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Yajun Yan

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Professor of Biochemical Engineering, School of Chemical, Materials and Biomedical Engineering
Director, Biosynthetic Engineering and Biocatalysis Laboratory

Professor Yajun Yan received his Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Biochemical Engineering from Beijing University of Chemical Technology in 1999 and 2002 respectively. He then obtained his PhD in Chemical and Biological Engineering from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 2008. From 2008 to 2010, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher in Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering at the University of California, Los Angeles. Since 2010, he has been a faculty member at the University of Georgia, where he was promoted to tenured Associate Professor in 2015 and to full Professor in 2019.

Professor Yajun Yan has a broad academic background in Chemical and Biological Engineering. Over the past 20 years, his research has focused mainly on Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering. He is dedicated to developing microbial and enzymatic methods for efficient production of biofuels, bulk and fine chemicals, natural products, and drug-active molecules. His research projects cover multiple disciplines, including Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Protein Engineering, Metabolic Engineering, and the principles and techniques of Synthetic Biology.

His AI-related research interests include applying AI techniques to design and engineer biological systems. These systems can be enzymes, metabolic pathways, metabolic regulations, genetic circuits and even whole organisms. In addition, he is interested in utilizing AI to identify potential drug candidates, optimize production pathways, and improve the yields of bio-based products.

To date, Professor Yajun Yan has published over 110 academic papers in prestigious journals in his field, such as Nature Biotechnology, Nature Communications, PNAS, Trends in Biotechnology, Biotechnology Advances, Metabolic Engineering, Green Chemistry, ACS Synthetic Biology, etc. He has also co-authored three academic books and holds 16 patents in multiple countries including the US, China, and Canada.

  • Ph.D., Chemical and Biological Engineering, University of Buffalo, 2008
  • M.S., Biochemical Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, 2002
  • B.S., Biochemical Engineering, Beijing University of Chemical Technology, 1999
Research Interests:
  • Metabolic Engineering
  • Synthetic Biology
  • Protein Engineering
  • Natural Products
  • Biofuels and Renewable Chemicals

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