Alexa Zytnick

University of California, Berkeley



Alexa was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and developed a love for science during her high school years. She attended Vanderbilt University, where she majored in biochemistry and chemical biology and minored in communication of science. During college Alexa explored an array of research projects both in academia and industry, where she chemically synthesized antibiotics, enhanced opioid testing procedures, and developed a method for the expression of insoluble proteins. Alexa found her passion for microbiology while working for Dr. Brian Bachmann, with whom she explored the caves of Tennessee in search of microbes that produced antibiotic and anti-cancer compounds. After graduating in 2019, Alexa continued her work in bioactive natural products for a year before starting her PhD in the Plant and Microbial Biology department at UC Berkeley. During graduate school she plans to investigate the interactions between bacteria, discovering how microbes utilize chemistry to live in complex environments; she hopes to leverage this knowledge to alleviate pressing human health issues, such as antibiotic resistance. In her spare time, Alexa likes to tend to her houseplants and learn about personal finance.

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