Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry
Our goal is to discover, design and produce enzymes and non-catalytic proteins that can be used to functionalize and reconstruct, rather than hydrolyze and deconstruct, major structural biopolymers of plant fibre. In this way, our aim is to provide renewable alternatives to petroleum-based compounds, and moreover, create unique bio-based materials that harness inherent functional attributes of the starting biopolymer.

Our approach benefits from three key advantages of biocatalyts: 1) catalytic specificity that allows predictable modification of complex substrates, 2) mild reaction requirements that retain beneficial, structural properties of the starting material, and 3) “programmability” of enzymes and non-catalytic proteins, expanding their potential in synthetic applications.