Antonio Del Rio Flores
Chemical and Biological Engineering

Antonio Del Rio Flores will start as a Patten Faculty Fellow for CU Boulder's Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering in 2025.  He earned a doctorate in chemical and biomolecular engineering from University of California, Berkeley in 2023 and will join Chaitan Khosla’s lab at Stanford University as a postdoctoral scholar this summer (2023). 

Del Rio Flores studies natural products with the aim of developing new treatments for human diseases and uncovering novel enzymology. He will work with Khosla to study the biosynthesis of a natural product (NOCAP) produced by bacteria associated with clinical cases of nocardiosis, a potentially life-threatening pulmonary disease. By researching the biological activity of NOCAP, Del Rio Flores plans to further our understanding of host–pathogen interactions to uncover new ways to treat nocardiosis.

Overall, Del Rio Fores' research spanned in the fields of bioprocess engineering, process control simulations, plant biology and metabolomics and deals with studying the biosynthesis and enzymology associated with natural products from environmental bacteria and human pathogens. His efforts led to advances in understanding the biogenesis of functional groups that are widely utilized for bioorthogonal transformations in chemical biology. 

Del Rio Flores was born in a small town in Mexico named Sahuayo that is famous for their artisan crafts and regional cuisine. He subsequently moved to the United States at a young age and grew up in the Bay Area. 


PhD, University of California, Berkeley (2023)
BS, University of California, Davis (2018)


  • UC Berkeley Benjamin Boussert Memorial Award (2023)
  • Stanford Science Postdoctoral Fellowship (2023)
  • Blavatnik Innovation Fellowship (2023)           
  • UC Berkeley Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award (2022) 
  • NSF Research Exchange Award  (2022) 
  • ACS Division of Chemical Biology Founder’s Award (2022) 
  • UC Berkeley Outstanding Graduate Student Instructor Award (2021) 
  • SIMB Carol D. Litchfield Best Student Poster Presentation Award (2021)
  • SIMB Diversity Travel Award  (2021)
  • UC Berkeley Graduate Student Instructor Excellence Award (2020)
  • UC Berkeley Certificate in Remote Teaching (2020) 
  • UC Berkeley Graduate Remote Instruction Innovation Fellowship (2020) 
  • UC Berkeley Chancellor’s Fellowship (2018-2020)                                                                                                  
  •  UC Davis Chemical Engineering Departmental Citation (2018)


  1. Del Rio Flores, A., Narayanamoorthy, M., Cai, W., Zhai, R., Yang, S., Shen, Y., Xue, Z., Seshadri, K., De Matias, K., & Zhang, W. Biosynthesis of Isonitrile Lipopeptide Metallophores from Pathogenic Mycobacteria. Biochemistry (2023).
  2. Del Rio Flores, A., Kastner, D.W., Du, Y., Narayanamoorthy, M., Shen, Y., Cai, W., Vennelakanti, V., Zill, N.A., Dell, L.B., Kulik, H.K., & Zhang, W. Probing the mechanism of isonitrile formation by a non-heme iron(II)-dependent oxidase/decarboxylase. J. Am. Chem. Soc. (2022). (Front Cover)
  3. Del Rio Flores, A., Barber, C.C., Narayanamoorthy, M., Gu, D., Shen, Y., & Zhang, W. Understanding and Engineering the Biosynthesis of Isonitrile and Alkyne-Containing Natural Products. Annu. Rev. Chem. Biomol. Eng. (2022).
  4. Del Rio Flores, A.*, Twigg, F.F.*, Du, Y., Cai, W., Aguirre, D.Q., Sato, M., Dror, M.J., Narayanamoorthy, M., Geng, J., Zill, N.A., Zhai, R., & Zhang, W. Biosynthesis of Triacsin Featuring an N-hydroxytriazene Pharmacophore. Nat. Chem. Bio (2021).
  5. Zhang, H., Goh, N., Wang, J., Pinals, R., Gonzalez-Grandio, E., Demirer, G., Butrus, S., Fakra, S., Del Rio Flores, A., Zhai, R., Zhao, B., Park, S., & Landry, M. Nanoparticle Cellular Internalization is Not Required for RNA Delivery to Mature Plant Leaves. Nat. Nano (2021).
  6. Jonnalagadda, R.*, Del Rio Flores, A.*, Cai, W., Mehmood, R., Narayanamoorthy, M., Ren, C., Zaragoza, J.T., Kulik, H.J., Zhang, W., & Drennan, C.L. Biochemical and crystallographic investigations into isonitrile formation by a non-heme iron dependent oxidase/decarboxylase. J. Biol. Chem. 296, 100231 (2021).
  7. Li, J.S. Du, Y., Gu, D., Cai, W., Green, A., Ng, S., Leung, A., Del Rio Flores, A., & Zhang, W. Discovery and Biosynthesis of Clostyrylpyrones from the Obligate Anaerobe Clostridium roseum. Org Lett. (2020).
  8. Huang, Y.-B., Luo, Y.-J., Del Rio Flores, A., Li, L.-C. & Wang, F. N-aryl pyrrole synthesis from biomass derived furans and arylamine over Lewis acidic Hf doped mesoporous SBA-15 catalyst. ACS Sustain. Chem. Eng. 0–6 (2020)