Skip to content Skip to main navigation Report an accessibility issue
Constance Bailey

Constance Bailey

Assistant Professor



Constance Bailey began her academic career at Reed College, where she pursued research in natural products biochemistry as well as organic synthesis. Under the mentorship of Prof. Adrian Keatinge-Clay at UT Austin, her doctoral research focused on the biocatalytic applications of polyketide synthase enzymes. Following her Ph.D. she was an NIH Postdoctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Prof. Jay Keasling at UC Berkeley and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, focusing on developing synthetic biology applications of polyketide synthases as a "plug and play" platform to generate a range of valuable chemicals.


The focus of the Bailey laboratory will be accessing chemical transformations through biological means, both through engineering enzymes as biocatalysts as well as the organisms that host engineered biosynthetic pathways. Specifically, we seek to apply natural product biosynthetic enzymes, primarily polyketide synthases (PKSs), to generate valuable molecules such pharmaceuticals, pharmaceutical intermediates, commodity chemicals, and specialty chemicals. PKSs are multi-domain enzymatic megasynthases that undergo sequential decarboxylative condensations followed by reductive processing. Because of their modular nature, PKSs can generate endless variations of metabolites that differ by the degree of branching and reduction of the carbon scaffold. The interdisciplinary research in my group will harness intellectual approaches from physical organic chemistry and enzymology to tune the biocatalytic transformations. It will also apply metabolic engineering to create strains to produce these chemicals.


  • B.A. Reed College (2010)
  • Ph.D. University of Texas at Austin (2015)
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship UC Berkeley, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the Joint BioEnergy Institute (2016-2018)

Awards and Recognitions

  • NIH Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (2018)
  • Discussion Leader for Keynote Session, Gordon Research Seminar on Natural Products and Bioactive Compounds (2017)
  • University of Texas at Austin GK-12 Graduate Fellowship (2013)
  • Commendation for Academic Excellence, Reed College (2010)


Yuzawa, S.; Bailey, C.B.; Fuji, T.; Jocic, R.; Barajas, J.F.; Benites, V.T.; Baidoo, E.E.; Chen, Y.; Petzold, C.J.; Katz, L.; Keasling, J.D. Heterologous Gene Expression of N-Terminally Truncated Variants of LipPKS1 Suggests a Functionally Critical Structural Motif in the N-terminus of Modular Polyketide Synthases. ACS Chem. Biol. 2017, 12, 2725.

Eng, C.H.;* Backman, T.W.H.;* Bailey, C.B.; Magnan, C.; García Martín, H.; Katz, L.; Baldi, P.; Keasling, J.D. ClusterCAD: a Computational Platform for Type I Polyketide Synthase Design. Nucl. Acid. Res. 2017, gx893*Authors contributed equally

Barajas, J.F.;* Blake-Hedges, J.M.;* Bailey, C.B.;* Curran S.; Keasling, J.D. Engineered Polyketides: Synergy Between Protein and Host Level Engineering. Synthetic and Systems Biotechnol. 2017, 166, 147. *Authors contributed equally

Wagner, D.T.;* Zeng, J.;* Bailey, C.B.;* Gay, D.C.; Yuan, F.; Manion, H.R.; Keatinge-Clay, A.T. Structural and Functional Trends in Dehydrating Bimodules from trans-Acyltransferase Polyketide Synthases. Structure. 2017, 25, 1. *Authors contributed equally

Zargar, A.; Bailey, C.B.; Haushalter, R.W.; Eiben, C.B., Katz, L; Keasling, J.D. Leveraging Microbial Biosynthetic Pathways for the Generation of ‘Drop In’ Biofuels. CurrOpin. Biotechnol. 2017, 45, 156.

Bailey, C.B.; Pasman, M.E.; Keatinge-Clay, A.T. Substrate Structure-Activity Relationships Guide Rational Engineering of Stereocontrol in Modular Polyketide Synthase Ketoreductases. ChemComm. 201652, 792.

Harper, A.D.; Bailey, C.B.; Edwards, A.D.; Detelich, J.F.; Keatinge-Clay, A.T. Preparative in Vitro Biocatalysis of Triketide Lactone Chiral Building Blocks. ChemBioChem, 2012, 13, 2200.

Constance Bailey

Contact Information