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Cong Trinh

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, UTK


Dr. Trinh is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Tennessee Knoxville. He earned his B.S in Chemical Engineering (summa cum laude, honors thesis) from The University of Houston and PhD in chemical engineering from The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities under guidance of Prof. Friedrich Srienc. He then worked as a post-doctoral scholar with Profs. Douglas Clark and Harvey Blanch at the University of California, Berkeley.

Dr. Trinh has co-authored > 40 peer-reviewed papers, 1 patent and several pending patents, and 1 book. Dr. Trinh’s research are in the areas of systems and synthetic biology, metabolic and biochemical engineering, computational biology, cell physiology, CRISPR-based genome engineering, CRISPR-based antimicrobials, and bioenergy and biofuels.

His research aims to fundamentally understand complex cellular systems and to develop novel experimental and computational tools to control these systems for biotechnological applications with 3 research thrusts. Research thrust 1 is to develop the transformative technology, MODCELL (Modular Cell), to engineer modular (chassis) cells for rapid development of novel microbial biocatalysts for industrial biocatalysis. Research thrust 2 is to develop the transformative technology, ViPaRe (Virulent Pathogen Resistance), to effectively combat rapidly evolving and resistant pathogens. Research thrust 3 is to understand the mechanisms of cellular robustness against environmental perturbation and develop effective defensive tools to boost cellular robustness for applications from disease prevention to novel biocatalysis.

Dr. Trinh serves as the PI of several single and collaborative funded projects including the prestigious NSF CAREER award (2016) for development of the MODCELL technology and the DARPA FYA (2017) for development of the ViPaRe technology. He has recently been awarded the DARPA’s Director Fellowship. Dr. Trinh is also a recipient of multiple awards from the Department of Chemical Engineering, Tickle College of Engineering, and Chancellor office for his teaching and creative research activities.


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