I am an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical & Biological Engineering and the School of Biomedical Engineering and Director of the Master of Engineering Leadership in Sustainable Process Engineering at the University of British Columbia (UBC).
I lead one of Canada’s foremost research groups on synthetic biology and industrial biotechnology. The principal theme of my research is the utilization of metabolic & enzyme engineering to investigate and customize novel biosynthetic enzymes that can convert biomass-derived feedstocks into value-added chemicals. My group also extends the principles of metabolic engineering to the design and development of unique bioremediation strategies to rehabilitate the water quality in and around industrial zones and develop new mining biotechnologies. In addition to green engineering, my research group also pursues medical biotechnology research, wherein we primarily focus on assay development, biosynthetic engineering, and pharmaceutical product development. My research program is distinguished by its impact and strong emphasis on technology translation, and we collaborate with numerous industry partners from a range of sectors.
I am also the Chair of the Biotechnology Division of the Chemical Institute of Canada and an Associate Editor of the Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering. I was previously an Associate Scientific Advisor for Science Translational Medicine. I founded Metabolik Technologies Inc. and was its Chief Technology Officer until it was recently acquired by Allonnia, a Bill Gates-backed environmental biotechnology company. Metabolik is widely regarded as a Canadian success story and was developing a first-of-its-kind bioremediation platform for decontaminating oil sands process-affected water. I am now the Chief Technology Officer and Chairman of ArqMetal Inc., which is developing biotechnological solutions for the mining industry. I also serve on the boards of InMed Pharmaceuticals and Reazent.