JBEI appoints new VP and Deputy VP of Fuels Synthesis Division

January 14, 2016

AindrilaThe Department of Energy’s Joint Bioenergy Institute (JBEI) Chief Executive Officer, Jay Keasling, has announced that Dr. Aindrila Mukhopadhyay will step into the role of Vice President of
the Fuels Synthesis Division. This announcement comes after a national search and interview process. Dr. Mukhopadhyay who joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) in 2003 will continue to serve as Director of JBEI’s Host Engineering group and as Interim Division Director of LBNL’s Biological Systems and Engineering (BSE) in the Biosciences Area.

Dr. Mukhopadhyay leads a team responsible for the study of signaling and stress response in both environmental and engineered organisms. Dr. Mukhopadhyay’s research focus at JBEI is the development of robust microbial strains that show high tolerance and productivity during biofuels and chemicals production. Her team has conducted many discovery, strain engineering and systems biology studies to explore the causes of growth inhibition and low productivity, and has developed strategies to improve these phenotypes. With her team, she has published numerous highly cited research papers on this topic, and also holds patents on the use and optimization of cellular transport system to improve tolerance to final products as well as improve intake of carbon sources.

An alumna from the University of Chicago, Dr. Mukhopadhyay earned a Master of Science degree in 1997 and a Ph.D in 2002 both in Organic Chemistry. Her Ph.D. dissertation was on “Initiating lateral gene transfer: analysis of the VirA/VirG two component system in vivo”. Prior to moving to the United States, Dr. Mukhopadhyay studied Chemistry in India having earned a Bachelor’s degree at the Isabella Thoburn College, Lucknow and a Master of Science degree at the Indian Institute of Technology, Mumbai. Since joining LBNL in 2003 Dr. Mukhopadhyay has held several research leadership positions at JBEI and other projects such as the US Department of Energy, Scientific Focus Area, ENIGMA.  For more information about Dr. Mukhopadhyay click here.

Taek Soon portraitDr. Mukhopadhyay has named Dr. Taek Soon Lee as Deputy Vice President of the Fuels Synthesis Division, a position previously held by her. Dr. Lee joined Jay Keasling’s group at UC Berkeley
and LBNL as a Post-Doctoral Researcher in 2006, and since 2008 Dr. Lee has served as Director of Metabolic Engineering in the Fuels Synthesis Division at JBEI. His research group focuses on the identification of potential drop-in biofuels and building and optimizing the metabolic pathways to produce these target fuels in microbes.

Dr. Lee studied at Stanford University, California where he earned a Ph.D in Chemistry in 2006 with a dissertation on “Synthetic and Biosynthetic Studies Toward Novel Aromatic Polyketides”. While in Korea he studied at Seoul National University where he earned a Bachelor’s degree (summa cum laude) in Chemistry in 1998 and was a Master’s program participant in Organic Chemistry. For more information about Dr. Taek Soon Lee click here.