Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology


Sang Yup Lee (이상엽)

Distinguished Professor

Tel : +82-42-350-3930
Fax : +82-42-350-3910
E-mail :
Homepage :
- 1991 : Northwestern Univ. (Ph.D., in Chem. Eng.)
- 1987 : Northwestern Univ. (M.S. in Chem. Eng.)
- 1986 : Seoul National Univ. (B.S. in Chem. Eng.)

Employment and Professional Experience
- 1994 ~ Present : Professor, KAIST
- 2007 ~ Present : KAIST Distinguished Professor
- 2008 ~ Present : Dean, College of Life Science and Bioengineering
- 2004 ~ 2010 : LG Chem Chair Professor, KAIST
- 2003 ~ Present : Director, Bioinformatics Research Center
- 2000 ~ Present : Director, BioProcess Engineering Research Center
- 2007 ~ Present, Director, Center for Systems and Synthetic Biotechnology
- 2006 ~ Present : Co-director, KI for the BioCentury, KAIST

Awards and Honors
- 2010 Fellow Award, Society for Industrial Microbiology, San Francisco, USA (2010)
- Selected as "100 people who will lead Korea in 10 years", DongA Ilbo (2010)
- Foreign Associate Member, National Academy Of Engineering, USA (2010)
- The Top 10 Registered Patents Award, Korean Intellectual Property office, Korea (2009)
- Global Agenda Council Member, World Economic Forum, Geneva, Switzerland (2008- present)
- Merck Award for Metabolic Engineering, Metabolic Engineering VII, Puerto Vallata, Mexico, by Merck, USA (2008)
- Fellow, Korean Academy of Science and Technology (2007)
- Distinguished Professor, Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (2007)
- 33 Leaders who will lead the Korea, Munhwa Daily Newspaper (2007)
- Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science (2007)
- Scientist Prize of This Year, Korean Science Reporters Association (KOSRA) (2006)
- Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology, USA (2005-present)
- The 9th Young Engineer Award, National Academy of Engineering Korea (2005)
- The Best Research Award, KAIST (2004)
- "Scientist-to-Become" Award, Ministry of Sci & Tech (2003)
- Professor of the Year Award, KAIST (2003)
- IBM SUR Award, IBM (2002)
- Asian Young Leader, World Economic Forum, Geneva (2002)
- The Best Patent Award, KIPO (2001)
- Editor-in-Chief, Editor, Associate Editor, Editorial Board Member of 18 journals, including Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Biotechnology Journal, and mBio.

Research interests
Metabolic engineering, Systems biotechnology, Synthetic biology, Biobased chemicals production, Bioinformatics, Genomics, Metabolic network analysis, In silico biology and biotechnology, Drug targeting/discovery, DNA chip, Protein chip, Cell chip, Biochemical engineering, Biopolymers, Primary metabolites, Secondary metabolites, Fine chemicals, Recombinant proteins, Cell surface display, NanoBiotechnology, Biomolecular interactions

Selected Publications
1. In vivo synthesis of diverse metal nanoparticles by recombinant Escherichia coli, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed., 49(39): 7019-7024 (2010)
2. Native-sized recombinant spider silk protein produced in metabolically engineered Escherichia coli results in a strong fiber, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (PNAS) 107(32): 14059-14063 (2010)
3. Prediction of metabolic fluxes by incorporating genomic context and flux-converging pattern analyses, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (PNAS), 107(33): 14931-14936 (2010)
4. In silico identification of gene amplification targets for improving lycopene production, Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 76(10): 3097-3105 (2010)
5. Patterned multiplex pathogen DNA detection by Au particle-on-wire SERS sensor, Nano Lett. 10(4): 1189-1193 (2010)
6. Data integration and analysis of biological networks, Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 21: 78-84 (2010)
7. Genome-scale metabolic network analysis and drug targeting of multi-drug resistant pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii AYE, Mol. Biosyst., 6: 339–348 (2010)
8. Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for the production of polylactic acid and its copolymers, Biotechnol. Bioeng., 105(1): 161- 171 (2010)
9. Constraints-based genome-scale metabolic simulation for systems metabolic engineering, Biotechnol. Adv. 27(6): 978-988 (2009)
10. Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for the production of putrescine, a four carbon diamine, Biotechnol. Bioeng. 104(4): 651-662 (2009)
11. Towards systems metabolic engineering of microorganisms for amino acid production, Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 19(5): 454-460 (2008)
12. Application of systems biology for bioprocess development, Trends Biotechnol., 26(8), 404-412 (2008)
13. Systems metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for L-threonine production, Mol. Syst. Biol., 3(149): 1-8 (2007)
14. Metabolite essentiality elucidates robustness of Escherichia coli metabolism, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (PNAS), 104 (34): 13638-13642 (2007)
15. EcoProDB: the Escherichia coli protein database, Bioinformatics, 23(18): 2501-2503 (2007)
16. Metabolic engineering of Escherichia coli for the production of L-valine based on transcriptome analysis and in silico gene knockout simulation, Proc. Nat. Acad. Sci. (PNAS), 104 (19): 7797-7802 (2007)
17. Genome-scale analysis of Mannheimia succiniciproducens metabolism, Biotechnol. Bioeng., 97(4): 657-671 (2007)
18. Deciphering bioplastic production, Nature Biotechnol. 24(10): 1227-1229 (2006)
19. The Escherichia coli Proteome: Past, Present, and Future Prospects, Microbiol. Mol. Biol. Reviews, 70(2): 362-439 (2006)
20. The proteome of Mannheimia succiniciproducens, a capnophilic rumen bacterium, Proteomics, 6: 3550-3566 (2006)
21. Systems biology as a foundation for genome-scale synthetic biology, Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 17: 488-492 (2006).
22. Protein nanopatterns and biosensors using gold binding polypeptide as a fusion partner, Anal. Chem. 78: 7197-7205.
23. Systems biotechnology for strain improvement, Trends Biotechnol., 23(7): 349-358 (2005)
24. The genome sequence of the capnophilic rumen bacterium Mannheimia succiniciproducens, Nature Biotechnology 22(10): 1275-1281 (2004).

Metabolic & Biomolecular Engineering Laboratory
Metabolic engineering, Systems and synthetic biotechnology, Industrial biotechnology, Biorefinery, Systems biology, Synthetic biology, Bioinformatics, Nanobiotechnology, Systems medicine

■ Systems Biotechnology

We have established a new terminology "Systems Biotechnology "as coined by systems biology. We are integrating genomics, transcriptomics proteomics, metabolomics, fluxomics and physiomics through bioinformatics in order to achieve systems level understanding of biological systems. This strategy is being successfully employed for the development of several bioprocesses.


■ Metabolic Engineering/Synthetic Biology/ Systems Metabolic Engineering

Metabolic engineering is an important paradigm in bioprocess development by rational and systemic optimization of the cellular metabolism though the analysis of metabolic pathways and the use of molecular biological tools. We also work on synthetic biology area for designing novel biosystems by rewiring cellular circuits and components. Based on these two fundamental areas, we took one step further, pioneering the field so called “Systems Metabolic Engineering”, in which engineering targets are determined by considering the entire metabolic and regulatory networks together with midstream (fermentation) and downstream (recovery and purification) processes. Processes for the production of various biochemicals have been successfully developed using this strategy, including L-valine and L-threonine.


■ Cellular & Process Engineering for the Production of Recombinant Proteins,
    Biopolymers and Fine Chemicals

We have successfully developed several systems for the high level production of various pharmaceutically and industrially important proteins, such as recombinant spider silk protein. We also developed metabolically engineered microorganisms for high level production of polyhydroxyalkanoates, polylactic acid, putrescine and cadaverine. We are also developing a wide range of ceIl based biocatalyst systems for the production of various fine chemicals, such as succinic acid, and biofuels.


■ NanoBiotechnology, DNA Chip and Protein Chip

We are developing novel protein motifs for the development of nanomaterials and biosensors. Using the DNA microarray system, we have developed DNA chips for the diagnosis and prognosis of genetic and infectious diseases, as well as DNA chips for transcriptome profiling. We are currently working with companies for the commercial development of these DNA chip system. We have also developed several platform technologies for the development of protein chips and microbeads.