FCRC’s home is at the Department of Microbiology and Cell Science, 1355 Museum Drive, Gainesville, FL 32611. This is also where most of the laboratories of the member faculties are located. The Center also has a research and development satellite facility, the Stan Mayfield Biorefinery Pilot Plant at Perry, Florida. All facilities have current resources are available to do research in metabolic engineering, enzyme development, biomass processing, and evaluation.
We currently have 28 participating faculty members, 2 of who come from industry and 1 from another university. The over $64M ongoing grants and contracts awarded to the faculty members support 52 part-time undergraduate assistants and research interns, 45 graduate students, and 45 post-docs, research faculty, and staff.
Research projects coordinated by the Center focus on these major areas:
1. Microbial Metabolic Engineering – development of biocatalysts for the production of fuel ethanol and other chemicals from renewable plant biomass
2. Depolymerization of Cellulose and Hemicellulose – development of microbial enzymes systems to solubilize the carbohydrate polymers (cellulose and hemicellulose) in the cell wall of plants into sugars that can serve as inexpensive renewable source for conversion into fuels and chemicals
3. Hydrogen Research – development of applications of physiology, biochemistry, genetics, and regulation of hydrogen metabolism in microbes
4. Environmental Microbiology – development of processes and organisms to remove biological and chemical hazards in contaminated soil and water.
5. Comparative Genomics and Experimental Evolution – efficient use of genomic information to find new enzymes and pathways for biocatalyst development