Dr Colin Kenyon studied biochemistry at Rhodes University and the University of the Free State, then worked in industrial R&D for many years, where he managed the research project for the development of a commercial process to manufacture L-lysine by fermentation. He joined the CSIR in 1998 and is currently a Research Fellow at the CSIR Bio/Chemtek business unit. Dr Kenyon is also an Extraordinary Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Pretoria and an Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of York, England.
His research interests focus on enzyme reaction mechanisms and molecular modelling, with particular emphasis on protein engineering, bacterial metabolism and carbon and nitrogen flux. An understanding of reaction mechanisms of key enzymes of interest has led to applications in areas as diverse as rational drug design, design of putative new HIV vaccine strategies, and novel methods for controlling microorganisms involved in cooling tower corrosion.
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Dr Kenyon’s particular areas of expertise include:
- Random mutagenesis of bacteria to produce auxotrophic mutants and mutants with altered enzyme regulation.
- Definition of the catalytic mechanisms involved in the reactions of the enzyme glutamine synthetase.
- Protein molecular modelling, site directed mutagenesis and enzymology used in protein engineering.
- Protein purification and structural analysis.
- Structural analysis of ATP divalent metal complexes.
- Batch, fed-batch and continuous culture of yeasts and bacteria in fermentation process definition.
- Managed projects investigating the production of antibiotics and enzymes.
- Part of project teams in the definition of effluent treatment processes for the petrochemical industry.