GP 4003, Life Sciences & Bioengineering Center, Gateway Park
+1 (508) 8316398
Affiliated Department or Office
Bioinformatics and Computational Biology
Postdoc, Biological Engineering, MIT 2013-2016
Ph.D. Chemical Engineering University of Texas, Austin 2013
B.S. Chemical Engineering University of Maine with Honors 2008
B.S. Biological Engineering University of Maine summa cum laude 2008

My research is in the broad, interdisciplinary field of synthetic biology, which applies engineering principles to biology. Within this field, we apply chemical engineering tenets to reprogram the DNA of yeasts, bacteria, and fungi so their metabolism produces interesting molecules. By treating these cells as "chemical factories," we can approach and solve problems in biofuels, biomaterials, and biosensors from a chemical engineer's point of view. Our strengths are in the disciplines of metabolic engineering, protein engineering, and systems biology, which we use to construct novel synthetic microbes. We collaborate with researchers across WPI, other institutions, and biotechnology companies to solve problems by engineering biology.

In the classroom, I train students within the unique project-based learning approach at WPI. To me, there is no greater reward than teaching a new generation of problem solvers that will make meaningful contributions to all areas of chemical engineering, and beyond. This is enabled by WPI’s emphasis on technology & society, which creates an environment where students can attain technical proficiency, study social impacts, and develop an entrepreneurial mindset. Therefore, I integrate value creation and social consciousness into my biochemical engineering courses.

Visit Digital WPI to view student projects advised by Professor Young.

Scholarly Work

Professor Young's research focuses on non-model microbial hosts, bio-security, and genomics. Full list of publications in [SITE NAME]

  • Full list of publications in Google Scholar
  • Full list of publications in Scopus
  • Featured works:


    OR conference paper/presentation: AUTHORS. (YEAR, DATES). TITLE AS LINK. [Conference paper]. In EVENT TITLE. (PP). LOCATION.


    Collins, J. H., Keating, K. W., Jones, T. R., Balaji, S., Marsan, C. B., Çomo, M., Newlon, Z. J., Mitchell, T., Bartley, B., Adler, A., Roehner, N., & Young, E. M. (2021) Engineered yeast genomes accurately assembled from pure and mixed samples. Nature Communicaitons, 12(1), 1485.

    Mante, J., Hao, Y., Jett, J., Joshi, U., Keating, K., Lu, X., Nakum, G., Rodriguez, N. E., Tang, J., Terry, L., Wu, X., Yu, E., Downie, J.S., McInnes, B. T., Nguyen, M. H., Sepulvado, B., Young, E. M. & Myers, C. J.(2021) Synthetic Biology Knowledge System. ACS Synthetic Biology, 10(9), 2276-2285.

    Brzycki, C. M., Young, E. M. & Roberts, S. C.(2021) Secondary Metabolite Production in Plant Cell Culture: A New Epigenetic Frontier. In S. Malik (Ed), Exploring Plant Cells for the Production of Compounds of Interest, (1 ed., pp. 1-37).

    Chen, Y., Zhang, S., Young, E.M. et al.(2020) Genetic circuit design automation for yeast.. Nature Microbiology, 5, 1349-1360.

    Keating, K.W., & Young, M. E. (2019) Synthetic biology for bio-derived structural materials. Current Opinion in Chemical Engineering, 24, 107-114.

    Collins, J. H., & Young, E.M. (2018) Genetic engineering of host organisms for pharmaceutical synthesis. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 53, 191-200.


    Young, E. M., Gordon, D. B., Voight, C. (2017) Composability and Design of Parts for Large Scale Pathway Engineering in Yeast. (U.S. Patent No. 2017015947A9). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Filed.

    Alper, H., Young, E. M. & Lee, S. (2014) Engineered Xylose Transporters with Reduced Glucose Inhibition. (U.S. Patent No. 9,695,223). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

    Alper, H. & Young, E. M. (2013) Methods for Engineering Sugar Transporter Preferences. (U.S. Patent No. 9,926,347). U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

    Professional Highlights & Honors
    CAREER Award
    National Science Foundation
    NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
    Pittsburgh Post Gazette
    WPI Chemical Engineer Receives $2M to Speed, Ease Genetic Engineering

    More than 150 media outlets, including The Oklahoman and The Pittsburg Post-Gazette, reported on Eric Young, Leonard P. Kinnicutt Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at WPI, who received four separate grants totaling more than $2 million to support his research into using yeast and fungi to take on significant genetic engineering challenges. Through his research in synthetic biology, Young aims to engineer organisms to make it easier to develop numerous products, like medicines, biofuels, and plastics, and increase security by developing a new method to detect hidden underground explosives.

    Worcester Business Journal
    WPI, UMass Lowell team to support $111K in research

    The Worcester Business Journal reported on WPI and the University of Massachusetts Lowell partnering to award more than $111,000 in seed funding to six different teams, focusing on work ranging from human-robot collaboration to cancer detection and rehabilitation for stroke patients.

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