Natalia Miller ’21

Major

Chemical and Biological Engineering

Project Title

Biotechnology for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Manufacturing

Presentation Link

View Natalia's Presentation

Certificate(s): Sustainable Energy

My internship focused on engineering the metabolism of yeast cells to produce plant-derived chemicals necessary for pharmaceuticals. The manufacturing of plant-derived natural products is essential for a wide class of medicinal drugs, but current methods are not environmentally sustainable. Manufacturing these plant-derived natural products in yeast cells is a sustainable way to create drugs. The goal of my project was to transform yeast cells that produce 8-hydroxygeraniol, a chemical precursor to many plant-derived pharmaceuticals. I designed genes that would allow for the production of the P450 enzyme 8-hydroxylase and its reaction partners in yeast cells. Then I transformed these genes into yeast containing metabolic clustering systems that would allow the P450 enzymes to complete the oxidation reaction necessary to produce 8-hydroxygeraniol. Through this internship, I gained valuable lab experience that led me to decide that I want to pursue a graduate degree in chemical and biological engineering.



Internship Year

2019

Project Category

New Energy Future

Organization(s)

Avalos Group, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, Princeton University - Princeton, New Jersey

Mentor(s)

José Avalos, Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment