Arkady Khodursky

Arkady Khodursky


Associate Professor
Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics

PhD, Biophysics, University of California Berkeley, 1997

Research Interests

Functional genomics, analysis of gene expression patterns, microarray applications; signal processing in relation to gene position on the chromosome. Mechanisms of adaptation in antibiotic-resistant bacteria and genomic landscape of starvation-recovery transitions in bacterial populations.


In his research, Arkady Khodursky focuses on mechanisms of adaptation in antibiotic resistant bacteria and the genomic landscape of starvation-recovery transitions in bacterial populations. His lab recently began investigating metabolic consequences of the acquired antibiotic resistance using topologically constrained metabolic modelling with the goal of identifying key modulators of the phenotypic variation. The lab also develops and tests experimental designs and statistical approaches to the basic analysis of transcriptomics data.

Friedrich Srienc

Friedrich Srienc


Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

PhD, Biotechnology, Technical University Graz, 1980

Research Interests

Fundamental processes of gene expression, protein synthesis, and metabolic networks and how these relate to the growth physiology of cells. Flow cytometry to measure properties at the single cell level and to monitor and control cultures in bioreactors.


Friedrich Srienc’s research focuses on the physiology of cell growth and the formation of certain cell products of interest in microorganisms. His lab’s research extends into both experimental approaches and theoretical tools with the goal of obtaining experimental data on the composition of individual cells and how this composition is distributed within the population of cells.

BTI Faculty Members Dan Knights and Kechun Zhang Named 2015-2017 McKnight Land-Grant Professors

Please join us in congratulating Assistant Professors Dan Knights and Kechun Zhang, who were among the eight recipients of the 2015-2017 McKnight Land-Grant Professorship. The award is designed to advance the careers of promising junior faculty members who demonstrate the potential to make significant contributions to their departments and disciplines.

Dan Knights (BTI/Computer Science & Engineering)
Trillions of bacteria live in our guts, protecting us from infection and aiding our digestion. An imbalance of these bacteria, called dysbiosis, may contribute to obesity, diabetes, cancer, Crohn’s, and many other diseases, yet each person’s bacterial diversity is so distinct that we cannot easily identify when a microbiome is “unhealthy.” In his research, Dan combines expertise in data mining and biology to advance detection and treatment of dysbiosis in obesity and autoimmune diseases.

Kechun Zhang (BTI/Chemical Engineering & Materials Science)
Transforming traditional chemical production into a green and sustainable future is a great challenge facing human society. The current biorefinery process utilizes food resources and is limited by the metabolic capability of natural microorganisms. To enhance the viability of biomanufacturing, Kechun is engineering a new metabolic pathway in industrial yeast for more efficient fermentation of value-added chemicals from lignocellulosic feedstocks such as corn stover, sugar beet pulp, and citrus peel.

BTI’s Kechun Zhang recognized as an Early Innovator at the University of Minnesota’s Innovation awards.

Kechun Zhang (BTI, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science) was recognized on December 11th as an Early Innovator for his work developing a scalable, biodegradable, sugar-based rubber. A potential substitute for petroleum-based products, the biosynthetic rubber could appear in a variety of products, from grocery bags to bathtub toys. The Early Innovator award recognizes nontenured faculty or researchers who are actively engaged in developing new technologies and moving them to market.

Made in Minnesota: Celebrating University Innovators

The following BTI members were also recognized for patents and/or licenses awarded over the past three years: Alptekin Aksan, Wei-Shou Hu, Alexander Khoruts, Michael Sadowsky, Friedrich Srienc, Lawrence Wackett, Ping Wang and Kechun Zhang.

Mike Smanksi joins the BioTechnology Institute as assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, and Biophysics.

Mike Smanski joins the University of Minnesota from MIT, where he developed new strategies for engineering multi-gene systems as an HHMI Fellow of the Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation. Hired as part of the Synthetic Biology Cluster, Mike’s research focuses on natural product discovery and the precision engineering of bacterial species for biotechnological applications.  Read More