Ph.D. Bioengineering, University of California Riverside
B.S. Physics, Oregon State University

Contact Information

Email {first initial}{last name} at
Office 4220J
Address 5885 Hollis St., 4th floor
Emeryville, CA 94608

Current Research

My research focuses on large-scale computational modeling of metabolism, and engineering polyketide synthases in silico for the production of useful small molecules. I am a joint postdoctoral fellow in both the Keasling Lab, and the Quantitative Metabolic Modeling group.


  • Eng CH*, Backman TW*, Bailey CB, Magnan C, Garcia Martin H, Katz L, Baldi P, Keasling JD.
    ClusterCAD: a computational platform for type I modular polyketide synthase design.
    Nucleic Acids Res. 2017 Oct 11;10.1093/nar/gkx893. [link]
  • Morrell W, Birkel G, Forrer M, Lopez T, Backman TW, Dussault M, Petzold CJ, Baidoo EEK, Costello Z, Ando D, Alonso Gutierrez J, George K, Mukhopadhyay A, Vaino I, Keasling JD, Adams PD, Hillson NJ, Garcia Martin H.
    The Experiment Data Depot: a web-based software tool for biological experimental data storage, sharing, and visualization.
    ACS Synth Biol. 2017 Aug 21. [link]
  • Birkel GW, Ghosh A, Kumar VS, Weaver D, Ando D, Backman TW, Arkin AP, Keasling JD, Martín HG.
    The JBEI quantitative metabolic modeling library (jQMM): a python library for modeling microbial metabolism.
    BMC Bioinformatics. 2017 Apr 5;18:205. [link]
  • Backman TW, Evans DS, Girke T.
    Large-scale bioactivity analysis of the small-molecule assayed proteome.
    PLOS ONE. 2017 Feb 8;12(2):e0171413. [link]
  • Backman TW, Girke T.
    systemPipeR: NGS workflow and report generation environment.
    BMC Bioinformatics. 2016 Sep 20;17:388. [link]
  • Backman TW, Girke T.
    bioassayR: Cross-Target Analysis of Small Molecule Bioactivity.
    J Chem Inf Model. 2016 Jul 25;56(7):1237-42. [link]
  • Backman TW, Girke T.
    Cheminformatic analysis of high-throughput compound screens.
    Methods Mol Biol. 2014;1056:145-57. [link]
  • Wang Y, Backman TW, Horan K, Girke T.
    fmcsR: mismatch tolerant maximum common substructure searching in R.
    Bioinformatics. 2013 Nov 1;29(21):2792-4. [link]
  • Zou Z, Saha TT, Roy S, Shin SW, Backman TW, Girke T, White KP, Raikhel AS.
    Juvenile hormone and its receptor, methoprene-tolerant, control the dynamics of mosquito gene expression.
    Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2013 Jun 11;110(24):E2173-81. [link]
  • Backman TW*, Cao Y*, Girke T.
    ChemMine tools: an online service for analyzing and clustering small molecules.
    Nucleic Acids Res. 2011 Jul;39(Web Server issue):W486-91. [link]
  • Fahlgren N, Sullivan CM, Kasschau KD, Chapman EJ, Cumbie JS, Montgomery TA, Gilbert SD, Dasenko M, Backman TW, Givan SA, Carrington JC.
    Computational and analytical framework for small RNA profiling by high-throughput sequencing.
    RNA. 2009 May;15(5):992-1002. [link]
  • Backman TW*, Sullivan CM*, Cumbie JS, Miller ZA, Chapman EJ, Fahlgren N, Givan SA, Carrington JC, Kasschau KD.
    Update of ASRP: the Arabidopsis Small RNA Project database.
    Nucleic Acids Res. 2008 Jan;36(Database issue):D982-5. [link]

* Authors contributed equally


UC President’s Dissertation Year Fellowship (2015)
UCR Graduate Research Mentoring Program Fellowship (2014)
Honorable Mention: NSF Graduate Research Fellowship (2013)
ChemGen NSF IGERT Fellowship (2012)
UCR Dean’s Distinguished Fellowship (2011)
EPA P3 grant: Sustainable Biofuel Systems for Undeveloped Regions (2008-2010)