Nature has produced organisms that can perform some truly amazing chemistry at a level of sophistication that human chemists simply can’t match. We investigate proteins and metabolic pathways that have potentially useful functions, particularly for applications such as cleaning up the environment (bioremediation) and producing useful chemicals (biocatalysis).
We are also interested in the evolution of protein and metabolic functions. These can evolve over a remarkably short span of time, especially in bacteria. The proteins and pathways that we study in the lab are excellent models for investigating the molecular mechanisms that drive and constrain evolution.
Our lab investigates
- Protein structure-function relationships
- Protein engineering
- Protein and metabolic evolution
Our current research areas include
- Enzymes and metabolic pathways that clean up pollution
- Whole-cell and cell-free biocatalysts for the production of pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals and plastics/polymers