J. Donato García-García: Plant Physiology First Author

J. Donato García-García, first author of “Using Continuous Directed Evolution to Improve Enzymes for Plant Applications”

Current Position: Faculty at Bioengineering Department, Escuela de Ingenieria y Ciencias, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Campus Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico

Education: B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. from UNAM (Mexico)’

Non-scientific Interests: Basketball and enjoying the outdoors

Brief bio:

I am passionate about constructing microbial platforms by SynBio to answer scientific questions and propose new biotechnological solutions. During my PhD studies under the supervision of Professor Rafale Moreno-Sánchez, I was trained in kinetics and metabolism, studying accumulation mechanisms of toxic heavy metals in photosynthetic microorganisms. After this project, I realized the necessity to learn much more about how to modify bottlenecks in this metabolic network to improve the bioremediation performance of aquatic microorganisms. Dr. Andrew Hanson gave me the opportunity to improve my skills on molecular biology and protein engineering as a postdoctoral in the Department of Horticultural Sciences at the University of Florida. I was in charge of adapting the yeast OrthoRep continuous directed evolution system developed by Dr. Chang Liu (UC-Irvine) for plant metabolic enzymes. We optimized this continuous approach for our purposes and are now ready to evolve different genes of interest. I recently returned to my country (Mexico) to take up a faculty position at Tecnologico de Monterrey, and I am starting research projects where OrthoRep and other SynBio tools drive the construction of microbial cell factories.