Microbial Protein Factory

The Microbial Protein Factory group develops novel proteins and data-driven workflows for biomanufacturing optimization, addressing challenges in sustainable agriculture, materials and food production.

What we try to achieve
It is critical to explore alternative sustainable solutions to address global challenges in food supply, agriculture and materials while minimizing negative enviromental impact. One promising strategy is to utilize proteins and peptides as substitutes for animal-based food supply and petroleum-based chemical production. These biomolecules can be produced more efficiently using scalable fermentation processes using renewable feedstocks, thereby offering a better environmental compatibility compared to conventional methods.

Why our research is important and how it can be used
In Microbial Protein Factory group, we focus on the discovery and development of natural and synthetic peptides and proteins for applications in food, agriculture and materials. Furthermore, we apply data-driven workflows to comprehensively understand cellular stresses that may arise during heterologous protein expression. We also explore alternative feedstocks and optimize fermentation scale-up. We will leverage these understandings to engineer strains and processes to achieve a sustainable and cost-effective biomanufacturing of the protein products. 

How we achieve our aims – methods, tools, technologies
We use model organisms including Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis as our primary microbial hosts, meanwhile we also explore other non-conventional microorganisms. We use CRISPR-based molecular biology tools and adaptive lab evolution for strain optimization. We conduct OMICS analysis to gain a deeper understanding of cell factory physiology, particularly applying independent component analysis to transcriptome data (iModulonDB.org) for strain and process diagnostics.

The group is headed by Lei Yang and is located at the Lyngby Campus.