University of Minnesota
University of Minnesota
College of Biological Sciences

Wackett Lab

Research Overview

The Wackett laboratory studies microbial enzymes and pathways for biocatalysis and biodegradation and helped build the Biocatalysis/Biodegradation Database.


  • Atrazine – Biocatalyst encapsulation and water treatment
  • Cyanuric acid – Removal from swimming pool water
  • Acrylamide – Treatment in foods and waters
  • Aromatic hydrocarbons – Modeling and mechanisms


  • Hydrocarbon biosynthesis – Enzyme structure and mechanisms
  • Enzyme-based sensors for detecting toxicants

New Projects

  • Biodegradation relevant to hydraulic fracturing (fracking)
  • Predicting biodegradation potential of enzymes and microbes

News Highlights

Atrazine - Manufacturing of bioreactive nanofibers for bioremediation – Tong, et al 2014

Cyanuric acid hydrolase - Paper in press – Cho, et al 2014, Crystal structure, PLOS ONE

Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon (PAH) oxidation – Paper in press - Aukema, et al, 2014

Predicting biodegradation potential – New grant award with Professor Al Aksan

Bioremediation startup founded  – Minnepura Technologies, Inc.