Protein engineering and directed evolution
Natural selection is a powerful mechanism that drives evolution and diversification, allowing species to adapt to new and different environments. Our lab develops tools to mimic natural selection in the laboratory, applying the principles of mutagenesis and selection at the molecular level to create novel and adapted enzymes. Towards these goals, we have developed a multidisciplinary toolbox for protein engineering, including computational methods to analyze the sequence diversity and structural properties of enzymes, high-throughput methods for generating mutants, and both in vivo and in vitro selection methods. Our goal is to enable new technologies in nucleic acid diagnostics, next-generation sequencing, RNA therapeutics and vaccines. Some of the enzymes we have engineered include DNA polymerases, RNA polymerases, Reverse Transcriptases, DNA ligases and nucleases. Keep an eye out for new engineered enzymes from NEB!