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Na Wei

Na Wei

Email: nwei@nd.edu

Phone: 574-631-5164

Office: 106E Cushing Hall of Engineering


Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois of Urbana-Champaign

M.S., Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois of Urbana-Champaign

B.S., Environmental Science and Engineering (Highest honors), Sichuan University, China


Associate Professor (2020-present)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame

Assistant Professor (2015-2020)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences, University of Notre Dame

Assistant Professor (2014-2015)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Department of Bioengineering (affiliated), University of Pittsburgh

Postdoctoral Research Associate (2011-2013)
Institute for Genomic Biology, Energy Bioscience Institute, University of Illinois of Urbana-Champaign

Graduate Research Assistant (2006-2011)
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Illinois of Urbana-Champaign


Summary of Activities/Interests

The overarching research theme of the Wei lab is to understand and manipulate microbial processes at the molecular level for beneficial biotransformation and applications in environmental engineering. Our research interests lie at the intersection of environmental engineering and synthetic and systems biology, with a focus on

1) waste-to-energy and value-added biotransformation 
2) biocatalysis for water relamation and reuse 
3) biological/ecological effects of emerging and persistent pollutants
4) vector control to prevent infectious disease outbreaks

Fundamentally,  synthetic biology, molecular biology techniques, metabolic engineering, systems biology (omics), bioprocess and environmental engineering principles are used to understand and engineer microbial systems to provide novel solutions to challenges in sustainability of water, energy and resources.

Selected Publications

  1. Yingying Chen, B. Stemple, M. Kumar, N. Wei*, Cell surface display fungal laccase as a renewable biocatalyst for degradation of persistent micropollutants bisphenol A and sulfamethoxazole, Environmental Science and Technology, 2016 Accepted
  2. W Guo, Y. Chen, N. Wei*, X. Feng*  Investigate the metabolic reprogramming of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for enhanced resistance to mixed fermentation inhibitors via 13C metabolic flux analysis, PLoS One. 2016, Accepted
  3. Yingying Chen, L. Stabryla, N. Wei*. Improved acetic acid resistance in Saccharomyces cerevisiae by overexpression of the WHI2 gene identified through inverse metabolic engineering. Applied and Environmental Microbiology, 2016.
  4. Yingyign Chen, J. Sheng, T, Jiang, J, Stevens, X Feng*, N Wei*. Transcriptional profiling reveals molecular basis and novel genetic targets for improved resistance to multiple fermentation inhibitors in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Biotechnology for Biofuels. 2016.
  5. Na Wei, E.J. Oh, G. Million,  Jamie H. D. Cate, and Y.S. Jin,  Co-utilization of cellobiose, xylose, and acetic acid from lignocellulosic biomass for biofuel production by an engineered yeast platform, ACS Synthetic Biology, 2015.
  6. Benay Akyon, E. Stachler, N. Wei, K. Bibby, Microbial mats as a biological treatment approach for produced water from hydraulic fracturing, Environmental Science and Technology,49(10), 2015
  7. Stephan Lane, S. Zhang, N. Wei, C. Rao, Y.S. Jin, Development and physiological characterization of cellobiose-consuming Yarrowia lipolytica, Biotechnology & Bioengineering, 112(5), 2015.
  8. Na Wei, J. Quarterman, S.R. Kim, J. H. D. Cate and Y.S. Jin, Enhanced biofuel production through coupled acetic acid and xylose consumption by engineered yeast, Nature Communications, 2013(4).  
  9. Na Wei, H.Q. Xu and Y.S. Jin, Deletion of FPS1 coding for aquaglyceroporin Fps1p improves xylose fermentation by engineered Saccharomyces cerevisiae, Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 2013, 79(10) , 3193-3201.
  10. Na Wei, J. Quarterman, and Y.S. Jin, Marine plant biomass: an untapped resource for producing fuels and chemicals, Trends in Biotechnology (Selected as the featured cover story). 2013, 31(2) 70-77.
  11. Soo Rin Kim, J.M. Skerker, W. Kang, A. Lesmana, N. Wei, A.P. Arkin, & Y.S.Jin, Rational and evolutionary engineering approaches uncover a small set of genetic changes efficient for rapid xylose fermentation in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. PLOS One.
  12. Soo Rin Kim, S.J. Ha, N. Wei, E.J. Oh, & Y.S. Jin, Simultaneous co-fermenation of mixed sugars: a promising strategy for producing cellulosic ethnaol. Trends in Biotechnology. 2012, 30, 274–282
  13. Na Wei, and K.T. Finneran, Low and high acetate amendments are equally as effective at promoting complete dechlorination of trichloroethylene (TCE), Biodegradation. 2011, 23 (6) 1-13)
  14. Na Wei, and K.T. Finneran, Influence of ferric iron on complete dechlorination of trichloroethylene (TCE) to ethene: Fe (III) reduction does not always inhibit complete dechlorination, Environmental Science & Technology. 2011, 45 (17), 7422-7430.
  15. Na Wei, and K.T. Finneran, Microbial community composition during anaerobic mineralization of tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) in fuel-contaminated aquifer material. Environmental Science & Technology. 2011, 45 (7), 3012-3018
  16. Na Wei, and K.T. Finneran, Microbial community analyses of three distinct, liquid cultures that degrade methyl tert butyl ether (MTBE) using anaerobic metabolism, Biodegradation. 2009, 20(5): 695-707.


Study of Groundwater Contaminants Leads to New Funding for Community Crowdsensing Research

January 31, 2019

Researchers from the University of Notre Dame have received $1.46 million from the National Science Foundation to expand a previous study of private, self-supplied water systems in Granger, Ind. to communities in Kosciusko County.

Notre Dame Researchers Receive Prestigious National Science Foundation Awards

May 17, 2017

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has recognized ten University of Notre Dame faculty members — including four from the College of Engineering — for their excellence in research with Early Career Development (CAREER) Awards.

Could Yeast and Fungi Be Used to Rid Our Water of Organic Pollutants?

January 26, 2017

Professor Na Wei is harnessing the power of enzymes and microorganisms to breakdown persistent organic pollutants in our waste streams.

It Takes a Village: How Crowdsensing Can Help Ensure Safe Drinking Water

September 27, 2016

Water quality is not an issue affecting only urban water treatment systems. More than 15 million U.S. households rely on private wells for drinking water, where no municipal utility monitors water quality. These private wells are the focus of a project being conducted by Notre Dame researchers Dong Wang and Na Wei.