Departments of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Chemistry, and Biochemistry, Bioengineering, Institute for Genomic Biology,
and Center for Biophysics and Computational Biology,
University of Illinois at
Synthetic Biology: Putting
Synthesis into Biology
Synthetic biology is the deliberate design of novel biological systems and organisms that draws on principles elucidated by biologists, chemists, physicists, and engineers. It is a rapidly growing area with broad applications in medical, chemical, food, and agricultural industries. In this talk, I will discuss our recent work on the development and application of new synthetic biology tools. Specifically, I will discuss a new tool for rapid construction of large DNA molecules such as pathways and plasmids and its application in (1) discovery, characterization, and engineering of novel natural product biosynthetic pathways for drug discovery and development, and (2) engineering of recombinant yeast strains that can efficiently utilize lignocellulosic materials to produce biofuels and chemicals.
Dr. Huimin Zhao is the Centennial Endowed Chair Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). He received his B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1992 and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1998. Prior to joining UIUC in 2000, he was a project leader at the Industrial Biotechnology Laboratory of the Dow Chemical Company. Dr. Zhao has authored and co-authored over 120 research articles and 16 patents with several being licensed by industry. His primary research interests center on the development and applications of synthetic biology tools to address society's most daunting challenges in human health and energy, and in the fundamental aspects of enzyme catalysis and gene regulation.
Please see Dr. Zhao's website here.