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Yajie WANG, Ph.D.
Synthetic Biology, Advanced Living Material Laboratory
“Only by ignorance is science threatened” --- Frances Arnold
Dr. Yajie Wang received her Bachelor’s degree in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, in 2012, and the Ph.D. degree in Chemical Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), USA, in 2018. She worked as a postdoc in Center for Advanced Bioenergy And Bioproducts Innovation, UIUC, before joining Westlake University in 2021. Her research has been published in Nature, Nature Chemical Biology, ACS Catalysis, Chemical Review, Natural Product Report, etc. The total number of citations is over 1000. Dr. Wang was the recipient of Singapore National Scholar; is the reviewer board member of USA Department of Energy Office of Science, guest associate editor of Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, and co-chair of Bioengineering Subsection in the American Institute of Chemical Engineering (AIChE) annual meeting.
Dr. Yajie Wang’s group will focus on developing AI-assisted synthetic biology platforms to design, engineer, and produce next generation synthetic biological materials and bioactive compounds with new and extended functional properties affordably and sustainably to address a wide range of unmet needs in the biomedical and manufacturing industry. Dr. Yajie Wang’s research will integrate protein engineering, synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, bioinformatics, chemistry, material science, and machine learning to build a “Design-Build-Test-Learn” platform to (1) engineer biocatalysts, enzymes and microbes, for producing biopolymers with new functionality and value-added chemicals such as bioactive compounds and precursors of pharmaceuticals ; (2) design and construct engineered living materials with outstanding properties such as self-regeneration, self-healing, self-regulation, and environmental responsiveness; (3) engineering artificial photosynthesis system with improved CO2 fixation and light-harvesting efficiency; and enable the production of biomaterial and value-added chemicals from CO2 and light.
1. Wang, Y. et al. “Directed evolution: Methodologies and Applications.” Chem. Rev. (2021) (submitted)
2. Litman, Z. C.#; Wang, Y.#; (co-first); Zhao, H.* & Hartwig, J. F.*, “Cooperative tandem systems combining photocatalyzed isomerization and enzymatic reduction.” Nature, 560, 355-359 (2018).
* This work has been reported by the Chemical & Engineering News and been highlighted in the Nature Highlight
3. Wang, Y.; Huang, X.; Hui J.; Vo, L. & Zhao, H. “Stereoconvergent reduction of alkenes by a nicotinamide free synergistic photoenzymatic system.” ACS. Catal. 10, 9431-9437 (2020)
4. Wang, Y.; Bartlett, M. J., Denard, C. A., Hartwig, J. F. & Zhao, H. “Combining Rh-catalyzed diazocoupling and enzymatic reduction to efficiently synthesize enantioenriched 2-substituted succinate derivatives.” ACS. Catal. 7, 2548-2552 (2017).
5. Huang, X.; Wang, B. (co-first); Wang, Y.; Jiang, G.; Feng, J. & Zhao, H. “Abiotic photoenzymatic catalysis for enantioselective intermolecular radical hydroalkylation.” Nature, 584, 69-74 (2020).
6. Zhang M. M.; Wong F. (co-first); Wang, Y.; Luo S.; Lim Y. H.; Heng E.; Yeo W.; Cobb R. E.; Enghiad B.; Ang E. & Zhao H. “CRISPR-Cas9 strategy for activation of silent streptomyces biosynthetic gene clusters.” Nat. Chem. Biol., 3, 607-609 (2017).
7. Cobb, R. E.; Wang, Y. & Zhao, H. “High-efficiency multiplex genome editing of streptomyces species using an engineered CRISPR/Cas system. ACS. Synth. Biol. 4, 723-728 (2015).
8. Wang, Y.; Yu, X. & Zhao, H. “Biosystem design by directed evolution.” AIChE Journal, 66(3) (2020).
9. Wang, Y., Ren H. & Zhao, H. “Expanding the boundary of biocatalysis: design and optimization of in vitro tandem catalytic reactions for biochemical production.” Crit. Rev. Biochem. Mol. Biol, 53, 115-129 (2018).
10. Zhang, M. M.#; Wang, Y.#; (co-first); Ang, E. L. & Zhao, H. “Engineering microbial hosts for production of bacterial natural products.” Nat. Prod. Rep., 33(8), 963-987 (2016).
11. Wang, Y. & Zhao, H. “Tandem reactions combining biocatalysts and chemical catalysts for asymmetric synthesis.” Catalysts, 6(12), 194 (2016).
12. Wang, Y.; Cobb, R. E. & Zhao, H. “High-efficiency genome editing of streptomyces species by an engineered CRISPR/Cas system.” Methods in Enzymology, 575, 271-284 (2016). (Book Chapter)
13. Denard C.D.; Bartlett M.J.; Wang, Y.; Lu, L.; Hartwig, J.F. & Zhao H. “Development of a one-pot tandem reaction combining ruthenium-catalyzed alkene metathesis and enantioselective enzymatic oxidation to produce aryl epoxides.” ACS. Catal. 5, 3817-3822 (2015).