Position title: Chemical and Biological Engineering
Kinetic Optimization of Isoprenoid Production in Zymomonas via the MEP pathway
Zymomonas mobilis is an ethanologenic bacteria known for natively high titre productions of ethanol. Z. mobilis has the potential of being an industrially relevant bacteria for fermentation processes for the production of chemicals. I aim to investigate the kinetics of the 2-C-methyl-D-erythritol 4-phosphate pathway in Zymomonas for the production of isoprenoid based biofuels such as Methyl-Butenol, and specialty chemicals such as squalene. Through the use of ensemble modeling approaches, a library of potential models describing the observed steady state production through the pathway will be constructed. Optimization techniques will be employed to direct experiments in metabolimics and proteomics helping to further refine and shrink the library of models. Continuing a loop of refinement and optimization of next experiment should lead to a set of models very accurately describing the underlying kinetics of the MEP pathway. This kinetic, model will then be used to optimize strain design for isoprenoid production.