Dr. Wei Wang joined NREL in 2009 as a Research Scientist. Her main research interests are conversion of biomass to value-added products. Dr. Wang is also interested in fundamental studies of biomass degradation including biochemical mechanisms of key enzyme systems for biomass conversion. Her current work at NREL focuses on understanding the chemical and physical factors governing biomass recalcitrance to enzymatic hydrolysis.
Dr. Wang received a Ph.D. in Microbiology from Shandong University in China in 2002. During her Ph.D. studies, she worked on the metabolism of degradation of lignocellulose by brown-rot fungi and proposed that a hydroxyl radical-mediated, oxidative mechanism is involved in the degradation of lignocellulose.
After graduation, she worked as a research scientist at Tohoku University in Japan, where she identified transcriptional factors of enzymes related to osmotic stress and investigated molecular mechanism of osmo-signaling transduction.
Dr. Wang's research on biomass conversion spans the biological and chemical engineering fields. Prior to joining NREL, she worked as a postdoctoral research fellow at Dr. Y.Y. Lee's group (2007–2009) in the Chemical Engineering Department of Auburn University, focusing on the conversion of biomass, including chemical pretreatment and cellulase and bioethanol production from lignocellulosic wastes.