Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Nielsen, Jens
Location BioInnovation Institute
Primary Field Engineering Sciences
Secondary Field Biophysics and Computational Biology
 Election Citation
Nielsen created the concept of "cell factories" by conducting metabolic engineering of cells to produce fuels, chemicals, or other natural products. ~
 Research Interests
Jens Nielsen is studying and engineering metabolism and its regulations using a combination of mathematical models and advanced experimental methods. By using yeast as the main model system, his laboratory has discovered fundamental principles how metabolism is regulated in response to environmental or genetic perturbations and how metabolism is able to support different cellular functions. This has enabled metabolic engineering of cells to produce various fuels, chemicals or natural products, creating the concept of cell factories. By studying bacterial metabolism, the Nielsen lab provided insight into how different bacteria in communities interact and form stable ecosystems. This is important for the production of fermented foods as well as for gaining insight into how microbial ecosystems interacts with hosts (e.g. gut bacterial ecosystems and human disease development). The Nielsen lab also developed similar tools to study metabolism in many different human cells which led to several discoveries on disease development, e.g. in the transformation from a normal cell to a neoplastic cell.

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