Biocatalyst Engineering

We target enzymes and 'tailor' their reactivity for use in biocatalytic processes, chemicals synthesis and biofuels projects. We use a variety of engineering methods to manipulate specificity and improve biocatalytic performance. Both structure-based engineering and directed evolution methods are used, employing where possible automated/robotics platforms for high throughput.

We currently use both natural and engineered biocatalysts in pathway assembly/refactoring to generate prototype strains for applications in chemicals biosynthesis and biofuels programmes. Our work on biocatalyst and pathway engineering is then integrated into wider consortium-based programmes involving expertise in systems biology, metabolic regulation, chassis engineering and process optimisation. Our core programmes therefore provide novel components in synthetic biology and assemble these building blocks/modules, pathways and regulatory components. This requires development of new platform technologies to accelerate the (re-)design of building blocks and pathways, through exploitation of knowledge of the structures and mechanisms of enzyme catalysts.

Some Recent Biocatalyst Engineering Publications: