Conversion: Turning Plants into High-value Chemicals

The scientists in this theme will further develop a versatile, automated “biofoundry” for rapidly engineering microbial strains that can efficiently produce diverse, high-value molecules such as biodiesel, organic acids, jet fuels, lubricants, and alcohols. Using the design-build-test-learn framework, research in the Conversion theme will overcome the challenges associated with driving biological systems to produce non-natural compounds.

Huimin Zhao: Theme Leader

Zhao, the Steven L. Miller Chair of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, is also a Professor of Chemistry, Biochemistry, Physics, and Bioengineering. He has 17-plus years of experience directing research projects funded by DOE, NSF, NIH, DOD, the U.S. Army Construction Engineering Research Laboratory, the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust, and various companies. His research develops and applies synthetic biology approaches to engineer functionally improved or novel proteins, pathways, and genomes. An expert in industrial biotechnology, Zhao received his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1998 from the California Institute of Technology.

His Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering page >>>

His lab page >>>

Christopher Rao: Deputy Theme Leader

Rao, a Professor and and Robert W. Schaefer Scholar of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, researches the rational engineering of non-model, living organisms for production of chemicals and fuels from plant biomass. His lab uses techniques in genetics, biochemistry, mass spectrometry, microscopy, and nuclear magnetic resonance on the experimental side to bioinformatics, finite element analysis, molecular dynamics, and stochastic and multi-scale simulation on the modeling/theory side. He received his Ph.D. in 2000 in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

His Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering page >>>

His lab page >>>

The Research Team

Bruce Dien

Research Chemical Engineer, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Peoria, IL

His USDA ARS page >>>

The Bioenergy Research Unit page >>>

The Research Team

James A. Dumesic

Ernest Micek Distinguished Chair in Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin at Madison

His Engineering page >>>

His lab page >>>

 

The Research Team

David Flaherty

Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering and Dow Chemical Co. Faculty Scholar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering page >>>

His lab page >>>

Yong-Su Jin

Associate Professor of Food Microbiology, Assistant Professor of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His Food Science and Human Nutrition page >>>

His lab page >>>

Ting Lu

Associate Professor of Bioengineering, Assistant Professor of Physics, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His Bioengineering page >>>

His lab page >>>

Yi Lu

Jay and Ann Schenk Professor of Chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His Chemistry page >>>

His lab page >>>

Sergei Maslov

Professor of Bioengineering and Bliss Faculty Scholar, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His Bioengineering page >>>

His lab page >>>

Brian Pfleger

Jay and Cynthia Ihlenfeld Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Wisconsin at Madison

His Chemical and Biological Engineering page >>>

His lab page >>>

Nathan Price

Associate Director and Professor, Institute for Systems Biology

His ISB page >>>

His lab page >>>

Joshua Rabinowitz

Professor of Chemistry and Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University

His Chemistry page >>>

His lab page >>>

Vijay Singh

Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His Agricultural and Biological Engineering page >>>

His Integrated Bioprocessing Research Laboratory page >>>

Saurabh Sinha

Professor of Computer Science, Associate Professor of Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His Bioengineering page >>>

His lab page >>>

Patricia Slininger

Research Chemical Engineer, U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Peoria, IL

Her USDA ARS page >>>

The Bioenergy Research Unit page >>>

 

Jonathan Sweedler

James R. Eiszner Family Endowed Chair and Professor of Chemistry, Director of School of Chemical Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His Chemistry page >>>

His lab page >>>

Martin Wühr

Assistant Professor of Molecular Biology and Lewis-Sigler Institute for Integrative Genomics, Princeton University

His Chemical and Biological Engineering page >>>

His lab page >>>

Yasuo Yoshikuni

Biologist/Staff Scientist, Environmental Genomics and Systems Biology Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

His LBNL page >>>

Chengxiang Zhai

Professor of Computer Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

His Computer Science page >>>

His lab page >>>

The Operating Team

An alphabetical listing of all postdocs, research technicians, and graduate students doing CABBI research in the Conversion Theme.

A-F

Ming-Hsun Chen, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Postdoc (Singh), University of Ill. at Urbana-Champaign

More coming soon!

G-L

Sijuit Jagtap,  Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering Postdoc (Rao), University of Ill. at Urbana-Champaign

More coming soon!

M-R

Josh Quarterman, Chemical Eng. Postdoc (Dien), U.S. Dept. of Ag. Agricultural Research Service, Peoria, IL

More coming soon!

S-Z

Coming soon!

Support Staff

Coming soon!