The metabolomics group develops and utilizes mass spectrometry-based analytical methods for characterizing and quantifying metabolites in JBEI host platforms in the context of strains harboring heterologously expressed proteins and relevant environmental microorganisms. Results from these analyses are used to identify bottlenecks in biosynthetic pathways, characterize central carbon metabolism, and to correlate this information with the host organisms physiological state.


  • Identifying factors involved in the regulation of farnesyl pyrophosphate accumulation in Escherichia coli MBIS strains.
  • Analysis of intermediates of isoprenoid biosynthesis by hydrophilic interaction liquid chromatography and time-of-fight mass spectrometry.
  • Characterization of isopentenyl diphosphate and dimethylallyl diphosphate utilization during Escherichia coli MBIS growth.

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By preventing the build-up of toxic metabolites in engineered microbes, a dynamic regulatory system developed at JBEI can help boost production of an advanced biofuel, a therapeutic drug, or other valuable chemical products. The system has already been used to double the production in E. coli of amorphadiene, a precursor to the premier antimalarial drug artemisinin.


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Metabolic Engineering

Redesigning single-cell microbes to function as miniature chemical reactors that transform sugars into fuels.