Koffas Research Group at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

The central theme of Dr. Koffas' research is metabolic engineering of unicellular organisms with the purpose of efficiently producing high value chemicals, such as nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals, and proteins of therapeutic importance. Within this context, several different approaches are applied, including 1) development of computational tools to enable the prediction of genetic modifications that would result in increasing the flux in a pathway of interest; 2) protein engineering to allow the functional expression of eukaryotic enzymes in simple microorganisms; and 3) identification of previously unknown metabolic enzymes, with emphasis on enzymes involved in targeted hydroxylations and glycosylations; 4) development of metabolic switches for the dynamic control of metabolic fluxes, based on the concentration of intracellular metabolites.

Group Picture

The Group

Group Picture

Koffas Group, August 2019.

From left: Andrew Morgan, Abinaya Badri, Hunter Dalton, Matthew Wong, Dr. Mattheos Koffas, Dr. Rufeng Wang, Dr. Kamil Gedeon, Cliff Morrison, Tengfei Niu, Gokul Kalyanasundaram, Alex Connor, Dr. Yankun Yang, Alexander Perl, Dr. Hui Li, Christoph Schilling, Ruiming Fu, Yongjuan Liu,

Recent Publications

Jeandet, P., Vannozzi, A., Sobarzo-Sánchez, E., Uddin, M. S., Bru, R., Martínez-Márquez, A., ... & Nabavi, S. M. (2021). Phytostilbenes as agrochemicals: biosynthesis, bioactivity, metabolic engineering and biotechnology. Natural Product Reports.
Badri, A., Williams, A., Awofiranye, A., Datta, P., Xia, K., He, W., ... & Koffas, M. A. (2021). Complete biosynthesis of a sulfated chondroitin in Escherichia coli. Nature communications, 12(1), 1-10.
da Silva, A. J., de Souza Cunha, J., Hreha, T., Micocci, K. C., Selistre-de-Araujo, H. S., Barquera, B., & Koffas, M. A. (2021). Metabolic engineering of E. coli for pyocyanin production. Metabolic Engineering, 64, 15-25.
Connor, A. J., Zha, R. H., & Koffas, M. (2021). Bioproduction of biomacromolecules for antiviral applications. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 69, 263-272.
Hreha, T. N., Foreman, S., Duran-Pinedo, A., Morris, A. R., Diaz-Rodriguez, P., Jones, J. A., ... & Barquera, B. (2021). The three NADH dehydrogenases of Pseudomonas aeruginosa: Their roles in energy metabolism and links to virulence. PloS one, 16(2), e0244142.
Li, H., Shi, W., Li, C., Zhang, X., Gong, J., Shi, J., ... & Xu, Z. (2021). Impact of ethylene glycol on DHEA dihydroxylation in Colletotrichum lini: Increasing the expression of cytochrome P450 and 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase and enhancing the generation of NADPH. Biochemical Engineering Journal, 166, 107860.


Dr. Blanca Barquera, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Dr. James Swartz, Stanford

Dr. Robert Linhardt, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Dr. Jonathan Dordick, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Dr. Yinjie Tang, Washington Univeristy in St. Louis

Dr. Gyoo Yeol Jung, POSTECH

Dr. Wilfred Chen, University of Delaware