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* Constellations

Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering

Robert J. Linhardt, a world-leading carbohydrate chemist, is the Ann and John H. Broadbent Jr. ’59 Senior Constellation Professor of Biocatalysis and Metabolic Engineering.

Rensselaer researchers are exploring and manipulating metabolic pathways to create new bioproducts for use in medicine, agriculture, manufacturing, environmental cleanup, and other fields.

In processes that are amazingly similar in plants, bacteria, invertebrates, and human beings, genes express proteins. Many of these proteins act as enzymes, catalysts that control the behavior of cells.

Mankind has only begun to tap into a small part of this biocatalytic repertoire, yet a vast array of new bioproducts has already resulted. A significantly larger group of enzymes and metabolic pathways remains untapped.

Rensselaer’s growing program in biocatalysis and metabolic engineering draws on the expertise of interdisciplinary teams.

The Bioseparations group in the Chemical Engineering Department has won international acclaim for its leadership in the use of both chromatography and membranes to recover proteins from the complex mixtures in which they are produced.

Rensselaer’s program in integrated electronics contributes facilities and skills to emerging biochip programs, while the new National Science Foundation (NSF) Nanoscale Science and Engineering Center supports a program that combines biomolecules into nanomaterial networks.


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