EBI Personnel Directory Clark, Douglas


Biomass Depolymerization

Douglas Clark

clark@berkeley.edu

 

Biography

Dr. Clark is Chair, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, at UC Berkeley. As Professor of Chemical Engineering, he works in the field of biochemical engineering, with particular emphasis on enzyme technology and bioactive materials, extremophiles, cell culture, and metabolic flux analysis. His B.S. degree is from the University of Vermont and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology.

His research honors include the Presidential Young Investigator Award; the Amgen Award in Biochemical Engineering; the International Enzyme Engineering Award; the Food, Pharmaceutical and Bioengineering Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers; the NorCal Chemical Engineering Excellence Award-Industrial Research; and the Marvin J. Johnson Award in Microbial and Biochemical Technology from the American Chemical Society. Teaching recognition includes the Most Appreciated Faculty Member award from the AIChE student chapter at UC Berkeley, and the Department of Chemical Engineering Teaching Award. Dr. Clark is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineers and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Since 1996, he has served as editor-in-chief for the publication Biotechnology and Bioengineering.

 

Program(s)

Enhanced Conversion of Lignocellulose to Biofuels: Bioprocess Optimization from Cellulose Hydrolysis to Product Fermentation

This program is developing new experimental systems to study cellulosome degradation of cellulosic biomass. This includes discovering new thermophilic organisms as enzyme sources and/or for biofuel production, protein engineering and kinetic modeling of improved cellulases, cellular engineering for improved solvent tolerance, and bioprocess engineering to optimize fermentation.


Project(s)

Engineering Filamentous Fungi for Increased Lipid Production and Secretion

The majority of biodiesel produced in the United States is derived from oilseed crops such as soybean and rapeseed. The acreage of these crops required to displace a significant fraction of diesel is beyond current sustainable production capacity. New technologies are required to make biodiesel a sustainable, renewable fuel option. Heterotrophic lipid production has the potential to replace the lipids produced by oilseed crops. Two major challenges limit the economic feasibility of this biodiesel production: simple sugars are required as a feedstock, and lipid recovery is challenging. This project uses a celluloytic filamentous fungus, Neurospora crassa, to produce and secrete lipids from a lignocellulosic feedstock. The ultimate goal of this project is to develop an approach for the redesign of any cellulolytic fungus, to reveal targets for genetic manipulation with the ultimate objective of rationally designing industrially relevant celluloytlc fungi for production and secretion of lipids (started in 2012).