Miami Presents: "Magic Microbes" - Engineering the Biosynthesis of Psychedelic Medicines

Presented on: Wednesday, February 14th at 12:00 PM EST

Winter College

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Join us virtually for Winter College – five days of lunchtime events and beverage experiences including a Charter Day celebration. All fun and no exams mean this is the college experience of your dreams.

Join us for a conversation with Dr. Andrew Jones about psychedelics - a novel class of therapeutics being developed to fulfill an unmet need in mental health treatment.  While current synthesis strategies are costly and struggle to deliver both quantity and quality products, The Jones Lab has a goal to fill this gap by developing a synthetic, biology-driven, metabolic engineering approach.  

Dr. Jones will discuss the development and application of this platform for the production of psilocybin and DMT, as well as other natural and non-natural derivatives of these known psychedelics.  We’ll also chat about efforts to collaboratively test the pharmacological and behavioral effects of these compounds in rodents and what that might mean for use in humans.

Dr. Andrew Jones is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical, Paper, and Biomedical Engineering at Miami University. Prior to joining Miami, Dr. Jones spent 1 year as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Hamilton College (Clinton, NY). Dr. Jones completed his Ph.D. in Chemical and Biological Engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY) and his M.S. in Environmental Engineering and B.S. in general engineering, with a specialization in Biomedical Engineering, at Mercer University (Macon, GA).

Dr. Jones joined Miami in the Fall of 2017. His research focuses on genetically engineering microorganisms for high-value chemical production. Using traditional and high-throughput molecular biology and biochemistry techniques, Dr. Jones takes a fine-tuned approach toward rewiring the cellular metabolism of bacteria for more efficient chemical production.  His research has been highlighted on National Public Radio [1234], Chemical & Engineering News [56], Vice News [7], High Times [8], and Scientific American [9]. Additionally, he has been selected for multiple awards including AIChE's 35Under35 – Bioengineering (2020), Miami University's Junior Faculty Scholar Award (2021), and Miami's Associated Student Government – Outstanding Professor Award Nominee (2021, 2022) and the Ohio Faculty Council’s Technology Commercialization Award (2022).

Jones’ research program has attracted over $2 million dollars in external research funding and has led to the direct training of over 40 students and professional staff. As of 2023, Dr. Jones has published 30 peer-reviewed publications in top journals, submitted 13 families of patent applications and has been cited over 2700 times. Dr. Jones is a member of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the National Academy of Inventors. More information on Jones Lab research can be found at

This event is free to attend, but registration is required.  Questions? Please contact Mollie Young at


The views expressed by presenters are their own and their appearance in a program does not imply an endorsement of them or any entity they represent. Reference to any specific product or entity does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation by Miami University Alumni Association.