University of Minnesota
BioTechnology Institute
http://www.bti.umn.edu
612-624-6774
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Biocatalysis Initiative


Current Grant Program

Cyanuric Acid - Melamine Biocatalysis Project:
Fundamental Science and Business Opportunities

PIs: Lawrence Wackett, Michael Sadowsky, Steve Heilmann

Emphasis has evolved from swimming pool clean-up to food safety. Progress includes development of an enzyme-based kit to test foods. more >>

Novel Bioderived Polyesters

PIs: Friedrich Srienc, Romas Kazlauskas

Genetically engineered bacterial polymerases to produce new polymers with a range of properties including molecular weight, conductivity, stability and biodegradability.

Biocatalytic Azide Incorporation
for Proteomics and Protein Labeling

PIs: Mark Distefano, Wei-Shou Hu, Claudia Schmidt-Dannert

Have shown that certain protein substrates can be labeled with azide in vivo using a mutant enzyme. Work continues to broaden the substrate by modifying the enzyme, and a high throughput assay has been developed to test the various substrates and mutant enzymes.

Hydrothermal Carbonization of Algae
and Application of "Synthetic Coal"

PIs: Kenneth Valentas, Marc von Keitz, Fred Schendel, Paul Lefebvre, Steve Heilmann

Treatment of algae at high temperature and pressure to create a synthetic coal-like product and a byproduct with potential for use as a fertilizer. more >>

Cloning and Characterization of an
Oat2 Transporter from Humans

PIs: Robert Brooker

The human Oat 2 gene (organic anion transporter) has been cloned and expressed in yeast.

Engineering Proteins and Cellular Biocatalysts for
Electrode Binding via High Throughput in vitro Selection

PIs: Burckhard Seelig, Jeffrey Gralnick, Daniel Bond

An E. Coli gene permitting E. Coli to bind to gold surfaces has been cloned and will be tested in another bacterium.

Diverting Fatty Acid Metabolism
to Make Liquid Fuels

PIs: Romas Kazlauskas, Lawrence Wackett

Have succeeded in mimicking the production of beta-keto thioesters of CoA by enzymatically producing N-acetyl cysteamine thioester with the goal of finding a late intermediate in the synthesis of long chain fatty acids and converting it to a long chain combustible product.

High Intensity Enzymatic Biocatalysis for
Direct Conversion of Solar Energy into Chemical Fuels

PIs: Ping Wang, William Tze

An explorative study of cofactor regeneration via solar power driven water electrolysis.

Engineered "Platelets" Linking Microbial
Electrochemistry to Redox Enzymes

PIs: Daniel Bond, Stephen Campbell

One enzyme has been purified and tested for binding potential.

Engineering a Designer Cellulolytic
Ethanol-Producing Microorganism

PIs: Wei-Shou Hu, Prodromos Daoutidis, Yiannis Kaznessis

Have discovered an anaerobe that can degrade cellulose and produce ethanol.

Heilmann

ABOVE: Dr. Steve Heilmann has worked successfully in a laboratory at the BioTechnology Institute to develop an energy-efficient process for converting algae to a valuable coal-like char.