Alison Narayan, Ph.D.

portrait of Alison Narayan, Ph.D.
Mary Sue Coleman Collegiate Professor in the Life Sciences
Research Associate Professor, U-M Life Sciences Institute
Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry, U-M College of Literature, Science, and the Arts
Director, U-M Program in Chemical Biology


Alison Narayan's main research interest is identifying enzymes from secondary metabolite pathways with potential synthetic utility and developing methods based on these biocatalysts to enable access to biologically active target molecules.

Narayan holds a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. She completed her undergraduate studies in chemistry at the University of Michigan, where she later returned as a postdoctoral research fellow in the lab of LSI faculty member David Sherman.

She joined the Life Sciences Institute faculty as an assistant professor in 2015. 

Office: 4002
Life Sciences Institute
Mary Sue Coleman Hall
210 Washtenaw Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2216

Research Areas

  • biocatalysis
  • complex molecule synthesis
  • natural products
  • B.S., Chemistry, University of Michigan (2006)
  • Ph.D., Organic Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley (2011)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sherman lab, University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute (2012-2015)
  • Outstanding Senior Award, American Chemical Society, University of Michigan (2006)
  • Amgen Graduate Fellowship (2009-2010)
  • Delegate, 59th Lindau Meeting of Nobel Laureates (2009)
  • Graduate Student Fellow, Roche Symposium: Excellence in Chemistry (2010)
  • Postdoctoral Translational Scholars Program Fellow, University of Michigan (2012)
  • Life Sciences Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow (2012-2015)
  • Named among "Talented 12," American Chemical Society C&EN (2016)
  • Cottrell Scholar Award (2019)
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellow (2019)
  • Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award (2020)
  • Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (2022)