Faculty Directory
Keith E.J. Tyo

Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering


2233 Tech Dr.
Mudd Hall, Room 5106
Evanston, IL 60208-3109

847-467-2972Email Keith Tyo


Tyo Research Group


Center for Synthetic Biology


Chemical and Biological Engineering


PhD Program in Interdisciplinary Biological Sciences

Download CV


Ph.D., MIT, Cambridge, MA

M.S., MIT, Cambridge, MA

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


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

  • Martin, Jacob P.; Rasor, Blake J.; DeBonis, Jonathon; Karim, Ashty S.; Jewett, Michael C.; Tyo, Keith E.J.; Broadbelt, Linda J., A dynamic kinetic model captures cell-free metabolism for improved butanol production, Metabolic Engineering (2023).
  • Strutz, Jonathan; Shebek, Kevin M.; Broadbelt, Linda J.; Tyo, Keith E.J., MINE 2.0, Bioinformatics (2022).
  • Jeffryes, James G.; Lerma-Ortiz, Claudia; Liu, Filipe; Golubev, Alexey; Niehaus, Thomas D.; Elbadawi-Sidhu, Mona; Fiehn, Oliver; Hanson, Andrew D.; Tyo, Keith EJ; Henry, Christopher S., Chemical-damage MINE, Metabolic Engineering (2022).
  • Biggs, Bradley W.; Alper, Hal S.; Pfleger, Brian F.; Tyo, Keith E.J.; Santos, Christine N.S.; Ajikumar, Parayil Kumaran; Stephanopoulos, Gregory, Enabling commercial success of industrial biotechnology, Science (2021).
  • Arvay, Erika; Biggs, Bradley W.; Guerrero, Laura; Jiang, Virginia; Tyo, Keith, Engineering Acinetobacter baylyi ADP1 for mevalonate production from lignin-derived aromatic compounds, Metabolic Engineering Communications (2021).
  • Bhan, Namita; Callisto, Alec; Strutz, Jonathan; Glaser, Joshua; Kalhor, Reza; Boyden, Edward S.; Church, George; Kording, Konrad Paul; Tyo, Keith E.J., Recording Temporal Signals with Minutes Resolution Using Enzymatic DNA Synthesis, Journal of the American Chemical Society (2021).
  • Fackler, Nick; Heijstra, Bjodiern D.; Rasor, Blake J.; Brown, Hunter; Martin, Jacob; Ni, Zhuofu; Shebek, Kevin M.; Rosin, Rick R.; Simpson, Seacutean D.; Tyo, Keith E.; Giannone, Richard J.; Hettich, Robert L.; Tschaplinski, Timothy J.; Leang, Ching; Brown, Steven D.; Jewett, Michael C.; Kodiepke, Michael, Stepping on the Gas to a Circular Economy, Annual Review of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering 12:439-470 (2021).
  • Ni, Zhuofu; Stine, Andrew E.; Tyo, Keith E.J.; Broadbelt, Linda J., Curating a comprehensive set of enzymatic reaction rules for efficient novel biosynthetic pathway design, Metabolic Engineering 65:79-87 (2021).