October 4, 2012
2012 has been a rewarding year for three of QB3-Berkeley’s scientists. Chris Anderson, John Dueber, and Andy Martin have all been selected for National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program awards, given to young researchers in science and engineering who also translate their work into significant education activities.
Chris Anderson’s award supports the development of a novel containment strategy for engineered organisms based on synthetic auxotrophy. Synthetic auxotrophs provide a strategy for mitigating the risks of accidental environmental release of novel organisms developed using the tools of synthetic biology.
Microbes can be engineered with new and/or modified metabolic pathways to make a wide variety of compounds, including flavors and fragrances, therapeutics, plastics, and biofuels. John Dueber’s project aims to investigate the manner in which engineered protein assemblies within living cells can improve the sustainable production of these desirable chemicals.
The protein content inside a cell is constantly changing. Depending on the cell’s needs, certain proteins are made while others are removed or degraded. The goal of Andreas Martin’s research is to elucidate the detailed mechanisms of the degradation of highly diverse proteins in vivo, and thus further the understanding of the various regulatory functions of preoteasomes in eukaryotic cells.
The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program offers the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars. Each of the three QB3-Berkeley research projects includes a major outreach component to integrate their research with educational opportunities.