The BCE Lab

Welcome to Biochemical Engineering Laboratory at UNIST

• Introduction to BCE Laboratory
The main focus of our laboratory lies on the production of industrially important organic acids, alcohols and lactones. These compounds are difficult or less desirable to produce by conventional chemical methods due to economical and/or environmental issues or specific market demand requiring biotechnological production. For example, when these chemicals are used as cosmetic ingredients or personal care products, biological production is much more preferred in market. In order to effectively produce these compounds by microorganisms, appropriate microbial catalysts (strains and enzymes) are developed by using recombinant DNA technology, metabolic engineering, enzymatic engineering, synthetic biology, bioinformatics, etc. All research is aimed at commercialization, and with a close collaboration with Noru Holdings Co., Ltd. and GS Caltex Co., Ltd. The compounds to be developed are as follows:

1. 3-Hydroxypropionic acid (3-HP)

2. 1,3-Propanediol (1,3-PDO)

3. Gamma-Lactones (γ-Lactones)

Research overview

1. Bioenergy production
a. Co-production of hydrogen and ethanol using glucose
b. Hydrogen production from CO
c. Metabolic pathway optimization for bioenergy production

 2. Biochemical production
a. Development of 3-HP production pathway
b. Development of 1,3-PDO production pathway
c. Enzyme characterization and pathway optimization for improving product titer

 3. Fundamental research
a. Characterization of styrene monooxygenase for understanding the enzyme mechanism
b. Understanding cell communication system by quorum sensing