Metabolic Engineering

University of Queensland

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Metabolic Engineering

  • Host University

    University of Queensland

  • Location

    Brisbane, Australia

  • Area of Study

    Chemical Engineering

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites


  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Host University Units

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Course Description
    Rational engineering, i.e. system based analysis and design, of living systems. Assumed background: (i) understanding of biochemistry & microbiology equivalent to CHEE1001, (ii) understanding of calculus & algebra equivalent to MATH2000, (iii) understanding of bioprocesses equivalent to CHEE4020, (iv) basic computer skills, preferably with Matlab.


    Course Introduction
    Living organisms are increasingly used in the production of bulk and fine chemicals. The advantages are obvious:
    Living organisms can carry out highly specific and complex chemical reactions schemes in water at low temperature and pressure.
    Living organisms are self-replicating “catalytic pellets” that can be designed at microscale and scaled to very large volumes using relative standard process technology.

    However, living organisms were not designed specifically for producing the desired products and – in most cases – substantial reengineering is required to produce products at competitive costs.

    Previously improvements were achieved through random mutagenesis and selection of better strains. Using this approach, improvements were restricted to what was achievable within the confinement of a single organism and with a relatively limited number of modifications. Advances in molecular biology and genomics, however, have greatly extended the improvements possible via combination of desirable traits from several organisms. With a practically unlimited number of ways to modify an organism, the main challenge is to decide were to invest the effort. Metabolic engineering introduces a range of tools aimed at addressing this problem.
    Though the aim might be very applied, the problem is very fundamental in nature. In order to predict, how a given genetic modification might improve an organism, we need to know how the organism functions, i.e., we need understand the translation between genome and phenotype, which is one of the hotly pursued areas in biology. This course will take us to the boundary of current understanding and provide some pointers to what is being done, in terms of understanding the genome-phenome link.


    Learning Objectives
    After successfully completing this course you should be able to:

    1  appreciate the increasing role of bio-based processes in the production of organochemicals
    2  better understand cellular metabolism and its regulation
    3  apply standard metabolic engineering tools to analyse metabolic networks.
    4  better understand characterisation of microbes within a metabolic engineering program


    Class Contact
    2 Lecture hours, 2 Tutorial hours

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.