Personal Profile

Matt Wecker is developing a method for rerouting carbon and nitrogen from wet waste streams into an easily purified polyarginine peptide for feedstock use in farming and fermentation. As a fertilizer, polyarginine is strongly positively charged and is designed to bind to soil, enabling nitrogen retention and slow-release to plants, thereby lowering the current 50% loss of applied nitrogen loss to air and water pollution.

Matt is also involved in developing autotrophic, methanotrophic, and heterotrophic bacteria for fuel and coproduct development. He recently developed a high-throughput system for measuring and screening for hydrogen production by microbes and applied this to optimization of hydrogenases and production of hydrogen using the photosynthetic bacterium Rhodobacter capsulatus.

He is the founder of GeneBiologics, a company dedicated to the optimization of organisms and enzymes involved in green energy production, where in addition to the polyarginine effort, he is developing a method for massively parallel enzyme structure/function analysis. Previous to this, he worked on the in vitro evolution of RNA for the selection of catalytic RNAs capable of creating drug leads; this work was carried out at two Denver-area companies: Invenux, Inc., and NeXstar Pharmaceuticals.

He holds a Ph.D. in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he also worked on the in vitro RNA evolution of aptamers. He holds an M.S. from Cornell University, where he researched the production of acetaldehyde from Zymomonas mobilis.

Education/Academic Qualification

Master, Cornell University

PhD, Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology, University of Colorado Boulder


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