Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
University of Delaware
150 Academy Street,
Newark, DE 19716
Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2015
B.S., Chemical Engineering, University of Texas at Austin, 2010
The goal of our lab is to use synthetic biology approaches to investigate how microbes can use unusual biochemical building blocks and non-standard biosynthetic pathways to produce valuable molecules. Products of interest include fuels, chemicals, materials, and therapeutics.
Example questions of interest are: What useful functional groups can we generate on small molecules and proteins using enzymatic catalysis and metabolic engineering? Will small molecules containing unusual functional groups be orthogonal to endogenous cellular processes, will they be consumed by the cell, or will they be toxic? Will these molecules be able to cross the cell membrane? How might we engineer cells to overcome potential challenges with orthogonality, toxicity, or transport? Can we use non-standard amino acid incorporation to advance rational modification of enzyme active sites and protein binding pockets? Advancements in synthetic biology, genome engineering, and high-throughput screening will enable us to answer to such questions.