As a group that uses protein engineering and synthetic biology, we take a molecular-scale approach to improving bioprocessing. We apply chemical engineering fundamentals along with tools from protein engineering, synthetic biology, molecular biology, microbiology, and biochemistry to address major problems in energy, sustainability, and human heath.
We study how microorganisms sense their environment, how that information is processed, and how it ultimately leads to a change in phenotype. From an engineering standpoint, we are interested in using this information to improve biological synthesis of fuels and chemicals from renewable biomass. Another major interest of our group is developing cell-based biosensors for metabolic engineering, environmental detection, biodiagnostic, and biocatalysis applications.