1993 …2019
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Personal profile


Broadly my research brings together biology and engineering to address future manufacturing needs.

I am interested in discovering and designing enzymes for specific and fast reactions as isolated biocatalysts. In addition, I'm researching the metabolic and systems biology of cells in culture - examining productivity and underlying reasons behind heterogeneity in response and how this can be modified - using our recently installed high throughput culture and single cell analysis facility.

I use biocatalysts at different scales; the simplest scale being the isolated enzyme to the most complex such as a self-replicating cell. Each approach has their benefits and disadvantages. The cheapest and easiest to implement is an isolated biocatalysts but these have limited capacity for product formation and processing. At the other extreme, whole cells have complex biochemical pathways to consider and require approaches like metabolic engineering or synthetic biology to streamline and improve production of selected metabolites.

Also, we're applying research knowledge to improve thermal processing outcomes and preserving nutrients in processed foods by working with a range of food and beverage companies. In a different direction, we are using yeast to convert food wastes and byproducts to biodiesel production.

Research interests

Enzyme discovery and design; metabolic engineering of yeast and bacteria; systems biology of cultured cells.


Application areas: biocatalysis; bioprocessing; manufacturing; energy

Monash teaching commitment

  • CHE4180 Research project
  • CHE4171 Biochemical engineering
  • CHE5882 Biomass and biorefineries

Supervision interests

Final year (CHE4180) students; PhD students interested in these research areas are welcome to apply


  • Enzymes
  • biocatalysis
  • systems biology
  • metabolic engineering
  • synthetic biology

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Projects 2018 2019

Research Output 1993 2019

Enhanced production of high-value cyclopropane fatty acid in yeast engineered for increased lipid synthesis and accumulation

Peng, H., He, L. & Haritos, V. S., Apr 2019, In : Biotechnology Journal. 14, 4, 5 p., 1800487.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Functional assessment of plant and microalgal lipid pathway genes in yeast to enhance microbial industrial oil production

Peng, H., Moghaddam, L., Brinin, A., Williams, B., Mundree, S. & Haritos, V. S., 1 Mar 2018, In : Biotechnology and Applied Biochemistry. 65, 2, p. 138-144 7 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Horizontal gene transfer of three co-inherited methane monooxygenase systems gave rise to methanotrophy in the Proteobacteria

Osborne, C. D. & Haritos, V. S., 1 Dec 2018, In : Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 129, p. 171-181 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

Microwave assisted pretreatment of eucalyptus sawdust enhances enzymatic saccharification and maximizes fermentable sugar yield

Amini, N., Haritos, V. S. & Tanksale, A., 1 Nov 2018, In : Renewable Energy. 127, p. 653-660 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review