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Michael Guarnieri

Researcher V-Molecular Biology

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Research Interests

Dr. Michael Guarnieri is a research scientist in the National Bioenergy Center's Applied Biology group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. He earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular genetics, with a joint degree in biophysics and structural biology, at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in 2009, where his research focused on structural and biophysical characterization of bacterial two-component signaling proteins. Prior to his graduate studies, Mike did undergraduate research at Brown University, examining viral secretion and virus-host interactions.

Mike uses a systems biology approach—utilizing functional genomic, molecular, and biophysical techniquesto identify, analyze, and engineer pathways involved in algal, bacterial, and fungal hydrocarbon and biochemical production. His current research interests include:

  • Biocatalysis of methane to liquid fuels and chemicals

  • Biological upgrading of sugars to value-added chemicals in yeast and bacterial systems

  • Algal omics, protein engineering, and signal transduction

  • Biological deconstruction and upgrading of lignin

  • Metabolic and protein engineering for enhanced hydrocarbon production


  • Ph.D, Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 2009

  • B.A., Honors Chemistry, Rhode Island College, 2003

Featured Publications

  1. "Adipic acid production from lignin," Energy & Environ. Sci. (2014)

  2. "Lignin valorization through integrated biological funneling and chemical catalysis," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2014)

  3. "Bioconversion of natural gas to liquid fuel: opportunities and challenges," Biotechnol. Adv. (2014)

  4. "Algal omics: unlocking bioproduct diversity in algae cell factories," Photosynth. Res. (2014)

  5. "Proteomic analysis of Chlorella vulgaris: potential targets for enhanced lipid accumulation," J. Proteomics (2013)

  6. "Comparative Proteomics Lends Insight into Genotype-Specific Pathogenicity," J. Proteomics (2013)

  7. "De Novo Transcriptomic Analysis of Hydrogen Production in the Green Alga Chlamydomonas moewusii through RNA-Seq," Biotechnology for Biofuels (2013)

  8. "Chapter 8: Complex Systems Engineering: A Case Study for an Unsequenced Microalga," in Engineering Complex Phenotypes in Industrial Strains (2012)

  9. "Examination of Triacylglycerol Biosynthetic Pathways via De Novo Transcriptomic and Proteomic Analyses in an Unsequenced Microalga," PLoS ONE (2011)

  10. "A high-throughput TNP-ATP displacement assay for screening inhibitors of ATP-binding in bacterial histidine kinases, Assay Drug Dev. Technol. (2010)

  11. "Hepatitis B Virus secretion is impaired by single amino acid changes in the small envelope protein and rescued by a novel glycosolation site," J. Virol. (2010)

  12. "Identical phosphatase mechanisms achieved through distinct modes of binding phosphoprotein substrate," Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA (2010).

  13. "The Hsp90 Inhibitor radicicol interacts with the ATP-binding pocket of bacterial sensor kinase PhoQ," J. Mol. Biol. (2008)

  14. "Crystal Structure of the C-terminal domain of splicing factor Prp8 carrying retinitis pigmentosa mutants," Protein Science (2007)

  15. "Role of peptide hydrophobicity in the mechanism of action of alpha-helical antimicrobial peptides," Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. (2007)

  16. "Point Mutations Upstream of Hepatitis B Virus Core Gene Affect DNA Replication at the Step of Core Protein Expression," J. Virol. (2006)

  17. "Effect of mutating the two cysteines required for HBe antigenicity on hepatitis B virus DNA replication and virion secretion," J. Virol. (2005)

  18. "Modulation of hepatitis B virus secretion by naturally occurring mutations in the S gene," J. Virol. (2004)

View all NREL Publications for Michael T. Guarnieri.