Pathway and Metabolic Engineering

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Taek Soon Lee

Director of Pathway and Metabolic Engineering

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Brent Shanks

Scientific Lead, Chemical Catalysis

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Jinho Kim

Post Doctoral Researcher

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Xi Wang

Post Doctoral Researcher

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Ian Yunus

Post Doctoral Researcher

Microbes, such as E. coli, P. putida and yeast, can be redesigned to be miniature chemical reactors that transform sugars and other carbon sources into biofuels and bioproducts. Researchers in the Pathway and Metabolic Engineering Group identify and introduce biosynthetic pathways from one organism into a host microbe, such as E. coli, P. putida and yeast, and then engineer metabolic pathways using genetic manipulation to optimize the production of target chemicals that the host microbe does not naturally generate in large quantity. We also explore chemical conversion of biomass-derived molecules to bioproducts and biofuels using heterogeneous catalysis to expand the scope of products and our capability of biomass conversion.

Our goal is to leverage metabolic diversity in nature, and create highly efficient, microbial factories for green, cost-effective and sustainable production of advanced biofuels and other valuable bioproducts. Potential biofuels and bioproducts candidates such as isoprenoids.

Projects

  • Optimization of hydrocarbon biosynthetic pathways in selected hosts
  • Engineering of isoprenoid pathway for production of biofuels and bioproducts
  • Multi-Omics guided metabolic engineering towards high titers, rates, and yields 
  • Development of chemical catalysis to both expand the range of reachable bioderived compounds and help prioritize bioconversion targets

Featured Media

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Brent Shanks testifies to the Senate Agricultural Committee on rural development and energy programs

Featured Publications

Intellectual Property