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Development of molecular tools for protein engineering and synthetic biology

We are constantly expanding our molecular biology toolbox to advance the field of protein engineering and synthetic biology. Methods developed by Wong or coworkers include Sequence Saturation Mutagenesis (SeSaM), Transversion-enriched Sequence Saturation Mutagenesis (SeSaM-Tv+), QuickStep-Cloning and highly efficient electroporation method for Cupriavidus necator.

Group member(s): Dr. Kang Lan Tee, Pawel Jajesniak, Hossam Omar Ali, Abayomi O. Johnson

Development of computational tools for protein engineering and synthetic biology

We develop computational tools to expedite or guide our experimental designs and analyses. Programmes developed by Wong or coworkers include Mutagenesis Assistant Program (MAP) for analysing genetic diversity at gene and protein levels and OneClick for designing focused mutagenesis experiments. All our programmes were written in Perl language.

Group member(s): Dr. Tuck Seng Wong, Pawel Jajesniak, Hossam Omar Ali

Biological carbon dioxide capture and utilization (bio-CCU)

We consider carbon dioxide a potential feedstock for biomanufacturing, instead of treating it as a waste gas. Working closely with our industrial and academic partners, we are transforming Cupriavidus necator into a flexible biomanufacturing platform.

Group member(s): Dr. Kang Lan Tee, Abayomi O. Johnson, Miriam Gonzalez-Villanueva, James Grinham

Enzymatic resource recovery from waste

We are collaborating with researchers in Thailand (rice straw, sugarcane bagasse, cassava pulp), Malaysia (palm oil mill effluent)and India (sugarcane industrial by-products, i.e., press mud, bagasse, molasses and spentwash) to recover resources from carbon-rich “waste” streams.

Group member(s): Dr. Tuck Seng Wong, Dr. Kang Lan Tee, Pawel Jajesniak, Abdulrahman HA. Alessa

Vaccine stabilization & biotherapeutics engineering

We are collaborating with Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology (MRC LMB) and Porton Biopharma Ltd (PBL) to stabilize a recombinant vaccine using advanced protein engineering approach. The aims of this work are: (1) to extend the shelf life of the vaccine, (2) to expand the vaccine’s field application in tropical countries, (3) to ease the vaccine storage, transport and distribution (i.e., to reduce energy requirement) and (4) to simplify vaccine manufacturing process.

Group member(s): Jose L. Avalos Diaz, Amir Zaki B. Abdullah Zubir

Proteins in non-natural environment

To expand the industrial utility of enzymes, we are engineering enzymes to function in non-native environment (e.g., the presence of organic solvents). Previously, Wong has evolved cytochrome P450 BM-3 (isolated from Bacillus megaterium) to work in organic co-solvents. The mutants identified are more tolerant to a range of co-solvents, including DMSO, THF, ethanol, acetone and acetonitrile.

Group member(s): Inas J. Al-nuaemi

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