Kevin Solomon, PhD
Agricultural & Biological Engineering
and Affiliate, Purdue Interdisciplinary Life Sciences (PULSe)
and, Laboratory of Renewable Resources Engineering
Dr. Kevin Solomon is an Assistant Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering and an affiliate of the Purdue Interdisciplinary Life Sciences (PULSe) training groups in biotechnology and microbiology. His work focuses on the development of sustainable microbial platforms to supply the energy, materials, and medicines of tomorrow. Dr. Solomon earned his Ph.D. at MIT in Chemical Engineering where he developed new tools to reprogram microbial metabolism for biochemical production, and examined how cells respond to that intervention. His research and mentorship, at the intersection of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology, were recognized with multiple awards including a Lemelson Presidential Fellowship, a NSERC Julie Payette Award, and a Science Education Leadership Award from SynBERC. As a postdoctoral fellow at UC Santa Barbara, he applied the latest advances in sequencing technologies to interrogate how microbes interact with their environment and identify new tools for synthetic biology. Using these techniques, he spearheaded efforts to molecularly characterize in depth a class of elusive microbes that offer powerful new cellulases for biofuel production. Dr. Solomon has authored or coauthored more than a dozen articles on synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, and systems biology, and is a coinventor on 1 patent, with 3 more pending. Professor Solomon's research program combines both applied and fundamental approaches to better understand the design principles of metabolic flux and gene regulation in microbes, and expand the toolbox for synthetic biology. His research aims to harness these tools and principles to engineer microbes that can robustly adapt to its environment while performing new tasks as chemical factories. Current projects include new enzyme discovery, development of genome engineering tools, microbiome engineering, and metabolic engineering of E. coli for biofuel production. Dr. Solomon teaches a course on microbial design (ABE 591 Principles of Systems/Synthetic Biology) and a systems biology course (ABE 440 Cellular & Biomolecular Design Principles).
KV Solomon, CH Haitjema, JK Henske, SP Gilmore, D Borges-Rivera, A Lipzen, HM Brewer, SO Purvine, AT Wright, MK Theodorou, IV Grigoriev, A Regev, DA Thompson, MA O’Malley*. Early-branching gut fungi possess a large, comprehensive array of biomass degrading enzymes. Science, 351 (6278): 1192 - 1195, (2016).
KV Solomon, E Ovadia, F Yu, W Mizunashi, MA O’Malley*. Mitochondrial targeting increases specific activity of a heterologous valine assimilation pathway in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Metabolic Engineering Communications, 3:68-75, (2016).
CH Haitjema, KV Solomon, JK Henske, MK Theodorou, MA O’Malley*. Anaerobic Gut Fungi: Advances in Isolation, Culture, and Cellulolytic Enzyme Discovery for Biofuel Production. Biotechnology and Bioengineering, 8(111): 1471-1482, (2014).
Kevin Solomon, Tae Seok Moon, Kristala L Prather. Glucose Valves and other Metabolite Valves, US Patent 8,835,138, issued 16 Sep 2014.
KV Solomon, TM Sanders, KLJ Prather*. A dynamic metabolite valve for the control of central carbon metabolism. Metabolic Engineering, 14(6): 661-671, (2012).