May 2017 Spotlighted Inventor – Mark Eiteman

Mark Eiteman, recipient of the UGA Inventor of the Year Award in 2014 and Professor of BioChemical Engineering and Microbiology in the College of Engineering, is the inventor of multiple metabolic engineering technologies directed toward industrial-scale production of commodity and specialty chemicals with the concomitant consumption of CO2. These patented technologies facilitate the large-scale production of amino acids used in animal feed and nutritional supplements, as well as the production of precursors to polymers, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals. These technologies are licensed to several multinational companies with global manufacturing and distribution capabilities and have been implemented on an industrial scale, returning nearly $3 million in licensing income to UGA. Several bacterial strains developed by his group, with different capacities to metabolize pentoses or hexoses, are now licensed as tangible materials for the development of novel industrial strains. More recently, Eiteman has engineered E. coli cells, enabling them to accumulate hexoses that they can then convert into products of industrial interest.