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Mark A. Blenner, Ph.D.

Mark A. BlennerCECAS Dean’s Associate Professor
Metabolic Engineering, Cellular Engineering, Synthetic Biology, Protein Engineering, Functional Genomics
Phone: 864-656-0290
Office: 207A Earle Hall

Mark Blenner with students in labEducation

Postdoc, Harvard Medical School, 2009-2012
Ph.D., Columbia University, 2009
M.S., Columbia University, 2006
B.S., Manhattan College, 2004

Research Interests:

Sustainable biochemical production; Natural product biosynthesis, biopharmaceutical production; protein secretion, waste valorization.

Our research group does application driven fundamental research to enable solutions to problems in sustainable chemical production, human health, and national defense.

We use genetic engineering and molecular biotechnology to create biomolecules and biosystems (bacteria, yeast, fungi, mammalian cells) with improved properties for various applications. We apply chemical engineering fundamentals along with tools from protein & metabolic engineering, molecular biology, and biochemistry to address these important problems.

Selected Publications (Full List Here)

Gao, D., Rodriguez, G., Shabbir Hussain, M., Blenner, M. “Dual CRISPR-Cas9 Cleavage in Yarrowia lipolytica Leads to Efficient Gene Excision” (Under Review).

Spagnuolo, M., Shabbir Hussain M., Gambill L., Blenner, M.*, “Unlocking Alternative Substrate Metabolism in Yarrowia lipolytica”, Frontiers in Microbiology (In Revision).

Brabender, M., Shabbir Hussain, M., Rodriguez, G., Blenner, M. “Urea and Urine are Efficient Nitrogen Sources for Growth of Yarrowia lipolytica” Applied Microbiology & Biotechnology (In Revision).

Yaguchi, A., Spagnuolo, M., Blenner, M*. “Engineering Yeast for Utilization of Alternative Feedstocks” Current Opinion in Biotechnology (In Press).

Dasetty, S., Blenner, M.*, Sarupria, S.* “Engineering Lipases: Walking the Fine Line Between Activity and Stability” 4:114008 (2017)

Yaguchi, A., Robinson A., Mihealsick E., Blenner, M. “Metabolism of Aromatic Compounds by Trichosporon oleaginosus While Remaining Oleaginous” Microbial Cell Factories 16:206. (2017)

Shabbir-Hussain, M., Wheeldon, I., Blenner, M. “A Fatty Acid Transcriptional Sensor Built from Yarrowia lipolytica Upstream Activating and Regulatory Sequences” Biotechnology Journal 12(1):1-11. (2017)

Bulutoglu, B., Dooley, K., Szilvay, G., Blenner M., and Banta, S. “Catch & Release: Fishing for target proteins with an evolved β-roll peptide exhibiting allosteric regulation. ACS Synthetic Biology 6(9):1732-1741. (2017)

Yaguchi, A.‡, Rives, D.‡, Blenner, M. “The New Kids on the Block: Emerging Oleaginous Yeast of Biotechnological Importance”, AIMS Microbiology 3(2):186-206. (2017)

Schwartz, C., Shabbir-Hussain, M., Frogue, K., Blenner, M., Wheeldon, I.* “Standardized markerless gene integration for pathway engineering in Yarrowia lipolytica”, ACS Synthetic Biology 6(3):402-409. (2017)

Shabbir-Hussain, M.‡, Rodriguez, G.‡, Gao, D., Spagnuolo, M., Gambill, L., Blenner, M. “Recent Advances in Bioengineering of the Oleaginous Yeast Yarrowia lipolytica” AIMS Bioengineering, 3(4):493-513. (2016)

Rodriguez, G.‡, Shabbir-Hussain, M.‡, Gambill, L., Gao, D., Yaguchi, A., Blenner, M. “Engineering Xylose Utilization in Yarrowia lipolytica by Understanding its Cryptic Xylose Pathway” Biotechnology for Biofuels, 9:149. (2016)

Schwartz, C., Shabbir-Hussain, M., Blenner, M., Wheeldon, I. “Synthetic RNA Polymerase III Promoters Facilitate High-Efficiency CRISPR-Cas9 Mediated Genome Editing in Yarrowia lipolytica” ACS Synthetic Biology, 5(4) 356-359. (2016)

Shabbir Hussain, M., Gambill L., Smith, S., Blenner, M. “Engineering Promoter Architecture in Oleaginous Yeast Yarrowia lipolytica” ACS Synthetic Biology, 5(3) 213-223. (2016)

Wilson, A.N., Blenner, M., Guiseppi-Elie, A. "Polyplex Formation Influences Release Mechanism of Mono- and Di-Valent Ions from Phosphorylcholine Group Bearing Hydrogels" Polymers, 6 2451-2472. (2014)

Nedumpully-Govindan, P., Li, L., Alexov, E., Blenner, M., Ding, F. "Structural and Energetic Determinants of Tyrosylprotein Sulfotransferase Specificity" Bioinformatics 15(30) 2302-2309. (2014)

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