Wenjun Zhang, Ph.D.

Title
Assistant Professor
Department
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Institution
University of California, Berkeley
Address
201 Gilman Hall, MC 1462
University of California
City, State, Zip
Berkeley, CA 94720
Phone
(510) 643-8682
E-mail
wjzhang[at]berkeley.edu
Website
http://www.cchem.berkeley.edu/wzgrp
Research Field
Synthetic Biology
Award Year
2012

Research

Microbial cells have been programmed to have exquisite catalytic power in the synthesis of a large array of small molecules with a broad range of functions. Examples include signaling secondary metabolites related to bacterial pathogenesis, or complex natural products with pharmaceutical applications. Advances in our understanding of microbial biosynthetic machineries will provide unprecedented opportunities to unveil the identity and function of new bioactive metabolites, and to biosynthesize target molecules such as complex drugs with high yield and efficiency. The research themes in my laboratory include genome mining for new bioactive secondary metabolite discovery, biosynthetic pathway enzymes identification and characterization, pathway design toward combinatorial natural product biosynthesis, as well as engineering of pathway enzymes for biocatalysis application. Our approach will combine the principles in microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, protein engineering and metabolic engineering.