Harnessing the Power of Synthetic Biology

Developing and applying synthetic biology tools to address society's most daunting challenges in human health and energy, and investigating the fundamental aspects of enzyme catalysis, cell metabolism, and gene regulation. Read More

  • 1 Foundational Tool Development. Develop tools for improving the design, build and test cycle for biological research
  • 2 Drug Discovery and Development. Discover novel natural products by activating cryptic pathways from sequenced genomes and metagenomes and investigate the biosynthetic mechanisms.
  • 3 Industrial Biotechnology. Engineer recombinant microorganisms to efficiently utilize cellulosic materials and produce advanced biofuels such as n-butanol, alkanes and biodiesel.
  • 4 Mammalian Synthetic Biology. Develop new targeted genome engineering tools and gene regulation tools for applications in gene therapy and functional genomics.

“What I cannot create, I do not understand.”— Richard Feynman

Research in this group lies in the interface of engineering, chemistry, and medicine. The main research goal is to develop genetically based bioproducts and bioprocesses and to understand their biochemical and biophysical mechanisms at the molecular level. The group members are young, talented, and energetic who came from a variety of disciplines including chemical engineering, chemistry, biochemistry, bioengineering, and biophysics. This group is not only a hot-bed for making exciting scientific discoveries and developing important technologies, but also a launching pad for embarking on successful careers.Read More

Professor Zhao is also the Principal Inverstigator in Metabolic Engineering Research Laboratory in Singapore. This group strives to develop and apply synthetic biology and metobolic engineering to address challenges in advanced biomanufacturing. Read More


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Huimin Zhao Group, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign © 2012