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Mitchell Tai

Metabolic Engineering for the Production of Biofuels

Biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel represent sustainable alternatives to petroleum for our transportation fuel needs. Currently, production of these fuels from energy crops presents a land usage problem and limitations in area yield. Using microorganisms to produce the metabolic byproducts as energy crops thus is a solution to this problem. Metabolic engineering is required to introduce, optimize, and understand the process by which biofuels can be sustainably produced. My work is on engineering microorganisms to increase the yields and industrial applicability of microbes for biofuels production.


  • Ph.D. (current) Chemical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • M.S. (2009) Chemical Engineering Practice,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • B.S. (2006) Chemical Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University


  • Fischer C, Tseng H-C, Tai M, Prather K, Stephanopoulos G. Assessment of heterologous butyrate and butanol pathway activity by measurement of intracellular pathway intermediates in recombinant Escherichia coli. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology. (2010) 88(1):265-275.