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Dr. Joshua Yuan

Yuan, Dr. Joshua
Dr. Joshua Yuan
Professor, Chair for Synthetic Biology and Renewable Products Director, Synthetic and Systems Biology Innovation Hub


Dr. Joshua Yuan joined the Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology at Texas A&M University since July 2008. Dr Yuan reveived his Ph.D. in Plants, Insects, and Soils with Focus on Functional Genomics (Major) and Statistics (Minor) from the University of Tennessee (2007). He also holds an M.S. in Plant Sciences from the University of Arizona (2001) and a B.S. in Biology (Major) and International Economics (Minor) from Fudan University (1997). Most recently, Dr. Yuan was a Genomics Scientist in the Department of Plant Sciences, and Director of UTIA Genomics Hub, University of Tennessee, Knoxville (2004-2008). Dr. Yuan was also a Sungrant Fellow with training experience at National Renewable Energy Lab.

Research Emphasis and Service:

Dr. Yuan has dedicated his career to develop, disseminate, and commercialize the sustainable solutions for the future generations. He has developed a multidisciplinary research program centralized around renewable energy and materials. In particular, he has addressed fundamental scientific questions and developed innovative technologies for energy and environmental sustainability. The current research initiatives focused on several major directions. First, he has integrated the cutting-edge advances in synthetic biology, microbiology, chemical and material engineering to develop innovative processes for converting lignin into fungible products. Lignin is a major industrial waste for biofuel, paper and pulping industry. His team have pioneered in new chemical fractionation and manufacturing technologies along with feedstock selection to process lignin into quality carbon fibers, bioplastics, recyclable polymer and biodegradable plastics composites, biodiesel, nanoparticle, asphalt binder modifier, and other products. The technology breakthroughs are based on fundamental understanding of structure-function relationship between lignin chemistry and renewable material performance. The basic scientific advances thus enabled advanced manufacturing platforms for high-performance carbon materials, asphalt binder modifiers, nanomedicine, recyclable and biodegradable plastics with unique features. Second, he has led a multidisciplinary team of chemists, biologists, engineers, and bioinformaticians to advance the fundamental understanding of photosynthetic carbon repartition from sugar metabolism to terpene biosynthesis. The research has led to the sustainable manufacturing platform for squalene, an essential vaccine adjuvant, cosmetic and nutraceutical product. The research also empowered highly productive carbon capture and utilization as well as algal biofuel and bioproduct manufacturing. For more information, please visit his lab at http://people.tamu.edu/~syuan

Besides his own research, Dr. Yuan committed to build strong interdisciplinary synergy and enhance research excellence, which led to the formation of Synthetic and Systems Biology Innovation Hub, an ‘intellectual core’ and driving force for innovation, interdisciplinary research, and major grant applications. For more information, please visit the Hub at http://synbio.tamu.edu . For service and instrument usage, please access the iLab website of the Hub at https://tamu.corefacilities.org/service_center/show_external/4632?name=systems-and-synthetic-biology-core .

Recent Publications


To see Dr. Yuan’s publications please click here.