Taek Soon Lee

Director of Metabolic Engineering

Research Focus

Taek Soon Lee earned a B.S. in Chemistry at Seoul National University (Korea) and a Ph.D. in Chemistry at Stanford University in 2006 studying type II aromatic polyketide synthases with Professor Chaitan Khosla. After a postdoctoral training at University of California with Professor Jay D. Keasling, Dr. Lee became a Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in 2008 and joined as a Director of Metabolic Engineering at the Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI). Dr. Lee is currently a Staff Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Director of Pathway and Metabolic Engineering at JBEI.

Dr. Lee’s research group is focusing on identifying potential drop-in biofuels and building and optimizing the metabolic pathway to produce these target fuels in microbes. Our major target fuels are isoprenoid-based compounds that can be alternative to gasoline, jet, and diesel fuels. To improve fuel production titer, rate, and yield (TRY), we study the producing host and fuel biosynthesis pathway intensively using various functional genomics tools such as targeted proteomics, metabolomics, and transcriptomics, and engineer the metabolic pathway in the producing host using synthetic biology tools and systems biology.


  • Discovery of novel hydrocarbon biochemistries
  • Optimization of hydrocarbon biosynthetic pathways
  • Engineering of isoprenoid pathway for various biofuels and bioproducts production
  • Multi-Omics guided metabolic pathway engineering

Featured Media

JBEI Scientists Unravel Omics Data Using Systems Biology-Based Workflow To Improve Biofuels Productivity

JBEI Invention Leads to More Efficient Biofuel Production for Industrial Application

E. coli Bacteria Engineered to Eat Switchgrass and Make Transportation Fuels


Joint BioEnergy Institute Scientists Identify New Microbe-Produced Advanced Biofuel as an Alternative to Diesel Fuel


Featured Publications

Featured Intellectual Property