Faculty Profile

Wilfred Chen

Gore Professor of Chemical Engineering


  • Doctorate – 1993 California Institute of Technology
  • Bachelors – 1988 University of California, Los Angeles

About Wilfred Chen

The complex interactions between humans and the biosphere have created some of our most challenging global problems in human history such as energy sustainability, environmental pollutions, and emergence or re-emergence of old and new epidemics and diseases. Research in my laboratory is focused on development of the next generation biomolecular tools in addressing these key global problems in viral infection, disease pathogenesis, biofuel production, and separation of protein pharmaceutics.

Select Publications 

For a complete listing of publications, please view the Full CV.

  1. Rebecca P. Chen, Daniel Blackstock, Qing Sun, and Wilfred Chen, “Dynamic protein assembly by programmable DNA strand displacement”, Nature Chemistry 10, 474-481, (2018)
  2. Ka-Hei Siu and Wilfred Chen, “Control of the yeast mating pathway by reconstitution of functional ?-Factor using split intein-catalyzed reactions”, ACS Synthetic Biology 6, 1453-1460, (2017)
  3. J. Vincent Price, Long Chen, W. Brian Whitaker, E. Terry Papoutsakis, and Wilfred Chen, “Scaffoldless Engineered Enzyme Assembly for Enhanced Methanol Utilization”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 113, 12691-6, (2016)
  4. Qing Sun, Qi Chen, Daniel Blackstock, and Wilfred Chen, “Post-translational modification of bio-nanoparticles as a modular platform for biosensor assembly”, ACS Nano 9, 8554-8561, (2015)
  5. Fang Liu, Scott Banta, and Wilfred Chen, “Functional assembly of a multi-enzyme methanol oxidation cascade on a surface-displayed trifunctional scaffold for enhanced NADH production”, Chem. Comm.49, 3766-3768, (2013)
  6. Shen-Long Tsai, Jeongseok Oh, Shailendra Singh, Ruizhen Chen and Wilfred Chen, “Functional assembly of mini-cellulosomes on the yeast surface for cellulose hydrolysis and ethanol production”, Applied and Environmental Microbiology 75, 6087-6093, (2009)
  7. Hsiao-Yun Yeh, Marylynn V. Yates, Ashok Mulchandani, and Wilfred Chen, “Visualizing the dynamics of viral replication in living cells via TAT-peptide delivery of nuclease-resistant molecular beacons”, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 105, 17522-5, (2008)
  8. Seung Hyun Kang, Krassimir N. Bozhilov, Nosang V. Myung, Ashok Mulchandani and Wilfred Chen, “Microbial synthesis of CdS nanocrystals in genetically engineered E. coli”, Angewandte Chemie International Edition 47, 5186-5189, (2008)
  9. U Loi Lao, Ashok Mulchandani, and Wilfred Chen, “Simple Conjugation and Purification of Quantum Dot-Antibody Complexes Using A Thermally Responsive Elastin-Protein L Scaffold As Immunofluorescent Agents”, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 128, 14756-7, (2006)
  10. Richard Richins, Irina Kaneva, Ashok Mulchandani, and Wilfred Chen, “Biodegradation of Organophosphorus Pesticides by Surface-Expressed Organophosphorus Hydrolase”, Nature Biotechnology 15, 984-987, (1997)

Patents (h3)

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For a complete listing of awards, please view the Full CV.

  1. Gore Professor of Chemical Engineering: 2011
  2. Fellows, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE): 2011
  3. AIChE Food, Pharmaceutical, and Bioengineering Division Plenary Session, Biochemical Engineering (Area 15c) Award: 2008
  4. UC Presidential Chair: 2006 – 2010
  5. Fellows, American Association for the Advancement of Science: 2006
  6. Invited Participant of the Fifth Annual U.S./Japan Frontiers of Engineering Symposum: 2005
  7. Invited Participant of the National Academy of Engineering’s Fourth Annual Symposium on Frontiers of Engineering: 1998
  8. NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award: 1997

Research Areas 

Cellular and metabolic engineering, synthetic biology for biofuel production, protein therapeutics, viral detection, drug discovery, protein purification.

Office: 224 CLB
Phone: 302-831-6327

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