Kevin Solomon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana, USA. At Purdue, the Solomon lab develops tools to genetically manipulate anaerobic fungi and other non-model microbes for biomanufacturing and bioenergy. An overview of Kevin’s research programme is given in this short film:
Prior to setting up his own lab, Kevin trained under Michelle O’Malley (UCSB) and Mike Theodorou (Harper Adams University) to isolate, sequence, and analyze the genomes and transcriptomes of several anaerobic fungi, which have been published in Science and Nature Microbiology as well as other journals.
Currently, Kevin’s lab is prototyping a growing toolbox of reporter proteins, cellular localization tags, and gene regulatory elements to target protein expression to specific compartments within anaerobic fungi. This work is partially powered by the first chromosomally resolved anaerobic fungal genome, which was developed in his lab in collaboration with the Joint Genome Institute and Phase Genomics (to be released Aug 2020 – future updates on this can be found here). Kevin’s lab also studies how anaerobic fungi detect and adapt to the lignin composition of diverse feedstocks in order to inform future engineering strategies.
Image credit: Sally Ryan
Kevin was awarded a US Department of Energy (DOE) Early Career Award in 2019 and has provided congressional testimony to the US House of Representatives about the development of the bioeconomy. His research program is supported by federal funding from the DOE, National Science Foundation, private foundations, and industry.
In January 2021, his lab moves to the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Delaware. The associated press release can be found here.