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Erliang Zeng, Ph.D.



  • Assistant Professor, Biology/Computer Science
  • University of South Dakota


  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Bioinformatics and Data Mining, University of Miami, Florida
  • Ph.D., Computer Science, Florida International University, Florida
  • M.S., Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
  • B.S., Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China
  • B.S., Biotechnology, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, China

Current Research: Cyanobacteria, through billions of years of evolution, have become well-tuned biological devices that can efficiently harvest solar energy, the one limitless source of energy on Earth, and convert that energy into a variety of reduced carbon compounds. Because of their simple requirements for rapid growth and ease of genetic manipulation as well as industrialized production, cyanobacteria are particularly attractive organisms for bioenergy production. One topic of research in my laboratory is focused on developing a suite of engineered Anabaena strains that are separately capable of directly converting CO2 and H2O into fuel ethanol, long-chain alcohols and other commodity chemicals using free solar energy. Through purposefully genetic alteration of targeted metabolic pathways, we will redirect Anabaena's carbon flow from producing stored bioenergy precursors (i.e., lipids and polysaccharides) to direct production of excreted products. This will enable continuous product recovery from culture fluid, while maintaining a viable cell "factory" in a recirculating photobioreactor system. The other research in my laboratory is focused on genome-wide study of regulated intramembrane proteolytic activation of membrane-anchored transcription factors in Anabaena variabilis.

To visit Erliang Zeng's website, click here.