Shishir Chundawat

Assistant Professor

Chemical and Biochemical Engineering

Website: Research Webpage

Research Interests

Research in our group is focused broadly on understanding the biosynthesis, chemical processing, ultrastructural/molecular organization and enzymatic deconstruction of glycans (i.e., carbohydrates), glycan-based macromolecules (e.g., glycoproteins), and glycan-enriched biomaterials (e.g., plant cell walls).Glycans are compounds composed of monosaccharides linked together by glycosidic bonds. These compounds are one of the primary macromolecules produced by living systems that serve critical structural (e.g., cell wall polysaccharides like cellulose, exopolysaccharides present within biofilm matrices) and functional (e.g., cellular recognition and intra-cellular signaling) roles. The ubiquitous nature of glycans can be gaged by its diverse roles in the biological world ranging from inter-/intra-cellular interactions to the capture of solar energy by plant cells as carbohydrates. However, despite significant advances in the genomics and proteomics fields that have improved scientific understanding and engineering of cellular systems, research in glycosciences has lagged behind. This is unfortunate considering that advances in glycosciences can make tremendous contributions to diverse fields such as bioenergy, healthcare, and advanced biomaterials. Research in our group is therefore geared towards addressing open-problems in the highly inter-disciplinary field of glyco-sciences and glyco-engineering. Towards that goal, research projects are organized into three key areas, as highlighted below;


  1. Biomass Process Engineering
  2. Carbohydrate-Active Enzyme (CAZyme) Engineering
  3. Glyco-Engineering

Selected Publications

  1. Humpula J, Uppugundla N, Vismeh R, Sousa L, Chundawat SPS, Jones AD, Balan V, Dale BE, Cheh AM*. Probing the nature of AFEX-pretreated corn stover derived decomposition products that inhibit cellulase activity. Bioresource Technology 2014, 152, 38-45.
  2. Lim S, Chundawat SPS*, Fox BG*. Expression, Purification and Characterization of a Functional Carbohydrate-Binding Module from Streptomyces sp. SirexAA-E. Protein Expression & Purification 2014, 98, 1-9.
  3. Uppugundla N, Sousa L, Chundawat SPS, Xiurong Y, Simmons B, Singh S, Gao X, Kumar R, Wyman CE, Dale BE, Balan V*. A Comparative Study of Producing Ethanol using Dilute Acid, Ionic Liquid and AFEX Pretreated Corn Stover. Biotechnology for Biofuels 2014, 7:72.
  4. He J, Pingali SV, Chundawat SPS, Pack A, Jones AD, Langan P, Davison BH, Urban V, Evans B, O’Neill H*. Controlled incorporation of deuterium into bacterial cellulose. Cellulose 2014, 21 (2), 927-936. Invited Paper for Special Issue on Cellulose!
  5. Gao D, Chundawat SPS*, Sethi A, Gnanakaran S, Balan V, Dale BE. Increased enzyme binding to substrate is not necessary for more efficient cellulose hydrolysis. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 2013, 110 (27), 10922-10927.
  6. Vismeh R, Lu F, Chundawat SPS, Humpula J, Azarpira A, Ralph J, Balan V, Dale BE, Jones AD*. Profiling of Diferulates (Plant Cell Wall Cross-Linkers) Using Ultrahigh-Performance Liquid Chromatography-Tandem Mass Spectrometry. Analyst 2013, 138, 6683-6692.
  7. Vismeh R, Humpula J, Chundawat SPS, Balan V, Dale BE, Jones AD*. Profiling of Soluble Neutral Oligosaccharides from Treated Biomass using Solid Phase Extraction and Liquid Chromatography-Multiplexed Collision Induced Dissociation-Mass Spectrometry. Carbohydrate Polymers 2013, 94 (2), 791-799.
  8. Bellesia G, Chundawat SPS, Langan P, Redondo A, Dale BE, Gnanakaran S*. Coarse-grained model for the interconversion between different crystalline cellulose allomorphs. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B 2012, 116 (28), 8031-8037.
  9. Lau M*, Bals B, Chundawat SPS, Jin M, Gunawan C, Jones AD, Balan V, Dale BE. An integrated paradigm for cellulosic biorefineries: Utilization of lignocellulosic biomass as self-sufficient feedstocks for fuel, food precursors and saccharolytic enzyme production. Energy and Environmental Science 2012, 5:7100-7110.
  10. Chundawat SPS*, Chang L, McMahan C, Gunawan C, Balan V, Dale BE. Guayule as a feedstock for lignocellulosic biorefineries using ammonia fiber expansion (AFEX) pretreatment. Industrial Crops and Products 2012, 37, 486-492.