Rosinski, Justin (2014 - 2016)

Justin is in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He joined the training program in 2014. He received B.S. and B.A. degrees in 2011 from the University of Oklahoma.

Mentor: Dr. Todd Yeates

Research project:

Construction and Optimization of Carbon-fixing MCP Bioreactor for Biofuel Production.

Bacterial microcompartments (MCPs) represent proteinaceous organelles utilized by over 20% of bacteria whose genomes have been sequenced.  These vessels serve as reaction chambers housing diverse sets of metabolic reactions.  There is worldwide interest in utilizing synthetic biology approaches towards the end of engineering microorganisms for the production of relevant biocompounds.  Recent studies have demonstrated the possibility of heterologous expression of minimal sets of MCP shell proteins to produce artificial microcompartments, with one report claiming to have engineered ethanol production in such a ‘bioreactor’.  Toward this end, I am engineering MCPs to fix carbon into formate, a relevant intermediate for biofuel production.  Additional aims include expanding the reaction pathways targeted to the MCPs for production of more sophisticated molecules.