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Wackett Lab

Research Overview

The Wackett laboratory studies microbial enzymes and pathways for biocatalysis and biodegradation and helped build the Biocatalysis/Biodegradation Database.

  • Cyanuric acid hydrolase – Enzyme structure/mechanism and applications
  • Fate of agricultural chemicals and water protection
  • Emerging pollutants - Water remediation of personal care products (PCPs)
  • Aromatic hydrocarbons – Modeling and mechanisms
  • Biosynthesis of beta-lactone natural products
  • Hydrocarbon biosynthesis – Enzyme structure and mechanisms
  • Enzyme-based sensors for detecting toxicants
  • Predicting biocatalytic potential of enzymes and microbes

News Highlights

Serina Robinson was awarded the best poster in the Natural Products category at the national Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology (SIMB) meeting in Denver, held the first week of August, 2017. The title of Serina’s poster was "Genome Mining to Predict β-Lactone and Olefin Biosynthesis.” 

Dr. Kelly Aukema’s research on breaking down recalcitrant drug compounds in water systems was highighted in national news.

Dr. Aukema and coworkers recently published an important paper on the biodegradation of problematic personal care products (PCPs) that are increasingly entering drinking water. This study also highlights a method for predicting biodegradation potential using enzyme X-ray structural data.

James Christenson has been selected to receive the Founder's Award. As part of the award, James receives a cash prize and the honor to present a platform lecture at the 25th Annual Enzyme Mechanisms Conference in St. Pete Beach, Florida.

James Christenson and coworkers recently published in Biochemistry the discovery of a new reaction in enzymology, that has significance in renewable hydrocarbon synthesis and the production of beta-lactone antibiotics 

Bioremediation startup founded – Minnepura Technologies, Inc.

Minnepura in the news - Startups out of the University of Minnesota

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