Benjamin Woolston | AIChE

Benjamin Woolston

Assistant Professor, Chemical Engineering
Northeastern University

Dr. Woolston joined the Northeastern University Chemical Engineering department as an Assistant Professor in January 2020. He obtained his B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering with Honors at The Pennsylvania State University, where his undergraduate research, advised by Prof. Wayne Curtis, won the AIChE National Student Paper Competition. As an NSF Graduate Research Fellow, Dr. Woolston received his PhD in Chemical Engineering in 2017 from MIT under the guidance of Prof. Greg Stephanopoulos, where his research focused on the development of genetic tools to enable metabolic engineering in anaerobic CO2-fixing acetogens, and the establishment of a methanol utilization pathway in the model organism Escherichia coli. While at MIT, he was an inaugural Fellow of the Chemical Engineering Communication Lab, where he provided peer tutoring and department-wide workshops to assist students and post-docs with aspects of scientific communication. His Post-doctoral work was conducted in the laboratory of Prof. Emily Balskus in the Chemistry & Chemical Biology department at Harvard University, where he studied microbial metabolic pathways and enzymes that contribute to the stability of health-associated Lactobacilli in the human vaginal microbiota. At Northeastern, his research program combines approaches from his previous research training in metabolic engineering, synthetic biology, biochemistry and microbiology to engineer microbes for biofuel & biochemical production from single-carbon feedstocks, and as diagnostics and therapeutics in the Human gut microbiota. Since joining Northeastern, Dr. Woolston has taught a senior elective in Biochemical Engineering, and a graduate course in Kinetics & Reactor Design. He has authored 14 publications and one patent, and serves on the editorial board of Metabolic Engineering Communications and the Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology. He is also the winner of the 2021 Biotechnology and Bioengineering Daniel I.C. Wang award.