Daniel E. Agnew

Daniel E. Agnew

Degree Program: Chemical and Biological Engineering
Faculty Advisor: Brian F. Pfleger
Phone: (608) 262-5141
Email: dagnew@wisc.edu



Current Research

PHAs are natural plastics formed in a number of microorganisms as a means of energy storage in the presence of excess carbon and limited concentrations of other essential nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous. Under controlled conditions, PHAs can comprise up to 90% of the dry weight of a bacterial cell making production at industrially relevant scales feasible. Traditional methods of PHA synthesis offer limited control over the resulting structure, but recent advances support the possibility of developing new metabolic pathways for the creation of a diverse array of sustainable, biodegradable polymers. The goal of my research is to engineer a general approach to selectively produce next generation PHA from inexpensive, sustainable substrates.


Agnew DE and Pfleger BF. Optimization of Synthetic Operons Using Libraries of Post-Transcriptional Regulatory Elements, in Methods in Molecular Biology (Williams, J., Ed.), Humana Press 2011, Volume 765, Part 1, 99-111.

Kwok CTM, Reizman BJ, Agnew DE, Sandhu GS, Weistroffer J Strano MS, Seebauer EG. Temperature and time dependence study of single-walled carbon nanotube growth by catalytic chemical vapor deposition. Carbon 2009, 48, 1279-88.

Usrey ML, Nair N, Agnew DE, Pina CF, Strano MS. Controlling the electrophoretic mobility of single-walled carbon nanotubes: A comparison of theory and experiment. Langmuir 2007, 23, 7768-76.

Abstract (PDF)

Resume (PDF)





Biochemistry Department
433 Babcock Drive
Madison, WI 53706-1544

Brian Fox, Director