Lindsay Eltis

Canada Research Chair in Microbial Catabolism and Biocatalysis

Tier 1 - 2017-11-01
Renewed: 2021-07-01
The University of British Columbia
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council

Research involves

Using molecular genetic, functional genomic and enzymological approaches to understand how bacteria break down organic compounds in the biosphere.

Research relevance

This research will lead to the development of new biocatalysts, biomass-derived products, and therapeutics for tuberculosis.

Research summary

Bacteria’s ability to break down a multitude of diverse organic compounds in the biosphere is essential to maintaining the global carbon cycle and the health of ecosystems. Dr. Lindsay Eltis, Canada Research Chair in Microbial Catabolism and Biocatalysis, is working to better understand how harnessing the bacterial degradation of steroids and aromatic compounds, including lignin, could lead to more sustainable industrial processes as well as new drug targets.

Eltis has already helped identify cholesterol degradation as a drug target for treating Mycobacterium tuberculosis. Now, he and his research team are working to develop other novel tuberculosis treatments. They are also harnessing bacterial degradation activities to engineer biocatalysts and platforms to transform forest biomass into high-value products, such as resins, carbon fibres and commodity chemicals.