Keith E.J. Tyo Microbial engineering

Research Interests

What we do: Microbes must cope with harsh, rapidly changing environments to survive. To do this, microbes have developed sophisticated mechanisms to (a) sense the changes in the environment, and (b) respond quickly to these changes to protect themselves from harm or capitalize on an opportunity. Our lab seeks to rewire these fundamental input/output relationships to program cells to do useful things for mankind in a paradigm called synthetic biology. Inputs: We study methods to modify existing environmental detection sensors in yeast and modify them to detect new analytes. Outputs: We investigate ways microbes modify their metabolic networks and use these modifications to increase production of a given metabolite.

Why we do it: Synthetic biology offers a disruptive technology that has vast potential to impact the most important facets of our lives. The way we diagnose diseases, the drugs we use, the fuels we put in our cars, the plastic that is used in our potato chip bag; we have the opportunity to improve the sustainability of our lifestyle. And by reducing costs, we can make aspects of our lifestyle available to those who could not otherwise afford it. We hope to offer technical contributions that, simply put, make the world a better place.

Selected Publications

Detection of a Peptide Biomarker by Engineered Yeast Receptors. Adeniran A, Stainbrook S, Bostick JW, and Tyo KEJ. ACS Synthetic Biology. 2018 February 16;7(2):696-705.

A Glucose-Sensing Toggle Switch for Autonomous, High Productivity Genetic Control. Bothfeld W, Kapov G, and Tyo KEJ. ACS Synthetic Biology. 2017 July 21;6(7):1296-1304.

DNA binding strength increases the processivity and activity of a Y-Family DNA polymerase. Wu J, de Paz A, Zamft BM, Marblestone AH, Boyden ES, Kording KP, and Tyo KEJ. Scientific Reports. 2017 July 6;7:4756.

Characterizing and predicting carboxylic acid reductase activity for diversifying bioaldehyde production. Moura M, Pertusi D, Lenzini S, Bhan N, Broadbelt LJ, and Tyo KEJ. Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 2016 May;113(5):944-952.

Evaluating enzymatic synthesis of small molecule drugs. Moura M, Finkle J, Stainbrook S, Greene J, Broadbelt LJ, and Tyo KEJ. Metabolic Engineering. 2016 January;33:138-147.

View all publications by Keith Tyo listed in the National Library of Medicine (PubMed). Current and former IBiS students in blue.