Leveraging Synthetic Biology in Biorenewables

The advent of synthetic biology has revolutionized our ability to discover and construct new biosynthetic pathways and engineer platform organisms or so called microbial factories to produce a wide variety of value-added products. Our laboratory focuses on engineering individual microorganisms as well as microbial consortia to address critical issues in energy sustainability and chemical production.

News

  • A new postdoc opening in the Synthetic Biology area

    Nov 6, 2017
    Shao group has a new postdoc opening in the general areas of Synthetic Biology. Applicants should send a cover letter and most recent CV to zyshao@iastate.edu.
  • Aric won the first place in the Perfect Pitch Competition at CBiRC Annual Meeting

    Oct 20, 2017
    Aric's 90-sec perfect pitch entitled “Isogenic Consortia” won the first place in the Perfect Pitch Competition at CBiRC Annual Meeting in Oct. Well done, Aric!
  • Miguel won "Best of BIOT" award at ACS 2017

    Aug 20, 2017
    Miguel's talk entitled “Multilevel engineering of the upstream module of aromatic amino acid biosynthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae for high production of polymer and drug precursors” at the 2017 ACS National Meeting in San Francisco was awarded “Best of BIOT” by the Division of Biochemical Technology (BIOT). You rock, Miguel!
  • Shao group was awarded with a research grant from NSF MCB division on studying nonconventional yeasts

    Aug 20, 2017
    Shao group was recently awarded with a 3-year NSF grant on elucidating the core design principles to study novel high-performing yeast species that display highly desirable features that are not possessed by model yeasts.
  • Shao group and ESTose Biorenewables, LLC were awarded with Regents Innovation Fund

    July 1, 2017
    This RIF grant will support the R&D of yeast-based microbial cell factories to produce plant-sourced natural products originated from aromatic amino acid pathways.
  • Shao group 's patent was filed

    June 30, 2017
    Based on the great work of Mingfeng, Miguel, and Meirong, our group 's patent entitled "Building Yeast Factories for Production of Aromatic Compounds-from Building Blocks to Plant Secondary Metabolites" was filed (ISURF#04508, 2017).
  • ISU CBE faculty involved in outreach program at Saylorville Visitor Center Theater

    July 1, 2017
    A team led by Dr. Jarboe, Dr. Mansell, and Dr. Shao went to Saylorville Visitor Center Theater, discussing with public audience about building biological factories for the production of medicines, fuels and chemicals.
  • Qianhe will start her graduate school study at Northwestern

    June 15, 2017
    After spending two years in our group doing research, our undergraduate student Qianhe will start her own graduate school journey in the Fall of 2017 at Northwestern University. Go forward, Qianhe!
  • Deon was awarded with the prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship

    March 30, 2017
    Deon was selected as the recipient of the prestigious NSF GRFP. Well done and big congratulations!
  • Carmen was awarded with Trinect Fellowship

    Dec 30, 2016
    Carmen was selected as the recipient of the Trinect Fellowship to help support Des Moines Public School curriculum. She will cooperate with 3rd – 5th grade teachers to incorporate engineering concepts into class material. Look forward to seeing a broader impact of our efforts!
  • Miguel was awarded with Research Excellence Award

    Dec 30, 2016
    Miguel was selected as the recipient of the College of Engineering Research Excellence Award. Big congratulations!
  • Shao was appointed as Jack R. and Carol A. Johnson Faculty Fellow

    Dec 30, 2016
    Prof. Shao was nominated as the recipient of Jack R. and Carol A. Johnson Faculty Fellowship in 2017-2018.
  • Deon was awarded with Presidential Fellowship

    Dec 30, 2016
    Welcome Deon to join Shao group. His strong academic background has made him the awardee of the 2017 Presidential Fellowship. Congratulations!
  • Welcome Yanzhen and Deon

    Nov 30, 2016
    Dr. Yanzhen Mei joined Shao group as a visiting professor. She is currently an associate professor in Nanjing Normal University and brings her expertise in the plant natural products area. Deon Ploessl will join our group as a new graduate student in the Spring of 2017. Welcome aboard!
  • 2016 Iowa Energy Center Impact Award

    Sep 30, 2016
    Prof. Shao was selected as one of the awardees of 2016 Iowa Energy Center Impact Award. She will present her group of research in Iowa Energy Summit in the Fall.
  • Funding support from DOE

    Sep 30, 2016
    Joining a collaboration team led by Prof. Emily Smith in ISU Chemistry Department and Ames Lab, Prof. Shao received a 3-year funding support from DOE for studying plant cell wall deconstruction.
  • Yutong will start his graduate school study at Georgia Tech

    Apr 15, 2016
    After spending two years in our group doing research, our undergraduate student Yutong will start his own PhD journey in the Fall of 2016 at Georgia Tech. Go forward, Yutong!
  • Miguel was awarded with GPSS Research Award

    Apr 8, 2016
    The Professional Advancement Grant Committee was impressed by Miguel's outstanding work and contributions and selected him as one of the five awardees among the graduate students at Iowa State University. Congratulations!!
  • Miguel and John's collaborative paper accepted as a front cover

    Dec 25, 2015
    Our group 's first research article entitled "Combining Metabolic Engineering and Electrocatalysis: Application to the Production of Polyamides from Sugar" was accepted by Angewandte Chemie International Edition and featured as the front cover. The article describes the collaborative project with Tessonnier and Cochran Groups.
  • Miguel 's patent was filed

    Dec 16, 2015
    Our group 's first patent entitled "Method to Produce Muconic Acid Using Yeast" was filed (ISURF#04379, 2015).
  • Funding support from NSF

    Sep 01, 2015
    Prof. Jarboe and Shao received a 3-year funding support from NSF CBET for engineering E. coli natural consortium.
  • Welcome Wan and Aric

    July 01, 2015
    Wan received her B.S. from Henan University in 2012, and M.S. from Peking Union Medical College in 2015. She was a visiting student in our group in 2014 and now officially joined the group as a Microbiology graduate student. Aric received his B.A. from Taylor University in 2011 and joined our group as a Microbiology graduate student, co-advised by Prof. Jarboe and Shao.
  • Funding support from CBiRC IAB

    Feb 28, 2015
    The group received another funding support from CBiRC Industry Advisory Board for improving dicarboxylic acid production in yeast.
  • Welcome Carmen

    Nov 01, 2014
    Carmen received her B.S. from Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in 2014. She came to Iowa State in the Fall of 2014 as a CBE graduate student.
  • Welcome Ian and Yutong

    Aug 20, 2014
    Ian and Yutong are CBE junior students and feel very interested in Biorenewables research.
  • Summer REU program

    Aug 01, 2014
    Nam Nguyen (from Des Moines Area Community College, BioMaP REU) and Elaine Butler (from Grand View University, CBiRC REU) did excellent jobs on their REU projects in Shao group mentored by Miguel and Lili. Nam and Elaine will apply for graduate schools after getting their B. S. degrees.
  • EPSCoR-Ames summer enrichment program

    July 16, 2014
    The program involved elementary-aged children in achieving a perspective to appreciate STEM fields through hands-on interactive experiments. A “Bacteria Club” was designed with the assistance of Korey and Laurel. Students had the opportunity to be directly involved in culturing bacteria on nutrient agar plates and perform experiments to evaluate bacterial resistance to various antibiotics.
  • Welcome Wan

    June 01, 2014
    Wan is currently a visiting student from Peking Union Medical College, working with Professor Zhaoyong Yang. She will spend one year in ISU working on a collaboration project on natural products.
  • Funding support from IEC

    Feb 28, 2014
    The group received a funding support from Iowa Energy Center opportunity grant for non-conventional yeast study.
  • Funding support from CBiRC IAB

    Feb 28, 2014
    The group received a funding support from CBiRC Industry Advisory Board for fatty acid sensor development.
  • Welcome Lili

    Jan 16, 2014
    Lili received her B.S. from University College Cork in 2008 and her M. S. from University College London in 2010. After working in industry for a few years, Lili decided to pursue her Ph.D. in ISU.
  • Welcome Meirong

    Nov 01, 2013
    Meirong received her B.S. from Xiamen University in 2010 and her M. S. from Shandong University in 2013. She is a CBE PhD candidate, co-advised by Prof. Shanks and Shao.
  • Welcome Le

    Sep 01, 2013
    Le received her B.S. from Tsinghua University in 2011. She is a CBE PhD candidate, co-advised by Prof. Shanks and Shao.
  • Welcome Laurel and Korey

    July 01, 2013
    Laurel and Korey are CBE senior students and feel very interested in Biorenewables research.
  • Funding support from PSI

    Mar 16, 2013
    The group received a funding support from ISU Plant Sciences Institute Biochemical Separations Initiative (Collaborate with Cochran Group and Wang Group, 2013-2016).
  • Welcome Mingfeng

    Mar 01, 2013
    Mingfeng received his Ph.D. from Nankai University in 2011. After graduation, he worked as a research scientist in Tianjin Institute of Industrial Biotechnology prior to joining our group as a postdoctoral research fellow.
  • Welcome Miguel

    Jan 01, 2013
    Miguel received his B.S. from Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education in 2012. He came to Iowa State in the Fall of 2012 and is currently a CBE PhD candidate.
  • This news is older

    January 01, 2013
    Dr. Zengyi Shao joined Iowa State University, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering (CBE) as an assistant professor. She is also affiliated with the Center for Biorenewable Chemicals (CBiRC) and Interdepartmental Microbiology Program.