New Options for Natural Product Engineering

McDonnell Douglas Engineering Auditorium

ChEMS Seminar

Prof. Blaine Pfeifer

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

The State University of New York at Buffalo


Using experience and insight gained from previous attempts at producing complex natural products through heterologous hosts, this presentation will describe new initiatives to access and evaluate the chemicals encoded by responsible genetic pathways.  The basis for the work presented is the production of compounds associated with the polyketide, nonribosomal peptide, and isoprenoid classifications.  The heterologous production processes for these molecule types has presented challenges in metabolic engineering to provide precursor biosynthetic support, gene expression to account for the coordinated production of multiple enzymes dedicated to biosynthesis, and analytical chemistry to assess intermediate and final product levels.  Addressing each challenge is now positioning new technology to better access and test the capabilities of complex natural products by using heterologous biosynthesis.    


Bio: Dr. Pfeifer earned his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering from Colorado State University in 1997.  He earned M.S. degree in 1999 and Ph.D degree in 2002, both in Chemical Engineering, from Stanford University.  He is an Associate Professor in SUNNY-Buffalo since 2011.