Microbes must cope with harsh, rapidly changing environments to survive. To do this, microbes have developed sophisticated mechanisms to (a) sense the changes in the environment, and (b) respond quickly to these changes to protect itself from harm or capitalize on an opportunity. Our lab seeks to rewire these fundamental sensing/catalysis relationships to program cells to do useful things for mankind in a paradigm called synthetic biology.

Sensing: We study methods to modify existing environmental detection sensors in yeast and modify them to detect new analytes.

Catalysis: We investigate ways microbes modify their metabolic networks and use these modifications to increase production of a given metabolite.

“Never underestimate the power of a few committed people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” -Margaret Meade