- Production in microbial expression systems
- Bioproduction and bioconversion
- Control of metabolism through processing strategies
- Self-cycling fermentation
- Genetic engineering and synthetic biology
Examples of projects currently in progress include:
- smart packaging materials for the detection of pathogenic bacteria in food products;
- conversion of methane/methanol to valuable bio-molecules using methylotrophic bacteria;
- production of shikimic acid in synchronized populations of engineered yeast;
- understanding the impact of cell synchronization on the metabolic activity of bacterial cells;
- host-bacteriophage interactions: dynamics of populations, adsorption and virulence;
- genetic modifications of bacteriophages;
- bacteriophages as antimicrobial agents in yeast fermentations;
- protein engineering for the improvement of biopolymer biodegradation
Prof. Sauvageau's research efforts focus on two main themes within the field of Bioengineering: 1) developing bioprocessing strategies for improved production and conversion in microbial systems, and 2) understanding and modifying host-bacteriophage infection mechanisms.
In the first theme, he combines tools from Metabolic Engineering and Synthetic Biology with Chemical Engineering and Processing principles to optimize the production of valuable bio-molecules. The aim is to develop engineered strains designed specifically for novel processing strategies. For example, he investigates the use of large-scale synchronization of engineered microbial populations to control metabolic activity. This mode of operation has led to significant increases in specific productivity in various microbial expression systems. Such approaches can be used in the production of biopharmaceuticals or the conversion of waste streams to platform chemicals.
In the second theme, his team looks at the interactions between bacteriophages and their host bacteria from an Engineering perspective (kinetics and mechanism of phage adsoprtion, virulence, population dynamics). The aim of the research is to control and modify these parameters for the development of novel applications and technologies.
His work is at the intersection of Chemical Engineering, Bioprocessing, Molecular Biology, Genetics and Microbiology.