Media Rep Contact

Patrick Wiseman

Sandra Zaragoza (primary)

Hal S Alper

Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering, Cockrell School of Engineering

Phone: +1 512 471 4417


Our group focuses on engineering biology to produce organic molecules of interest such as biofuels, commodity and specialty chemicals and protein pharmaceuticals.  Specifically, our lab alters cells and “hijacks” the basic metabolism to convert cellular systems into industrially-relevant biochemical factories.  We utilize a variety of host systems including microbial (eg. Eschericia coli), fungal (eg. the yeasts Saccharomyces cerevisiae and Yarrowia lipolytica), and mammalian cells (eg. Chinese Hamster Ovary (CHO) cells and human HEK293).  To accomplish these tasks, traditional pathway engineering approaches are merged with novel synthetic biology tools, protein engineering strategies, systems biology paradigms and applied genetic engineering capabilities.  Our research group focuses on the integration and implementation of these tools and knowledge for the design, production, and elicitation of phenotypes relevant to biotechnological processes and medical interest.  In addition, we are heavily invested in developing novel synthetic biology approaches aimed at increasing our capacity to engineer cells.