Chris Calvey

Research Activity per Year


Personal Profile

Chris Calvey is a postdoctoral researcher at the Renewable Resources and Enabling Sciences Center at NREL. His research focuses on metabolic engineering of bacteria for upgrading of formate (derived from carbon dioxide) toward higher value products. Prior to joining NREL, his thesis work involved developing genetic tools to improve the oleaginous yeast Lipomyces starekyi, which he helped to commercialize at a biotech startup. He was also a member of the J. Craig Venter Institute team which constructed the world’s first “synthetic” bacterial cell. 

Research Interests

Converting renewable electrons to molecules via biological upgrading, such as in the emerging formate bioeconomy

Metabolic engineering of non-conventional microbes, including oleaginous yeasts and autotrophic bacteria

Synthetic biology, DNA assembly techniques, and the quest for optimized minimal genomes

Industrial microbiology, scaling up of fermentations towards commercial processes

Professional Experience

Postdoctoral Researcher – Bioengineering, NREL (2018–present)

Senior Scientist, Xylome Corporation (2015–2018)

Education/Academic Qualification

Bachelor, Molecular and Cellular Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Bachelor, Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

PhD, Cellular and Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin-Madison


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Collaborations and Top Research Areas From the Past 5 Years

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