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Metabolic engineering embodies the principles, framework, and methodologies for understanding and manipulating the metabolic pathways in the cell for targeted and improved chemical transformations.

My research group is applying metabolic engineering principles and methodologies to improve the production of important compounds, i.e. critical plant-derived pharmaceuticals or biofuels, from plant cell & tissue cultures and microalgae cultures. Our research relies on understanding the complex regulation and network of biosynthetic reactions within the cell and the application of molecular biology and analytical chemistry for unveiling the secrets of the cell. The outcome of this research is an understanding of how to rationally direct the resources of the cell for significant enhancements in the production of the desired product. Our research is being applied to address 1) the production of cost-prohibitive pharmaceutical compounds from cell and tissue cultures of plants and 2) the need for an alternative, renewable, and environmentally sustainable source of fuels from microalgae culture.

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