Jin-Byung Park Bio and Abstract

EBI Seminar Series 2013

Jin-Byung Park, Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea

Feb. 12, 2013, 4 p.m.


Multistep Enzymatic Synthesis of Long-Chain α,ω-dicarboxylic and ω-hydroxycarboxylic Acids from Renewable Fatty Acids and Plant Oils




Jin-Byung Park is an associate professor in the Department of Food Science and Engineering at the Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea, where he has worked since 2006. He investigates whole-cell biotransformation of organic compounds, regio-selective oxygenation of fatty acids and phenolic compounds, and asymmetric oxidation of petrochemicals and hydrocarbons.


In addition, his research interests include metabolic engineering of microbial cells, solvent tolerance mechanisms of microorganisms, and responses of microbial cells to organic chemicals and stressful conditions.


From 1994-99, he was a research scientist at the R&D Center of Doosan Group, Korea, where he developed a bioconversion process of glucose to erythritiol by the yeast Trichosporon sp., and a biosynthetic process of a polysaccharide pullulan from glucose by Aureobasidium pullulans.


Educated to bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the Seoul National University, Park earned his Ph.D at the Institute of Biotechnology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland, and he worked as a postdoc in the chemical engineering department at UC Berkeley in 2004-05.




Azelaic acid (1,9-nonanedioic acid), sebacic acid (1,10-decanedioic acid), and brassylic acid (1,13-tridecanedioic acid) are commercially produced by chemical synthesis from oleic acid, ricinoleic acid, and erucic acid, respectively, under rather harsh reaction conditions. Here, we report a recombinant Escherichia coli-based process to provide sebacic acid as well as ω-hydroxynonanoic acid and ω-hydroxytridec-11-enoic acid, which are precursors for the synthesis of azelaic acid and brassylic acid, respectively using plant oils and fatty acids from renewable resources as starting materials. This multi-step bioconversion was achieved by a cascade reaction using a lipase, a fatty acid hydratase, an alcohol dehydrogenase, a Baeyer-Villiger monooxygenase, and an esterase. For instance, ω-hydroxynonanoic acid was produced to a final concentration of 6.7 mM directly from olive oil at ca. 60% conversion using the enzyme cascade established as a one-pot process.