As the resident biochemist in the ASU chemistry department, Dr. Allain seeks to introduce students to this exciting and rapidly progressing field through the teaching of biochemistry lecture and laboratory classes. Dr. Allain joined the ASU faculty in July of 2005 following ten years of R & D in the biotechnology industry. He holds a Ph.D. in biochemistry granted from the University of Illinois. His thesis research was conducted in the laboratory of Dr. Lowell Hager and was concerned with the use of enzymes for organic synthesis.
Dr. Allain’s background and expertise is in the very broad area of applied biochemistry and biotechnology. Currently, the Allain lab is focusing on studying the oldest biotechnological process: the production of ethanol via fermentation. A majority of this effort is concerned with the fuel alcohol industry where students in the Allain lab are researching ways to improve the economy of ethanol production from renewable resources. In particular, research is focusing on the idea of ‘cell-free’ ethanol production where ethanol is made without yeast using only the enzymes involved in the conversion of glucose to ethanol. Modeling work has indicated that ethanol can be made much faster and thus more economically using such a process. Current work is focusing on validating these findings in the lab.