Biosynthetic pathways for commodity fuels and high-value products from bacteria and algae. Organisms from extreme environments and applications of these species in bioprocessing. Detailed understanding of symbiotic relationships between algae and bacteria. Basic evolutionary techniques related to novel protein design (directed evolution).
Brett Barney's primary research interests center around the study and use of biosynthetic pathways for creating commodity fuels and high-value products from select bacteria and algae. He is currently funded in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy in collaboration with Montana State University for research on the production of oil (composed of triglycerides) from algae.
As an undergraduate at Utah State University, Barney completed two years of research at the Utah Water Research Laboratory, working on projects in bioremediation of hazardous wastes. After receiving his undergraduate degree in chemistry, he then spent six years working in the medical device industry for a company in Ogden, Utah, before returning to school for graduate studies. He received his Doctorate from Arizona State University in 2003, where he took part in an interdisciplinary program in biophotonics.
Barney did his post doctoral work as a USDA fellow in the laboratory of Professor Lance Seefeldt in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at Utah State University. He became a Research Assistant Professor at Utah State University in 2006 and was the Science Operations Manager for the Utah State University Energy Lab in 2009 before coming to the University of Minnesota.
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