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Xueyang Feng

Assistant Professor


Ph.D., Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis, 2012

B.S., Biology, Wuhan University, 2008

B.S., Environmental Engineering, Huazhong University of Science & Technology, 2008


August 2014 - present – Assistant Professor, Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Virginia Tech

March 2012 - May 2014 – Postdoctoral Fellow, Energy Biosciences Institute – Illinois, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Selected Major Awards

  • 2013 - Shen Postdoctoral Fellow, Dept. of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • 2011 - Nomination of Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellowships, Washington University in St. Louis
  • 2011 - Doctoral Student Research Award, Dept. of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis
  • 2010 - Student Travel Grant, the 110th General Meeting of  the American Society for Microbiology

I have accumulated teaching experience by teaching a number of courses in my doctoral degree program. At the Washington University in St. Louis, I was a lead teaching assistant for a variety of research and laboratory courses at both undergraduate and graduate levels, including Transport Phenomena (EECE 501); Kinetics and Reaction Engineering Principles (EECE 503); and Thermodynamics (ChE 320). I was responsible for leading class discussion, correcting students’ assignments, demonstrating (and developing some) experiments, and advising undergraduate students for post-graduate studies.

My research program focuses on developing and applying systems biotechnology tools to study eukaryotic systems, such as yeast, plants, and mammalian cells. Specifically, novel methods in systems biology, including 13C-Metabolic Flux Analysis (13C-MFA) and RNAseq analysis will be used and improved towards cell-wide understanding of the eukaryotic metabolism. Advanced techniques in synthetic biology, including high-throughput pathway assembly and design of control loops in cell metabolism, will be developed to achieve new cell functions in eukaryotic systems. We will also rationally modify the eukaryotic metabolism, such as Saccharomyces cerevisiae to produce biofuels, drugs, as well as other value-added compounds to meet the demands of renewable energy and pharmaceutical productions.   

Selected Recent Publications

(*undergraduate student, **graduate student, *** post-doc)

Feng X., H. Zhao. 2013. “Investigating xylose metabolism in recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae via 13C metabolic flux analysis.” Microb Cell Fact.  12: 114.
Feng X., H. Zhao. 2013. “Investigating host dependence of xylose utilization in recombinant Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains using RNA-seq analysis.” Biotechnol Biofuels.  6:95.
Feng X., Y. Xu, Y. Chen, Y.J. Tang. 2012. “MicrobesFlux: a web platform for drafting metabolic models from KEGG database.” BMC Syst Biol. 6:94 doi:10.1186/1752-0509-6-94.
Feng X., K.-H.Tang, Blankenship RE, Tang YJ. 2010. “Metabolic flux analysis of the mixotrophic metabolisms in the green sulfur bacterium Chlorobaculum tepidum.” J Biol Chem. 285(50):39544-50.
Feng X.,H. Mouttaki, L. Lin, R. Huang, B. Wu, C.L. Hemme, Z. He, Zhang B, Hicks LM, Xu J, Zhou J, Tang YJ. 2009. “Characterization of the central metabolic pathways in Thermoanaerobacter sp. strain X514 via isotopomer-assisted metabolite analysis.” Appl Environ Microbiol. 2009, 75(15):5001-8.