Faculty Directory
Keith E.J. Tyo

Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering


2145 Sheridan Road
Tech E156
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-2972Email Keith Tyo


Tyo Research Group


Center for Synthetic Biology


Chemical and Biological Engineering

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Ph.D., M.S., MIT, Cambridge, MA

B.S., West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

Haslam Presidential Fellow, MIT

NIH Kirschstein NRSA Fellow, Chalmers University of Technology

Searle Leadership Award

Research Interests

Synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, global health

What we do
Microbes must cope with harsh, rapidly changing environments to survive. To do this, microbes have developed sophisticated mechanisms to (a) sense the changes in the environment, and (b) respond quickly to these changes to protect itself from harm or capitalize on an opportunity. Our lab seeks to rewire these fundamental input/output relationships to program cells to do useful things for mankind in a paradigm called synthetic biology. Inputs: We study methods to modify existing environmental detection sensors in yeast and modify them to detect new analytes. Outputs: We investigate ways microbes modify their metabolic networks and use these modifications to increase production of a given metabolite.

Why we do it
Synthetic biology offers a disruptive technology that has vast potential to impact the most important facets of our lives. The way we diagnose diseases, the drugs we use, the fuels we put in our cars, the plastic that is used in our potato chip bag - we have the opportunity to improve the sustainability of our lifestyle. And by reducing costs, we can make aspects of our lifestyle available to those who could not otherwise afford it. We hope to offer technical contributions that, simply put, make the world a better place.

Selected Publications

  • Andrew Stine, Miaomin Zhang, Soo Ro, Stephanie Clendennen, Michael C. Shelton, Keith E J Tyo, Linda J. Broadbelt, “Exploring De Novo metabolic pathways from pyruvate to propionic acid”, Biotechnology Progress, (2016)
  • Matthew Moura, Justin Finkle, Sarah Stainbrook, Jennifer Greene, Linda J. Broadbelt, Keith E J Tyo, “Evaluating enzymatic synthesis of small molecule drugs”, Metabolic Engineering, (2016)
  • Karthik Sekar, Andrew M. Gentile, John W. Bostick, Keith E J Tyo, “N-terminal-based targeted, inducible protein degradation in Escherichia coli”, PLoS One, (2016)
  • Matthew Moura, Dante Pertusi, Stephen Lenzini, Namita Bhan, Linda J. Broadbelt, Keith E J Tyo, “Characterizing and predicting carboxylic acid reductase activity for diversifying bioaldehyde production”, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, (2015)
  • Adebola Adeniran, Michael Sherer, Keith E J Tyo, “Yeast-based biosensors”, FEMS Yeast Research, (2015)
  • James G. Jeffryes, Ricardo L. Colastani, Mona Elbadawi-Sidhu, Tobias Kind, Thomas D. Niehaus, Linda J. Broadbelt, Andrew D. Hanson, Oliver Fiehn, Keith E J Tyo, Christopher S. Henry, “MINEs”, Journal of Cheminformatics, (2015)
  • Broadbelt, Linda J.; Pertusi, Dante A.; Stine, Andrew E.; Tyo, Keith E.J., “Efficient searching and annotation of metabolic networks using chemical similarity”, Bioinformatics, (2015)
  • Rodr_guez-Limas, William A.; Tannenbaum, Victoria; Tyo, Keith E. J., “Blocking endocytotic mechanisms to improve heterologous protein titers in Saccharomyces cerevisiae”, Biotechnology and Bioengineering, (2015)