Penn State

Patrick C. Cirino - associate professor of chemical engineering, Penn State University Park

Book Title: Molecular Genetics of Bacteria

Author: Snyder and Champness

Book Description:

Although my education is in chemical engineering, my research interests have always focused on biocatalysis and other biotechnological applications of molecular biology. In graduate school I learned how to engineer proteins and direct the evolution of enzyme functions through mutagenesis and high-throughput screening. Bacteria played a crucial role in my research, but my understanding of the inner workings of microorganisms was primitive and naive. They were simply a "black box" that made enzymes for me when I stuck DNA inside them. However near the end of my graduate training I became increasingly aware of the importance of microorganisms as chemical factories with unlimited potential for "real world" application. I was interested in transitioning from studying/engineering individual enzymes to studying/engineering microbial metabolism, but I had no formal training in microbiology, microbial physiology, or genetics. Molecular Genetics of Bacteria came highly recommended as a crash course in the fundamentals essential to metabolic engineering. Snyder and Champness have written this book for people who want to "do" as well as understand molecular genetics. Significantly more molecular detail is provided compared to what is found in typical laboratory manuals and other documented methods and protocols. At the same time, the text explains in good detail how discovery and understanding of mechanisms in molecular biology were then developed as tools for genetic engineering and advancing discovery. This book reinforced my scientific interests in microbial genetics, advanced my lab's talents and successes in metabolic engineering research, and most importantly helped to build my confidence as an independent researcher. In my opinion, understanding molecular biology is essential to understanding the living world. In that regard, this text is enlightening.


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