Valerie Orr



Born in Canada, Valerie did her Bachelor’s of Science in Molecular biology and Biotechnology and her Master’s of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering at the University of Waterloo. She completed her PhD in 2016 at the University of Western Ontario were she was a Canadian Alexander Grahman Bell NSERC Doctoral Scholar. Valerie received a  NSERC Postdoctoral Fellowship to study at MIT in 2017.

Isoprenoids are a large group of diverse metabolites which include many flavour, scent, pigment, and bioactive molecules in high demand by the cosmetic, food, and pharmaceutical industries. However, many are plant metabolites produced in minute quantities in their native species and due to their high level of complexity, chemical synthesis results in extremely low yields. Microbial systems such as E. coli have been demonstrated a viable commerical alternative for the production of plant-derived isoprenoids. Using metabolic engineering in combination with bioprocess development we strive to increase the production of taxol and other valuable isoprenoids.

Email: vward (at) mit (dot) edu



Orr, V.; Munch, G.; Cecik, N.; Rehmann, L. (2017) Direct conversion of the oleaginous yeast Rhodospordium diobovatum to biodiesel using the ionic liquid [C2mim][EtSO4]. . ACS Sustainable Chem Eng: 5(6), 5562-5570.

Orr, V. and Rehmann, L. (2016) Ionic liquids for the fractionation of algae biomass. Cur Opinion in Green and Sus Chem:2, 22-27.

Luque*; L; Orr, V*; Chen, S; Westerhof, R; Oudenhoven, S; van Rossum, G; Kersten, S; Berruti, F; Rehmann, L (2016) Lipid accumulation from pinewood pyrolysates by Rhodosporidium diobavotum and Chlorella vulgaris for biodiesel production. Bioresource Technol:214, 660-669.

Gao, K*; Orr, V*; Rehmann, L (2016) Butanol fermentation from microalgae derived carbohydrates after ionic liquid extraction. Bioresource Technol:206, 77-85.

Orr, V; Plechkova, N.V; Seddon, K.R; Rehmann, L (2016) Disruption and wet extraction of the microalgae Chlorella vulgaris using room-temperature ionic liquids. ACS Sustainable Chem Eng: 4(2) 591-600.

Orr, V, Rehmann, L (2016) Improvement of the Nile Red fluorescence assay for determination of total lipid content in microalgae independent of chlorophyll content. J Appl Phycol:28, 2181-2189.

Procentese, A., Johnson, E., Orr, V., Campanile, A.G., Wood, J.A., Marzocchella, A., Rehmann, L. (2015) Deep eutectic solvent pretreatment and subsequent saccharification of corncob. Bioresource Technol:192, 31-36.

Wood, J.A., Orr, V., Luque, L., Nagendra, V., Berruti, F., Rehmann, L. (2014) High-throughput screening of inhibitory compounds on growth and ethanol production of Saccharomyces cerevisiae. BioEnergy Res: 8; 423-430.

Srirangan, K. *; Orr, V. *; Akawi, L.; Westbrook, A.; Moo-Young, M.; Chou, C.P. (2013) Biochemical and genetic strategies to enhance production of penicillin G acylase. Biotechnol Adv: 31; 1319-1332. Impact Factor: 9.015

Orr, V.; Zhong, L.; Moo-Young, M.; Chou, C.P. (2013) Recent advances in bioprocessing: Application of membrane chromatography. Biotechnology Advances: 31; 450-465.

Orr, V.; Scharer, J.; Honeyman, H.; Moo-Young, M.; Fenner, D.; Crossley, L.; Suen, S.; Chou, C.P. (2012) Simultaneous clarification of Escherichia coli culture and purification of extracellularly produced penicillin G acylase using tangential flow filtration and anion-exchange membrane chromatography. Chromatogr B: 900 (1); 71-78.

Orr, V.; Scharer, J.; Honeyman, H.; Moo-Young, M.; Fenner, D.; Crossley, L.; Suen, S.; Chou, C.P. (2012) Integrated Development of an Effective Bioprocess for Extracellular Production of Penicillin G Acylase in Escherichia coli and its Subsequent One-Step Purification. J Biotechnol: 161 (1); 19-26.

Sukhija, K.; Pyne, M.; Ali, S.; Orr, V.; Abedi, D.; Moo-Young, M.; Chou, C.P. (2012) Developing an extended genomic engineering approach based on recombineering to knock-in heterologous genes to Escherichia coli genome. Mol Biotechnol: 51 (2); 109-118.

(*equal first author contribution)