Christopher Johnson

National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Research Focus

Christopher W. Johnson is a Senior Scientist at NREL. He received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, in 2011. His work at NREL uses synthetic biology to engineer microbes to convert renewable feedstocks such as lignin and formate into value-added chemicals, and materials. In the Agile BioFoundry, Christopher co-leads the Industry Engagement and Outreach team and is involved in the Pseudomonas putida KT2440 DBTL efforts.

Projects in the Agile BioFoundry

  • Co-lead Industry Engagement and Outreach
  • Pseudomonas putida KT2440 DBTL efforts
  • Evolutionary method development for rapid enzyme/pathway improvements

Featured Publications

Johnson, C.W.*, Salvachúa, D.*, Rorrer, N.A.*, Black, B.A.*, Vardon, D.R.*, John, P.C.S.*, Cleveland, N.S., Dominick, G., Elmore, J.R., Grundl, N., Khanna, P., Martinez, C.R., Michener, W.E., Peterson, D.J., Ramirez, K.J., Singh, P., VanderWall, T.A., Wilson, A.N., Yi, X., Biddy, M.J., Bomble, Y.J., Guss, A.M., Beckham, G.T., 2019. Innovative Chemicals and Materials from Bacterial Aromatic Catabolic Pathways. Joule 3, 1523–1537. doi:10.1016/j.joule.2019.05.011

Tumen-Velasquez, M.*, Johnson, C.W.*, Ahmed, A., Dominick, G., Fulk, E.M., Khanna, P., Lee, S.A., Schmidt, A.L., Linger, J.G., Eiteman, M.A., Beckham, G.T., Neidle, E.L., 2018. Accelerating pathway evolution by increasing the gene dosage of chromosomal segments. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A. 115, 7105–7110. doi:10.1073/pnas.1803745115

Johnson, C.W., Abraham, P.E., Linger, J.G., Khanna, P., Hettich, R.L., Beckham, G.T., 2017. Eliminating a global regulator of carbon catabolite repression enhances the conversion of aromatic lignin monomers to muconate in Pseudomonas putida KT2440. Metab. Eng. Commun. 5, 19–25. doi:10.1016/j.meteno.2017.05.002

Johnson, C.W., Salvachúa, D., Khanna, P., Smith, H., Peterson, D.J., Beckham, G.T., 2016. Enhancing muconic acid production from glucose and lignin-derived aromatic compounds via increased protocatechuate decarboxylase activity. Metab. Eng. Commun. 3, 111–119. doi:10.1016/j.meteno.2016.04.002

Beckham, G.T., Johnson, C.W., Karp, E.M., Salvachúa, D., Vardon, D.R., 2016. Opportunities and challenges in biological lignin valorization. Curr. Opin. Biotechnol. 42, 40–53. doi:10.1016/j.copbio.2016.02.030

Johnson, C.W., Beckham, G.T., 2015. Aromatic catabolic pathway selection for optimal production of pyruvate and lactate from lignin. Metab. Eng. 28, 240–247. doi:10.1016/j.ymben.2015.01.005