Tom Bobik

Dept: Biochemistry/Biophysics & Molc Biol-AGLS
Office:2152 Molecular Bio

Our specific areas of research are bacterial microcompartments, vitamin B12 metabolism and the genetic engineering of E. coli for the production of renewable chemicals and biofuels. Our general area of expertise is bacterial metabolism which has broad application to the production of chemicals and pharmaceuticals, the prevention and treatment of human disease, and the cycling of matter that is essential to a healthy environment. Our investigative approach is highly interdisciplinary involving genetics, biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology.

-Bacterial microcompartments. A major focus of the lab is bacterial microcompartments (MCPs). MCPs are sophisticated subcellular organelles used to optimize metabolic processes that have toxic or volatile chemical intermediates.
-Engineering E. coli to produce renewable chemicals. A second major goal of the lab is to use synthetic biology approaches to engineer E. coli for the production of a variety of renewable chemicals that are currently derived from petroleum.
-Metabolism of vitamin B12. Our lab is also interested the enzymatic systems needed to support vitamin B12-dependent chemistry. Currently work focuses on how Salmonella bacteria supply vitamin B12 to the diol dehydratase enzyme that is encapsulated within a bacterial MCP.

B.S., Microbiology, Indiana Univ. Bloomington, IN, 1979
M.S., Microbiology, Univ. of IL, Urbana, 1986
Ph.D., Microbiology, Univ. of IL, Urbana, 1990
Post Doctoral Fellow, Univ. of Utah, Salt Lake City, 1990-95