Alexander Yakunin

Contact via University of Toronto

Key Research Areas
Associated Researchers
Associated Organizations

Recent Research Projects

Engineering the RNA-guided Cascade complex for genome editing

2015/16-2019/20 • $170,000 • PI
For humans, it took thousands of generations to develop modern domesticated plants and animals. Since the time of Thomas Morgan, scientists have been seeking methods to directly manipulate genomes of different organisms and fix faulty human genes. Precise modifications of complex genomes have...

Engineering a novel biocatalyst for the production of bio-diluents

2018/19-2019/20 • $157,786 • PI,CO
In 2015, GHG emissions totaled 20.5 million tonnes across all their facilities. More broadly, CO2 emissions from Canadian oil and sands account for 9.3 per cent of Canada's GHG emissions. Suncor is motivated to reduce the GHG footprint of their oil sands products in order to achieve their...

BioZone: An Open Bioscience and Bioengineering Research and Training Environment

2019/20 • $150,000 • PI,CO
biomanufacturing,bioproducts,computational biology,intellectual property,machine learning,microbial biochemistry,open science,public policy,synthetic biology,technoeconnomics assessment

NSERC Industrial Biocatalysis Network

2014/15-2018/19 • $5,150,000 • PI,CO
Oil and gas are converted to plastics, chemicals, and other industrial and consumer products through energy-intensive manufacturing processes. These products would be more environmentally sustainable if they were made from renewable resources, such as agricultural and forestry waste, and if they...

Identification of the Microorganisms Enhancing Cyanide Degradation during Gold Recovery from a Heap Leach Operation

2017/18 • $25,000 • PI
New Golds Mesquite gold mine is experiencing significant cyanide consumption at its heap leach operation. As a result, the process cannot rely on a steady stream of unutilized cyanide that can be recycled to the heap for further gold recovery. Consequently, nearly all of the free cyanide...

Operations and Maintenance Support for the BioZone MS Facility

2016/17 • $150,000 • PI,CO
The BioZone mass spectrometry facility (BMSF) is associated with the Department of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry at the University of Toronto and is part of the BioZone Centre for Bioengineering. The BMSF provides services and training to internal and external researchers and...

Expanding the ability to anaerobically digest pulp and paper mill waste

2012/13-2014/15 • $489,400 • PI,CO
In order for the Canadian pulp and paper industry to stay globally competitive and leave a smaller environmental footprint, its extensive water usage requires optimization. Anaerobic digestion is a cost-effective wastewater treatment option, decreasing the amount of residual sludge while...

Molecular mechanisms of the CRISPR-based microbial defense system

2010/11-2014/15 • $165,000 • PI,CO
Lay Title: A novel mechanism of genome protection in microbesLay AbstractMicrobial cells have developed and are continuously developing numerous defence mechanisms to protect themselves from various antimicrobial factors. Bioinformatic analyses of sequenced microbial genomes have identified a...

Rational design of microbial strains for novel biochemical products

2010/11-2012/13 • $438,000 • PI,CO
Increased volatility in the petrochemical feedstocks has necessitated a paradigm shift towards the use of biomass based feedstocks for the synthesis of transportation fuels. In contrast, there have been very few instances of microbial strain engineering for large-scale commodity chemicals with...

High throughput culturing system for evolutionary engineering

2010/11 • $126,760 • PI,CO
The genomics revolution has provided an unprecedented opportunity to apply biotechnology for the solution of a range of practical problems including 1) efficient extraction of metals from sulfide minerals with minimal environmental impact, 2) identification and characterization of novel enzymes...



A method for biosynthesis of adipic acid from six-carbon dicarboxylic acids having .alpha., .beta.-enoate reductase activity by treatment with an enzyme is provided. Also provided are genetically engineered microorganisms for use in the biosynthetic processes.
Related applications: EP20160820600, WO2016CA50781, CA20152897454, CA20162991074


A non-naturally occurring microorganism having a 1,3-BDO pathway is provided. The microorganism expresses at least one of the following 1,3-BDO pathway enzymes: an aldolase that catalyzes condensation of two acetaldehydes to produce 3-hydroxybutanal; and an aldo- ketoreductase, oxidoreductase, aldehyde reductase or alcohol dehydrogenase that reduces 3- hydroxybutanal to 1,3-BDO. The organism may further express one or more enzymes for producing acetaldehyde. A biosynthetic process involves...
Related applications: EP20160826969, WO2016CA50858, CA20162992794