Christy Roche.

Graduate Student
University of California, Berkeley

Biochemical Engineer, 2007-2009
National Renewable Energy LaboratoryB.S. Bioengineering, 2007
University of Toledo

Office Location: 242 Energy Biosciences Building
Office Telephone: 510-666-2558

Expression and Engineering of Cellulase Enzymes in Fungal Systems

Biofuels derived from lignocellulosic feedstocks offer a promising intermediate-term solution to the transportation fuel problem as they are clean, renewable domestic sources of energy that will benefit our society environmentally, economically, and provide energy security. Currently the enzyme cost contribution to bioethanol production from cellulosic biomass is a significant limiting factor to producing a cost-competitive fuel. Reductions in this cost can be accomplished by developing a more efficient enzyme system or enzyme production system. Filamentous fungi have a great capacity to produce large amounts of proteins and this quality has been exploited by industry to produce specific proteins in quantities exceeding 30 g/L. However, these high yields are seen with homologous protein production. My research is initially focused on improving recombinant and heterologous cellulase production in the filamentous fungus, Neurospora crassa. With an improved N. crassa cellulase expression system, I would like to engineer a system of cellulases in parallel and evaluate synergies among those enzymes.