Our Team

Jonathan R. Chekan, PhD

Assistant Professor

Phone: 336.256.1080
Fax: 336.334.5402
Room: 409 Sullivan Science Bldg.
Email: jrchekan@uncg.edu
Twitter: @ChekanLab

B.S., Pennsylvania State University (2011)
Ph.D., University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (2016)
Postdoc, Scripps Institution of Oceanography (2020)

Jon was born in Pittsburgh, PA and received his BS in Microbiology at the Pennsylvania State University in 2011. He then moved to the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, joining the laboratory of Satish K. Nair. As a Ph.D. student, Jon used a combination of protein crystallography and biochemical methods to study proteins involved in the biosynthesis of three different classes of RiPP natural products. In 2016, Jon graduated from UIUC with a Ph.D. in biochemistry and joined the laboratory of Bradley S. Moore at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (University of California, San Diego) as a Simons Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow of the Life Science Research Foundation. In the Moore Lab, Jon combined genomic and biochemical approaches to elucidate the biosynthesis of domoic acid and kainic acid, neurotoxins produced by eukaryotic marine algae. In Fall 2020, Jon joined the department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina Greensboro as an Assistant Professor.


Current Members

Brigitte Ampolini

Graduate Researcher

B.S. Chemical Engineering & Chemistry
North Carolina A&T State University & Elon University

1st year M.S. student with a concentration in biochemistry
Joined the Chekan lab Fall 2021


Keelie Butler

Graduate Researcher

B.S. Chemistry and Biochemistry
Campbell University

2nd year Ph.D. Student
Joined Chekan Lab Fall 2020


Sanath Kavuthian Kandy

Graduate Researcher

BS-MS Chemistry
IISER-Thiruvananthapuram, India

2nd year Ph.D. Student
Joined Chekan Lab Spring 2021


Stella de Lima Camargo

Postdoctoral Researcher

MSc (2016) & PhD (2020)
University of São Paulo, Brazil
Her thesis research was focused on the discovery and characterization of the BGC responsible for the production of the neurotoxin guanitoxin in cyanobacteria.

Joined Chekan Lab January 2022


Ayoola Babalola Smith

Graduate Researcher

Bachelor of Pharmacy
MSc. Pharmacognosy
University of Lagos, Nigeria

1st year Ph.D. student
Joined Chekan Lab Fall 2021


Ethan Underwood

Graduate Researcher

B.S. Biochemistry

2nd year Chemistry M.S. Student with a concentration in Biochemistry
Joined Chekan Lab Spring 2021


Maisha Waafa

Undergraduate Researcher

Junior Biology
Joined Chekan Lab Fall 2020


Formers Lab Members

Ajalaye Sykes – Currently at Campbell University PharmD program
Imani Khedi – Currently at NC A&T for Undergraduate degree
Adun Akinola – Currently at UNC Chapel Hill for Undergraduate degree
Maurice Furet – Currently at NC State for Undergraduate degree
Mackenzie Stotler
Sumaita Rahman – Currently at NC State for Undergraduate degree