Faculty Profile - University of Houston
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Faculty Profile

Melissa L. ZastrowMelissa L. Zastrow

Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry

Office: Fleming, 137C
Contact: mzastrow@uh.edu - 713-743-6471

Education: Ph.D., University of Michigan, 2013; B.S., University of Connecticut, 2008

Postdoctoral Fellow, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2013-2017


The Zastrow group uses biological and chemical approaches to uncover and examine the roles of essential metals in the gut microbiota. Our research techniques span a range of areas centered around bioinorganic chemistry and chemical biology, including protein biochemistry and protein design, molecular biology, synthesis, cell imaging, and absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy.

Projects in the group focus on: 1) elucidating essential metal utilization in gut bacteria, 2) imaging metal ion dynamics in gut bacteria, and 3) modulating bacterial cell-to-cell communication. We are interested in understanding how metals in gut microbes affect host health, disease, and immune response and hope to foster the development of novel therapeutics.

  • NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Postdoctoral Fellowship (MIT), 2015-2017
  • Rackham Dissertation Fellowship (University of Michigan), 2013
  • NIH Chemistry Biology Interface Training Program (University of Michigan), 2009-2011