Systems and Synthetic Biology

Our research group utilizes computational modeling and genetic engineering methods to study a variety of problems. Current focal areas include metabolic engineering of microorganisms to convert renewable raw materials to value-added chemical products and metagenomics analyses (e.g. human microbiome). We also work on projects to leverage unique enzymatic activities as biotechnology solutions.


We have been fortunate to partner with local breweries to support microbiology and analytical chemistry activities. We have been working on various facets such as bioprospecting for novel yeast, high-end analytical chemistry, and education through development of a brewing certificate program.


Urban settings pose specific challenges to quality-of- life. The SustainLab is a part of the School of Engineering’s Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) program focused on developing solutions that affect quality of life both locally and beyond. Initial projects include prototyping green walls and an urban heat island study.


Dr. Fong giving a talk at the inaugural TEDxRVA