Photo of Eugene Fletcher

Eugene Fletcher

Assistant Professor

Degrees:B.Sc. (KNUST, Ghana), Ph.D. (Edinburgh)
Phone:613-520-2600 x 7519
Office:Office: 245 Nesbitt Building
Lab: 215 Nesbitt Building

Current Research

For centuries, yeasts have transformed our food and beverages. That is because they have evolved metabolic pathways to convert sugars into alcohol for beer and wine, as well as carbon dioxide which causes bread to rise. My research focuses on redirecting this metabolic prowess of yeast towards a different purpose: consumption of plastic and agroforestry wastes as a carbon source.

To achieve this, we are combining synthetic biology, microbial physiology, evolutionary engineering and transcriptomic approaches. By rewiring yeast metabolism with artificial pathways, we aim to convert waste materials into valuable bioproducts like biofuels, food and pharmaceuticals. However, inserting these unfamiliar artificial metabolic pathways in yeast will inevitably result in cell stress, impacting their growth and fermentation. Therefore, our research further explores how yeasts overcome stresses associated with rewiring metabolic pathways. These studies will be conducted using the well characterized brewer’s yeast, Saccharomyces cerevisiae and a less studied non-conventional yeast known as Torulaspora delbrueckii.

We are actively seeking collaborations with industry and groups that share our interests. Also, we will be recruiting students to join the lab soon. Together, we will unlock the untapped potential of yeasts and pave the way for a sustainable future where waste becomes a valuable resource.

Selected Publications

Baetz, K. and Fletcher, E. (2023). Microbe having increased tolerance to phenolic fermentation inhibitors. US Patent 11,555,210

Krogerus, K., Fletcher, E., Rettberg, N., Gibson, B. and Preiss, R. (2021). Efficient breeding of industrial brewing yeast strains using CRISPR/Cas9-aided mating-type switching. Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology 105, 8359-8376

Fletcher, E., Mercurio, K., Walden, E.A. and Baetz, K. (2021). A yeast chemogenomic screen identifies pathways that modulate adipic acid toxicity. Iscience (Cell Press) 24 (4):102327

Fletcher, E. and Baetz, K. (2020). Multi-Faceted Systems Biology Approaches Present a Cellular Landscape of Phenolic Compound Inhibition in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 8, 539902

Fletcher, E., Feizi, A., Bisschops, M.M.M., Hallström, B.M., Khoomrung, S., Siewers, V. and Nielsen, J. (2017). Evolutionary engineering reveals divergent paths when yeast is adapted to different acidic environments. Metabolic engineering 39, 19-28