User:Kate Thodey

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==Research interests==
==Research interests==
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In the Smolke laboratory we are working to take a drug biosynthetic pathway from a medicinal crop – namely the opium poppy – and engineer the production of the same therapeutic molecules in an industrial microbe; yeast.<br>
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Many drugs are still produced the traditional way; by extraction from medicinal plants. In the Smolke laboratory we are working to take a drug biosynthetic pathway from a medicinal crop – the opium poppy – and engineer the production of the same therapeutic molecules in an industrial microbe; yeast.<br>
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As a Postdoc working together with members of the Metabolic Engineering team, my research focuses broadly on metabolically-engineering yeast to produce opiate alkaloids such as morphine and codeine, and specifically on the spatial engineering of this pathway in the host yeast cell.  The spatial engineering approach is particularly useful because the biosynthesis of opiates takes place across several cell types and subcellular structures in the opium poppy. To successfully engineer this pathway within single-celled yeast we need to make use of the available cellular compartments. Yeast organelles could provide microenvironments that are conducive to opiate alkaloid biosynthesis due to optimal pH or the availability of cofactors; they could compartmentalize toxic metabolites or ensure a local concentration of intermediates; and they may be used to support the reconstitution of enzyme complexes which form in the opium poppy. In the future, we envisage that the development of yeast synthetic organelles could support further spatial engineering efforts without taxing the functioning of native organelles.
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As a Postdoc working together with members of the Metabolic Engineering team, my research focuses broadly on metabolically-engineering yeast to produce opiate alkaloids such as morphine and codeine.  The approach I am taking to maximize the number and quantity of morphinan alkaloids we can produce by microbial fermentation is to focus on the spatial engineering of this pathway in the host yeast cell.  The spatial engineering approach is particularly useful in this instance because the biosynthesis of opiates takes place across several cell types and subcellular structures in the opium poppy. To successfully engineer this pathway within single-celled yeast we need to make use of the available cellular compartments. Yeast organelles could provide microenvironments that are conducive to opiate alkaloid biosynthesis due to optimal pH or the availability of cofactors; they could compartmentalize toxic metabolites or ensure a local concentration of reactive intermediates; and they may be used to support the reconstitution of enzyme complexes which form naturally in the opium poppy. In the future, we envisage that the development of yeast synthetic organelles could support further spatial engineering efforts without taxing the functioning of native organelles.
==Publications==
==Publications==

Revision as of 17:02, 2 March 2011


Contents

Contact Info

Kate Thodey (an artistic interpretation)
Kate Thodey (an artistic interpretation)

Kate Thodey
Smolke Laboratory
Stanford University
CA 94305

Education

  • 2005-2009, PhD, John Innes Centre, Norwich, United Kingdom
  • 2000-2003, BSc(Hons), University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Research interests

Many drugs are still produced the traditional way; by extraction from medicinal plants. In the Smolke laboratory we are working to take a drug biosynthetic pathway from a medicinal crop – the opium poppy – and engineer the production of the same therapeutic molecules in an industrial microbe; yeast.

As a Postdoc working together with members of the Metabolic Engineering team, my research focuses broadly on metabolically-engineering yeast to produce opiate alkaloids such as morphine and codeine. The approach I am taking to maximize the number and quantity of morphinan alkaloids we can produce by microbial fermentation is to focus on the spatial engineering of this pathway in the host yeast cell. The spatial engineering approach is particularly useful in this instance because the biosynthesis of opiates takes place across several cell types and subcellular structures in the opium poppy. To successfully engineer this pathway within single-celled yeast we need to make use of the available cellular compartments. Yeast organelles could provide microenvironments that are conducive to opiate alkaloid biosynthesis due to optimal pH or the availability of cofactors; they could compartmentalize toxic metabolites or ensure a local concentration of reactive intermediates; and they may be used to support the reconstitution of enzyme complexes which form naturally in the opium poppy. In the future, we envisage that the development of yeast synthetic organelles could support further spatial engineering efforts without taxing the functioning of native organelles.

Publications

  1. a comment about a paper here [leave]

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