Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Mark A. Blenner, Ph.D.



Mark A. Blenner

Assistant Professor
Protein Engineering, Synthetic Biology, Metabolic Engineering, Biocatalysis, Biosensors, Biotechnology
Phone: 864-656-0290
Office:  207A Earle Hall

Mark Blenner with students in labEducation

Ph.D., Columbia University, 2009
M.S., Columbia University, 2006
B.S., Manhattan College, 2004

Research Interests: Protein Engineering, Synthetic Biology, Metabolic Engineering, Biocatalysis, Biosensors, Biotechnology

As a group that uses protein engineering and synthetic biology, we take a molecular-scale approach to improving bioprocessing. We apply chemical engineering fundamentals along with tools from protein engineering, synthetic biology, molecular biology, and biochemistry to address major problems in energy, sustainability, and human heath.

We study how microorganisms sense their environment, how that information is processed, and how it ultimately leads to a change in phenotype. From an engineering standpoint, we are interested in using this information to improve biological synthesis of fuels and chemicals from renewable biomass. Another major interest of our group is developing cell-based biosensors for metabolic engineering, environmental detection, biodiagnostic, and biocatalysis applications.

Selected Publications

Nedumpully-Govindan, P., Li, L., Alexov, E., Blenner, M., Ding, F. (2014) "Structural and Energetic Determinants of Tyrosylprotein Sulfotransferase Specificity" Bioinformatics. In Press.

Blenner, M., Dong, X., Springer, TA. (2014) "Towards the structure basis of regulation of von Willebrand Factor binding to Glycoprotein Ib." Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289 5565-5579.

Shur, O, Blenner, M., Baltimore, M., Banta, S. (2013) "A Designed, Phase Changing RTX Peptide for Efficient Bioseparations" Biotechniques, 54(4) 197-206.

Banta, S., Wheeldon, I., Blenner, M. “Protein engineering in the development of functional hydrogels,” Annual Reviews in Biomedical Engineering, 12 167-186 (2010).

Blenner, M., Shur, O., Szilvay, G., Cropeck, D., Banta, S., “Calcium induced folding of a Repeat in Toxin (RTX)- Domain Via C-Terminal Entropic Stabilization,” Journal of Molecular Biology. 400(2) 244-256 (2010).

Szilvay, G., Blenner, M., Cropeck, D., Banta, S. “A FRET-based Method for Probing the Conformational Behavior of an Intrinsically Disordered Repeat Domain from Bordetella pertussis Adenylate Cyclase,” Biochemistry 48(47) 11273-11282 (2009).

Blenner, M., Banta, S. “Characterization of the 4D5Flu single chain antibody with a stimulus-responsive elastin-like peptide linker: A potential reporter of peptide linker conformation,” Protein Science 17(3) 527-536 (2008).

Chockalingam, K., Blenner, M., Banta, S. “Design and application of stimulus responsive peptide systems,” Protein Engineering Design and Selection 20(4) 155-61 (2007).