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 techniques—to identify, analyze, and engineer pathways involved in algal, bacterial, and fungal hydrocarbon and biochemical production.

Research Interests

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

B.A., Honors Chemistry, Rhode Island College

Featured Work

Adipic Acid Production from Lignin, Energy & Environmental Science (2014)

Lignin Valorization through Integrated Biological Funneling and Chemical CatalysisProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2014)

Bioconversion of Natural Gas to Liquid Fuel: Opportunities and Challenges, Biotechnology Advances (2014)

Algal Omics: Unlocking Bioproduct Diversity in Algae Cell Factories, Photosynthesis Research (2014)

Proteomic Analysis of Chlorella vulgaris: Potential Targets for Enhanced Lipid Accumulation, Journal of Proteomics (2013)

Comparative Proteomics Lends Insight into Genotype-Specific Pathogenicity, Journal of Proteomics (2013)

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

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

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

A High-Throughput TNP-ATP Displacement Assay for Screening Inhibitors of ATP-Binding in Bacterial Histidine Kinases, Assay and Drug Development Technologies (2010)

Hepatitis B Virus Secretion is Impaired by Single Amino Acid Changes in the Small Envelope Protein and Rescued by a Novel Glycosolation Site, Journal of Virology (2010)

Identical Phosphatase Mechanisms Achieved through Distinct Modes of Binding Phosphoprotein Substrate, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2010)

The Hsp90 Inhibitor Radicicol Interacts with the ATP-Binding Pocket of Bacterial Sensor Kinase PhoQ, Journal of Molecular Biology (2008)

Crystal Structure of the C-Terminal Domain of Splicing Factor Prp8 Carrying Retinitis Pigmentosa Mutants, Protein Science (2007)

Role of Peptide Hydrophobicity in the Mechanism of Action of Alpha-Helical Antimicrobial Peptides, Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (2007)

Point Mutations Upstream of Hepatitis B Virus Core Gene Affect DNA Replication at the Step of Core Protein Expression, Journal of Virology (2006)

Effect of Mutating the Two Cysteines Required for HBe Antigenicity on Hepatitis B Virus DNA Replication and Virion Secretion, Journal of Virology (2005)

Modulation of Hepatitis B Virus Secretion by Naturally Occurring Mutations in the S GeneJournal of Virology (2004)

View all NREL Publications for Michael T. Guarnieri.