On Dec 11th, MSc student Ojas Tulsyan successfully defended his MSc thesis in Biology-Biotechnology on zoom.
The title of his project is ‘Engineering synthetic recursive amino acid chain elongation’.
Zoom examination with Ojas and his supervisors Barbara Ann Halkier and Michal Poborsky as well as some of the participants.
In his project within synthetic biology, Ojas Tulsyan screened natural biodiversity to optimize the recursive amino acid elongation pathway in glucosinolate biosynthesis in E. coli. Ojas designed and engineered superior strains capable of producing non-canonical chain elongated amino acids. The Met-derived and Phe-derived chain elongated amino acids serve as an important intermediate for the synthesis of glucosinolates, angiotensin-converting enzyme inhibitors and other natural products. Ojas built a platform to set-up a modular combinatorial system to characterize and screen diverse candidate biosynthetic genes from nature in an iterative design-build-test stepwise manner and identified an optimal combination that ensured high level of the right product and minimal by-products. This is an important step towards engineering complex glucosinolates in microorganisms.