Xueyang Feng has been appointed assistant professor of biological systems engineering in Virginia Tech's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

He is one of 19 faculty members who were recently hired. New positions were identified to bring new talent to its focus areas, including food and health, infectious disease, biodesign and processing, and agricultural profitability and environmental sustainability. The new faculty members are distributed across teaching, research, and Extension.  

Feng received his Ph.D. from Washington University in St. Louis in environmental and chemical engineering, and bachelor's of science degrees in environmental engineering from Hauzhong University of Science and Technology, and biology from Wuhan University.

His lab focuses on biomolecular engineering of eukaryotic — organisms whose cells contain a nucleus and other structures enclosed within membranes —  systems such as yeast, plants, and mammalian cells. He will develop and apply a series of systems biology tools, including 13C-metabolic flux analysis and RNA-Seq analysis, to achieve cell-wide understanding of the eukaryotic metabolism. 

Advanced techniques in synthetic biology, including genome editing and synthetic control of cell metabolism, will be developed in Feng's lab to achieve new functions in eukaryotic cells. Feng’s lab will also apply metabolic engineering approaches to rationally modify the eukaryotic metabolism in species of yeast, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae, in order to produce biofuels, drugs, and other value-added compounds to meet the demands of renewable energy and pharmaceutical productions.

During his graduate career, Feng was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and was also nominated for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research while at Washington University. 

While at Washington University he won a doctoral Student Research Award in the Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering.



Written by Amy Loeffler.

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