway engineering. To complement these efforts, we have developed many synthetic genetic toolkits, high-throughput screening techniques, evolution schemes, and culturing platforms. Our mission is to enable advanced biomanufacturing using rewired host organisms. 

Alper Lab Values:

The Alper Lab strives to perform high-quality, reproducible research to advance science and provide significant benefit to the local community and broader reaches of society. We are dedicated to fostering an inclusive, welcoming, and collaborative work environment where students and researchers from diverse backgrounds can have a positive research and learning experience that they carry throughout their careers. You are welcome here!

Selected recent research papers:

Emily Bowman, Matthew Deaner, Jan-Fang Cheng, Robert Evans, Ernst Oberortner, Yasuo Yoshikuni, and Hal Alper, 2020. Bi-directional Titration of Yeast Gene Expression using a Pooled CRISPR Guide RNA Approach PNAS 117 (31) 18424-18430

Trevor Johnston, Shuo-Fu Yuan, James Wagner, Xiunan Yi, Abhijit Saha, Patrick Smith, Alshakim Nelson and Hal Alper, 2020. Compartmentalized microbes and co-cultures in hydrogels for on-demand bioproduction and preservation Nature Communications 11, 563

Claire Palmer, Kelly Miller, Ankim Nguyen, and Hal Alper, 2020. Engineering 4-coumaroyl-CoA derived polyketide production in Yarrowia lipolytica through a b-oxidation mediated strategy Metabolic Engineering 57, 174-181

Kelly Markham, Claire Palmer, Malgorzata Chwatko, James Wagner, Clare Murray, Sofia Vazquez, Arvind Swaminathan, Ishani Chakravarty, Nathaniel Lynd, and Hal Alper, 2018. Rewiring Yarrowia lipolytica toward triacetic acid lactone for novel materials generation PNAS 115 (9) 2096-2101

Joseph Abatemarco, Maen Sarhan, James Wagner, Jyun-Liang Lin, Leqian Liu, Wafa Hassouneh, Shuo-Fu Yuan, Hal Alper, and Adam Abate. RNA-Aptamer-In-Droplet (RAPID) High-Throughput Screening of Secretory Phenotypes Nature Communications 8, 332

Nathan Crook, Joseph Abatemarco, Jie Sun, James Wagner, Alexander Schmitz, and Hal Alper, 2016. in vivo continuous evolution of genes and pathways in yeast Nature Communications 7, 13051