Chris Brigham photo

Christopher Brigham

Assistant Professor

Bioengineering

508-999-9149

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Education

Tufts University School of Medicine, Boston, MA Ph.D. in Molecular Biology and Microbiology
Villanova University, Villanova, PA B.S. in Chemical Engineering

Teaching

  • BNG 426 Metabolic Engineering
  • BNG 411 Bioengineering Lab
  • BNG 319 Chemical Methods in Bioengineering
  • BNG 312 Biotransport
  • BNG 101 Intro to Bioengineering

Research interests

  • Metabolic engineering
  • Bio-based, biodegradable polymers
  • Biofuels
  • Environmental microbiology
  • Molecular microbiology

Sustainable, bio-based chemicals and materials are becoming highly sought after in many spheres of human activity. Many compounds that were originally produced by industrial chemical methods can now be produced by microorganisms. The discipline of metabolic engineering allows us to construct metabolic pathways to synthesize value added products from surplus or waste carbon feedstocks. Using the bacterium Ralstonia eutropha (a.k.a Cupriavidus necator) and other industrially relevant species, we produce materials like bioplastics from plant oils and carbon-containing waste streams, and we can design metabolic pathways that allow the bacterium to produce compounds like biofuels and fine chemicals. We can then use bioengineering to scale up synthesis of these compounds and develop a production process and measure its productivity. Also, the understanding of the metabolism of organisms like R. eutropha in nature can help us rationally design a production strain with high productivity in mind.

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