ChBE Seminar Series: Costas D. Maranas
Tuesday, September 30, 2008
11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
Room 2110, Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Bldg.
Professor Ganesh Sriram
Systems Engineering Challenges and Opportunities in Metabolic Networks
Presented by Costas D. Maranas
Professor, Department of Chemical Engineering
The Pennsylvania State University
In this talk we will discuss how systems engineering and in particular optimization concepts can be used to elucidate, analyze and redesign metabolic pathways leading to targeted overproductions of desired chemical products. Using as a starting point stoichiometric models of metabolism, we will first explore how optimization can be used to pinpoint which new functionalities to add into a microbial production host to endow it with new capabilities extracted from a curated database of thousands of reactions. Conversely, we will describe how to identify minimal reactions sets that can still support growth with implications to the design of organisms with minimal genomes. We will next briefly highlight a bilevel optimization based tool (i.e., OptKnock) for identifying gene knock-outs in a microbial production host leading to coupling of growth with the production of the desired chemical product. Finally we will explore how optimization can be used to analyze the topological properties of metabolic networks, elucidate internal fluxes, identify possible gaps and suggest ways of filling them. The developed computational tools will be highlighted using a number of case-studies and some of the predictions will be contrasted with experimental results.