报告题目：Engineering synthetic regulatory systems for enhanced chemical production
报 告 人：Dr. Fuzhong Zhang
Assistant professor at the Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering
Washington University in St. Louis
联 系 人：夏小霞 13818047693
Abstract：Engineering microbial metabolic pathways offers the opportunity to produce renewable chemicals and advanced biofuels. In order for this technology to be economically viable, heterologous production systems must be optimized to have high titers, yields, and productivities. Microbes evolved sophisticated regulatory network to adapt to various environments for cell growth, but not to produce chemicals in large quantities and with high efficiencies. To improve heterologous chemical production, we employed sensor-regulators to dynamically control the expression of pathway genes, which balance the metabolism of heterologous pathways and prevent the accumulation of intermediates to toxic levels. We also develop sensor-selectors to continuously select for high-performing, non-genetic variants within iso-genetic populations. Using the designed synthetic regulatory systems, we have demonstrated significantly enhanced product titers, yields, productivities and genetic stability on multiple biosynthetic pathways. Design principles of these synthetic regulatory systems should be useful in other areas of synthetic biology, enabling new avenues of research and applications.
Biographical sketch: Dr. Fuzhong Zhang is an assistant professor at the Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis. His research focuses on developing synthetic biology tools and systems for the sustainable production of structurally-defined chemicals and high-performance materials. Current projects in Zhang Lab include developing dynamic regulatory systems to control metabolic pathways, engineering novel biosynthetic routes for advanced biofuels and materials, and engineering nitrogen-fixation capabilities in cyanobacteria. Dr. Zhang is a recipient of the DARPA Young Faculty Award (2013), the ORAU Junior Faculty Enhancement Award (2013), the NSF CAREER Award (2014), the AFOSR and ONR Young Investigator Program (2015), the HFSP Young Investigators Award (2015), the NASA Early Career Faculty Award (2015), and the Biotech & Bioeng Daniel Wang Award (2016).