Nathan Wilson


My interests lie in the applications of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology to plants. There is exciting potential for this field to revolutionize our society’s interactions with plants and agriculture. This is especially true in the face of climate change and the development of a greener economy. My project in the lab lies in enhancing plants’ ability to fix inorganic carbon from the atmosphere (CO2) by introducing a synthetic metabolism. Our cycle is inspired by the reverse TCA cycle of certain autotrophic anaerobic bacteria. I am working to demonstrate that our engineered metabolism is capable of contributing to pre-existing carbon fixation machinery in Camelina sativa.

While I see vast potential in the field of metabolic engineering and synthetic biology, the polemic surrounding genetic engineering has caused problems with the development of the field. As such, I am also interested in citizen science initiatives, engaging scientific communication/discussion, and making science accessible.


S. Kuznetsov, C. Doonan, N. Wilson, S. Mohan, S. Hudson, E. Paulos. 2015. DIYbio Things: Open Source Biology Tools as Platforms for Hybrid Knowledge Production and Scientific Participation. CHI’ 15 Seoul, Korea.

Education & Training

B.Sc. Biology & Spanish/Hispanic Cultures – Juniata College, 2013
Researcher I, Dept. of Biological Sciences – Carnegie Mellon University 2013-2015
Research Technician, Dept. of Biochemistry, Microbiology, and Molecular Biology – Pennsylvania State University 2015-2016