IBB Team

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ZACHARY T. BALL, PhD
Faculty Director
Associate Professor of Chemistry
zachary.ball@rice.edu

Prof. Ball is the faculty director of the IBB and Associate Professor of Chemistry. The Ball Research Group is interested in biological and medical applications of organic and inorganic chemistry. Of particular interest is catalyst design for selective chemical postranslational protein modification. The laboratory works collaboratively on a number of approaches to non-traditional, next-generation drug development. Ball received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Harvard University in 1999 and earned his Ph.D. from Stanford in 2004. He was a Miller Fellow at the University of California-Berkeley from 2004 to 2006. Ball serves as Associate Chair for Undergraduate Studies in the Chemistry Department.


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PAUL CHERUKURI, PhD
Executive Director
cheru@rice.edu

As Executive Director, Paul is responsible for the development and implementation of cross-disciplinary research and educational programs that strengthen bio-related science and engineering at Rice University. He serves as key liaison between Rice and the Texas Medical Center in order to establish collaborative research opportunities for IBB faculty and the broader Rice science/engineering community. Paul earned his PhD in Chemistry at Rice in 2008 under the supervision of Nobel Laureate Richard E. Smalley and R. Bruce Weisman. He also directs an innovative research program in the field of scalable directed self-assembly of artificial and biological nanoscale materials (Teslaphoresis).


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LESA TRAN LU, PhD
Program Manager
lesa@rice.edu

As the Program Manager, Lesa is responsible for the development of the IBB's graduate education programs, which include the NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) Program in Bioelectronics and the Systems, Synthetics, and Physical Biology (SSPB) PhD Program. She received a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry in 2007, a Master of Arts in Chemistry in 2009, and a PhD in Chemistry under the supervision of Prof. Lon J. Wilson in 2012, all from Rice University. Lesa is also a Lecturer of Chemistry who teaches General Chemistry and the Chemistry of Cooking, and she serves as a Faculty Resident Associate with her husband and daughter at Sid Richardson College.


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K.A. M'CARVER
Program and Communications Administrator
kms@rice.edu

Kimberly is responsible for the IBB's media relations including design, implementation, and maintenance of web sites IBB, SSPB, PoLS, CTBP, NRT Bioelectronics; and design and publication of flyers, brochures, and marketing materials to promote the IBB's mission. She is also administrator for the SSPB graduate program, as well as undergraduate summer internship administrator for programs: BioNetworks, BioXFEL, AHA SCRIP, & BUILDing Scholars. Originally a musical voice major at UT Austin, she later moved to Houston where she received a Bachelor of Science in anthropology from the University of Houston, and a degree in veterinary science. An accomplished singer/songwriter, her music can be found on iTunes, Amazon, Spotify, etc. She also sings with the Rice Chorale. Kimberly and her husband, James Sokolowski ('92 PhD Rice astrophysics graduate), share their home with six dog kids.


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FELIPE ROMERO
Financial Administrator
fromero@rice.edu

As Lead Financial Administrator, Felipe is responsible for the financial management of IBB’s educational and research programs and overlooks all the finances of the institute. A CPA candidate, Felipe holds a degree in Finance and Accounting from the University of Houston Downtown. Felipe’s goal for the IBB is to streamline processes for everyday financial and non-financial tasks, aimed at providing efficient solutions, accurate reporting and student-driven customer service. Originally from South Texas, Felipe’s favorite hobbies are traveling and bowling.