Professor, Microbiology and Immunology
phone: 6048220042
fax: 6048226041
Life Sciences Centre Rm 4509
2350 Health Sciences Mall
Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3

Microorganisms have evolved an astoundingly versatile armamentarium of catabolic enzymes and pathways to degrade the vast array of organic compounds that occur in the environment.  These catabolic activities constitute an essential link in the global carbon cycle, and as such are critical to maintaining the health of the biosphere.  In addition to their fundamental importance, microbial catabolic enzymes are of tremendous practical importance.  First, they represent an enormous, barely tapped source of biocatalysts for green chemistry and bioremediation applications.  Second, such enzymes can be important targets for novel therapeutics to treat infectious diseases.
Research in the Eltis lab seeks to understand microbial enzymes and pathways involved in the degradation of natural and man-made compounds.  We currently study the following systems:

Biocatalytic applications:

  • PCB- and biphenyl-degrading enzymes
  • Nitrile degradation in Rhodococcus
  • The degradation of explosives by actinomycetes

Human health applications:

  • Cholesterol catabolic enzymes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis.
  • Viral 3C proteases

Dr. Eltis is recruiting grads for September 2022