Koffas Research Group at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Our research focuses on the 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 2023.

From left: Sahiti Tamirisakandala , Saurabh Rastogi , Jonathan Hudson, Dr.Mattheos Koffas, Dr.Anarul Houque, Aditi Dey Tithi, Md Tariful Islam, Steve Eshiemogie, Not pictured: William Lawler, Dr.Shweta Patil, Dr.Douglas Nortberto, Josh Finkelstein Suttavadee Junyakul

Recent Publications

Raethong, N., Thananusak, R., Cheawchanlertfa, P., Prabhakaran, P., Rattanaporn, K., Laoteng, K., Koffas, M. and Vongsangnak, W., 2023. Functional genomics and systems biology of Cordyceps species for biotechnological applications. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 81, p.102939.
Connor, A., Wigham, C., Bai, Y., Rai, M., Nassif, S., Koffas, M. and Zha, R.H., 2023. Novel insights into construct toxicity, strain optimization, and primary sequence design for producing recombinant silk fibroin and elastin-like peptide in E. coli. Metabolic Engineering Communications, 16, p.e00219.
Paliya, B.S., Sharma, V.K., Tuohy, M.G., Singh, H.B., Koffas, M., Benhida, R., Tiwari, B.K., Kalaskar, D.M., Singh, B.N. and Gupta, V.K., 2023. Bacterial glycobiotechnology: A biosynthetic route for the production of biopharmaceutical glycans. Biotechnology Advances, p.108180.
Connor, A., Lamb, J., Delferro, M., Koffas, M. and Zha, R., 2023. Microbial Upcycling of Polyethylene into Recombinant Proteins.
Xiao, Z., Connor, A.J., Worland, A.M., Tang, Y.J., Zha, R.H. and Koffas, M., 2023. Silk fibroin production in Escherichia coli is limited by a positive feedback loop between metabolic burden and toxicity stress. Metabolic Engineering, 77, pp.231-241.
Watthanasakphuban, N., Nguyen, L.V., Cheng, Y.S., Show, P.L., Sriariyanun, M., Koffas, M. and Rattanaporn, K., 2023. Development of a Molasses-Based Medium for Agrobacterium tumefaciens Fermentation for Application in Plant-Based Recombinant Protein Production. Fermentation, 9(2), p.149.


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