Bioinspired Chemistry and Materials
Cells orchestrate with high efficiency a multitude of enzyme catalyzed chemical reactions that synthesize a tremendous diversity of chemical compounds that is unmatched by synthetic methods. Chemicals from microbes and plants are currently the source of a majority of pharmaceuticals and many other chemicals. We are interested in exploring and utilizing these biosynthetic machineries to enable the discovery sustainable synthesis of valuable compounds for use as fine chemicals, pharmaceuticals and chemical building blocks. Our lab is developing and studying systems to carry out multi-enzyme biocatalysis in vitro and in engineered microbial systems for the synthesis of chemicals. By mixing and matching enzyme with desired catalytic activities identified from different sources, we are designing cascades of enzymatic reactions for the synthesis of compounds of interest. Intrigued by the spatial organization of biological systems at the subcellular and molecular level, we are investigating and repurposing self-organizing protein structures for applications in biocatalysis and for the fabrication of functional biomaterials.
Distinguished McKnight Professor
1479 Gortner Avenue
140 Gortner Laboratory
St. Paul, MN 55108