Synthetic Challenge Identification

Selective chemical synthesis is central to our problem choice. We turn our attention to chemical reactions that enable the expedient synthesis of societally important molecules, but traditionally suffer from drawbacks in practical application as a result of operationally harsh reaction conditions, low selectivity (chemo-, regio-, or stereoselectivity), or generality. We then ask if we can capitalize on synthetic processes in biology to develop a biocatalyst platform to provide a selective, sustainable, and general solution to the challenge.

Biocatalyst Interrogation

Once a synthetic challenge has been identified, we perform a hypothesis-driven interrogation of wild type enzymes that we believe possess the mechanistic machinery to perform our desired reaction. Our ultimate goal is to identify an enzyme that we can use as a starting point for the development of a biocatalyst with translational synthetic application based on its native reaction capabilities, promiscuous function, or interface potential with other catalyst systems.

Reaction Parameter Optimization, Structural Analysis, and Computation

Our laboratory is both equipped with and interested in the development of innovative technologies that will enable the efficient optimization of our biocatalyst systems. We use of a variety of high-throughout screening techniques for reaction parameter optimization, computation, and structural analysis to gain insight into the mechanistic nuances of the reaction of choice. A selection of these strategies can be found below.