Our research group is located at the the Genoscope-CEA, the french national genomics center, which is part of the Genopole in Evry, France. We are affiliated with the Université de Paris Saclay system and have had students from the Université d'Evry, AgroParisTech, Université de Lyon, and the Université Pierre et Marie Curie.

Precision fermentation for renewable biochemicals and improved health

While fermentation has played an important role producing food, fuels and medicines for millenia, recent advances in biotechnology are expanding the breadth of molecules that can be economically produced. In particular, metabolic engineering of diverse microorganisms for precision fermentation is enabling the precision fermentation of a wide range of value-added biochemicals and therapeutics at high purity and yield. Ultimately, a bio-economy based on fermentation could provide up to $4 trillion annually through transformations in human health, agriculture, consumer products, and energy (McKinsey Global Institute, 2020).

To drive advances in precision fermentation for the bio-economy and human health, we are developing technologies to engineer microbiomes and non-model microbes using high-throughput screening, genome editing, and bioinformatics. We are especially interested in optimizing fermentation by Lachnospiraceae, an under-studied important family of anaerobic bacteria in the class Clostridia. Due to their abilities to transform abundant, low cost feedstocks such as lignocellulose and carbon dioxide into value-added biochemicals, some Lachnospiraceae are strong candidates to be developed into industrial biocatalysts. Other species are among the most abundant species of the human intestine and animal rumen, where they can be applied to promote healthy immune function. Ultimately, our research seeks to optimize fermentation by non-model microbes to develop them as industrial biocatalysts and improve intestinal immune homeostasis.

Selected publications

Systems Biology

Genome Engineering