Jason King



Jason was born in Fort Walton Beach, FL, USA as the 3rd of four sons to his parents, and they were raised in the small rural town of Opp, AL, USA. At 15 years old, Jason left home to attend the Alabama School of Mathematics and Science, about 330 miles from home. Seeded with a love of chemistry, he majored in chemistry at the University of Alabama in Birmingham, AL, USA and graduated with a Bachelors of Science degree in 2008 and departmental honors for his undergraduate research with Professor Sadananandan Velu. From 2008 – 2014, Jason earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry under the supervision of Professor Eric Toone working in the biophysical characterization of cellulosmal cellulose binding proteins. He followed his budding interest in multi-enzyme pathways to join Greg Stephanopoulos’s lab in metabolic engineering starting in February of 2014. Jason’s spouse Michelle and he enjoy educating kids about the fun of chemistry, bringing chemistry into the home for culinary endeavors, and filling their free time with out-door activities such as hiking the White Mountains in New Hampshire, cycling the roads of New England islands, and running on trails. Other interests include history, tennis, and music.

Jason’s research in the Stephanopoulos lab focuses on bacterial solutions to renewable chemical production. His lab mates and he have sought to use chemical reasoning to develop de novo pathways for isoprenoid metabolism and commodity chemical production in E. coli. They are also exploring ways to introduce genetic tools into autotrophic bacteria to access bacterial routes for conversion of CO2 to chemicals and bacteria-based products.

Email: j_king (at) mit (dot) edu



King, J. R., Woolston, B. M., and Stephanopoulos G. Designing a new entry point into isoprenoid metabolism by exploiting fructose-6-phosphate aldolase side-reactivity in Escherichia coli. ACS Synthetic Biology, 2017, 6 (7), pp 1416–1426. doi. 10.1021/acssynbio.7b00072.

King, J. R.; Edgar, S.; Qiao, K.; and Stephanopoulos, G. Accessing Nature’s diversity through metabolic engineering and synthetic biology. F1000Research, 2016, 5(F1000 Faculty Review):397. [invited review]

Edgar, S.; Zhou, K.; Qiao, K.; King, J. R.; Simpson, J and Stephanopoulos, G. Mechanistic Insights into Taxadiene Epoxidation by Taxadiene-5α-Hydroxylase. ACS Chemical Biology, 2016, 11 (2), pp 460–469.

King, J. R.; Bowers, C. M.; Toone, E. J., Specific binding at the cellulose binding module-cellulose interface observed by force spectroscopy. Langmuir, 2015, 31 (11), pp. 3431–3440.

Wang, Y.; King, J. R.; Wu, P.; Pelzman, D. L.; Beratan, D. N.; Toone, E. J., Enthalpic signature of methonium desolvation revealed in a synthetic host-guest system based on curcurbit[7]uril. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 2013, 135 (16), pp 6084–6091.

Chenna, B. C.; King, J. R.; Shinkre, B. A.; Glover, A. L.; Lucius, A. L.; Velu, S. E., Synthesis and structure activity relationship studies of novel Staphylococcus aureus Sortase A inhibitors. European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 2010, 45 (9), 3752-61.

Lee, Y. J.; King, J. R.; Chenna, B. C.; Owens, S. B.; Freeman, J. L.; Gray, G. M.; Velu, S. E., Synthesis and the Crystal Structure of (E)-2-(7-(3-(Thiophen-2-yl) acrylamido)-2,3-dihydro-5-oxobenzo[e][1,4]oxazepin-1(5H)-yl) ethyl acetate. Journal of Chemical Crystallography 2009, 39 (12), 902-907.

Patel, S. P.; Nadkarni, D. H.; Murugesan, S.; King, J. R.; Velu, S. E., Azide-Mediated Detosylation of N-Tosylpyrroloiminoquinones and N-Tosylindole-4,7-quinones. Synlett 2008, (18), 2864-2868.

Chenna, B. C.; Shinkre, B. A.; King, J. R.; Lucius, A. L.; Narayana, S. V.; Velu, S. E., Identification of novel inhibitors of bacterial surface enzyme Staphylococcus aureus Sortase A. Bioorganic and Medicinal Chemistry Letters 2008, 18 (1), 380-5.

King, J. R., “Engineering a bypass of 1-deoxyxylulose-5-phosphate synthase in Escherichia coli for the conversion of pentose sugars to isoprenoid chemicals and biofuels.” Presented at the 252nd annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, Philadelphia, PA, August 24, 2016; AGFD Paper 215. (invited oral presentation)

King, J. R.; Woolston, B. M.; Buss, M.; Edgar, S.; Stephanopoulos, G. “Plasmid transfer and genetic engineering in Thiobacillus denitrificans.”  Gordon Research Conference on Molecular Basis of Microbial One-Carbon Metabolism, Waterville Valley, NH, USA, July 31 – August 5, 2016; Systems and Engineering Paper 11. (poster presentation)

King, J. R.; Wang, Y.; Wu, P.; Pelzman, D. L.; Beratan, D. N.; Toone, E. J., “Enthalpic signature of methonium desolvation revealed in a synthetic host-guest system based on cucurbit[7]uril.” 246th annual meeting of the American Chemical Society, Indianapolis, IN, September 8-12, 2013; ORGN Paper 93 and SCIMIX Paper 36.  (poster presentation)

King, J. R.; Chenna, B. C.; Lucius, A. L.; Velu, S. E. “Discovery of Staphyloccocus aureus Sortase A inhibitors by in-silico virtual screening.” 59th meeting of the Southeastern regional section of the American Chemical Society, Greenville, SC, October 24-27, 2007; Paper 366. (poster presentation)