Photo of Wei Xiong

Wei Xiong

Researcher V-Molecular Biology

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Research Interests and Expertise

Synthetic biology and metabolic engineering

Microbial biotechnology

One-carbon metabolism, including gas fermentation and photosynthesis

Pathway design and 13C-fluxomics


Ph.D. in Biology, Tsinghua University, Beijing, China

M.S. in Microbiology, Central China Agricultural University, Wuhan, China

B.S. in Microbiology, Central China Agricultural University, Wuhan, China (Summa Cum Laude)

Professional Experience

Researcher V, NREL, 2023–present

Researcher IV, NREL, 2018–2023

Researcher III, NREL, 2016–2018

Director’s Postdoctoral Fellow, NREL, 2013–2016

Postdoctoral Researcher, Arizona State University, 2010–2013

Featured Publications

"Acetyl-CoA Synthesis Through a Bicyclic Carbon Fixing Pathway in Gas-Fermenting Bacteria," Nature Synthesis (2022)

"Exogenous Electricity Flowing Through Cyanobacterial Photosystem I Drives CO2 Valorization with High Energy Efficiency,Energy and Environmental Science (2021)

"A Computational Framework for Machine Learning-Enabled 13C-Fluxomics," ACS Synthetic Biology (2021)

"Intracellular Pathways for Lignin Catabolism in White-Rot Fungi," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2021)

"CO2-Fixing One-Carbon Metabolism in a Cellulose-Degrading Bacterium Clostridium thermocellum," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (2016)

"The Plasticity of Cyanobacterial Metabolism Supports Direct CO2 Conversion to Ethylene," Nature Plants (2015)

Side-by-side illustrations of two Calvin cycles (labeled "bifurcated TCA under physiological conditions" on the right, and representing a "broken" TCA wheel, and "closed TCA cycle via ethylene production" on the left, representing the wheel turning again by ethylene production). Both start with an image of the sun that leads to the Calvin cycle which in turn leads to wheel-shaped structures partially submerged in a light blue bar.

Highlighted by Ducat, Nature Plants, 2015.

"Phosphoketolase Pathway Contributes to the Carbon Metabolism in Cyanobacteria," Nature Plants (2015)

Additional Publications

"FreeFlux: a Python Package for Time-Efficient Isotopically Nonstationary Metabolic Flux Analysis," ACS Synthetic Biology (2023)

"Thermodynamic and Kinetic Modeling Directs Pathway Optimization for Isopropanol Production in a Gas-Fermenting Bacterium," mSystems (2023)

"Ultrafast Electron Transfer in Au–Cyanobacteria Hybrid for Solar to Chemical Production," ACS Energy Letters (2023)

"Acetogenic Production of 3-Hydroxybutyrate Using a Native 3-Hydroxybutyrate-CoA Dehydrogenase," Frontiers in Microbiology (2022)

"Syngas Mediated Microbial Electrosynthesis for CO2 to Acetate Conversion Using Clostridium ljungdahlii," Resources, Conservation and Recycling (2022)

"Biocontainment of Genetically Engineered Algae,Frontiers in Plant Science (2022)

"Ribulose-1,5-Bisphosphate Carboxylase/Oxygenase (RubisCO) Is Essential for Growth of the Methanotroph Methylococcus capsulatus,Applied and Environmental Microbiology (2021)

"Biotechnology for Secure Biocontainment Designs in an Emerging Bioeconomy,Current Opinion in Biotechnology (2021)

"The Metabolism of Clostridium ljungdahlii in Phosphotransacetylase Negative Strains and Development of an Ethanologenic Strain,Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology (2020)

"System-Level Optimization to Improve Biofuel Potential via Genetic Engineering and Hydrothermal Liquefaction,ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2020)

"A Quantitative Lens on Anaerobic Life: Leveraging the State-of-the-Art Fluxomics Approach to Explore Clostridial Metabolism,Current Opinion in Biotechnology (2019)

"Fluxomic Analysis Reveals Central Carbon Metabolism Adaptation for Diazotroph Azotobacter vinelandii Ammonium Excretion,Scientific Reports (2019)

"A Generalized Computational Framework to Streamline Thermodynamics and Kinetics Analysis of Metabolic Pathways,Metabolic Engineering (2019)

"Membrane-Inlet Mass Spectrometry Enables a Quantitative Understanding of Inorganic Carbon Uptake Flux and Carbon Concentrating Mechanisms in Metabolically Engineered Cyanobacteria,Frontiers in Microbiology (2019)

"EMUlator: An Elementary Metabolite Unit (EMU) Based Isotope Simulator Enabled by Adjacency Matrix,Frontiers in Microbiology (2019)

"Photosynthetic Production of Nitrogen-Rich Compound Guanidine,Green Chemistry (2019)

"Engineering Cellulolytic Bacterium Clostridium thermocellum to Co‐Ferment Cellulose‐ and Hemicellulose‐Derived Sugars Simultaneously,Biotechnology and Bioengineering (2018)

"Isotope-Assisted Metabolite Analysis Sheds Light on Central Carbon Metabolism of a Model Cellulolytic Bacterium Clostridium thermocellum,Frontiers in Microbiology (2018)

"Unlocking the Photobiological Conversion of CO2 to (R)-3-Hydroxybutyrate in Cyanobacteria," Green Chemistry (2018)

"The Plasticity of Cyanobacterial Carbon Metabolism,Current Opinion in Chemical Biology (2017)

"Engineered Xylose Utilization Enhances Bio-Products Productivity in the Cyanobacterium Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803,Metabolic Engineering (2015)

"Ethylene Forming Enzyme and Bio-Ethylene Production," Biotechnology for Biofuels (2014)

"13C-Tracer and Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry Analyses Reveal Metabolic Flux Distribution in Oleaginous Microalga Chlorella protothecoides," Plant Physiology (2010)

"Double CO2 Fixation in Photosynthesis–Fermentation Model Enhances Algal Lipid Synthesis for Biodiesel Production," Bioresource Technology (2010)

"Effect of UV-C on Algal Evolution and Difference of Growth Rate, Pigments and Photosynthesis Between Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Algae," Photochemistry and Photobiology (2009)

"Identification of the Proteomic Changes in Synechocystis sp. PCC 6803 Following Prolonged UV-B Irradiation," Journal of Experimental Botany (2009)

"Action Spectra of Chlorophyll a Biosynthesis in Cyanobacteria: Dark-Operative Protochlorophyllide Oxidoreductase-Deficient Mutants," Zeitschrift für Naturforschung (2009)

"Rapid Quantitation of Lipid in Microalgae by Time-Domain Nuclear Magnetic Resonance," Journal of Microbiological Methods (2008)

"High-Density Fermentation of Microalga Chlorella protothecoides in Bioreactor for Microbio-Diesel Production," Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology (2008)

"Application of Integrative Expression of orfX Gene in the Industrial Breeding of Streptomyces avermitilis," Chinese Journal of Agricultural Biotechnology (2007)

"Identification and Biochemical Properties of Dps (Starvation-Induced DNA Binding Protein) From Cyanobacterium Anabaena sp. PCC 7120," IUBMB Life (2007)

"Enhancement and Selective Production of Oligomycin Through Inactivation of Avermectin's Starter Unit in Streptomyces avermitilis," Biotechnology Letters (2006)

View all NREL Publications for Wei Xiong.