Current research activities
My research laboratory seeks to improve the production of renewable bioenergy through the discovery of novel biomass-degrading enzymes and other key enzymes used by biomass-degrading organisms. Aim 1. By examining cellulosic environmental niches, my laboratory will identify previously uncharacterized cellulolytic microbial communities and characterize their cellulolytic potential. Newly identified microbial communities will be subjected to multi-metaomics analyses to identify key biomass-degrading enzymes. Aim 2. Using these metaomics datasets to identify genes and proteins of interest, high throughput functional analysis using gene synthesis and cell-free protein expression will be performed to elucidate the recombinant enzymesʼ activities toward plant biomass. Aim 3. Phylogenetic analysis will be performed to identify multifunctional biomass-degrading enzymes from the enzyme family of interest such as glycoside hydrolases. Analogous approaches described in Aim 2 will be used to discover biomass-degrading enzymes and proteins with potentially important roles (i.e. Highly expressed genes;Abundant proteins in the meta-environments). In this study, protein engineering approaches will also be attempted to improve biofuels technology.