University of California, Riverside

Bourns College of Engineering

Ian Wheeldon

Faculty Profile

Faculty Profile

Ian Wheeldon

Assistant Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering

Ph.D. Chemical Engineering
Columbia University, 2009

Bourns Hall B319
University of California, Riverside
Riverside, CA 92521

Telephone: 951-827-2471
Fax: 951-827-5696

Personal Webpage

Prior Institution: Columbia University


Dr. Ian Wheeldon is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering. Prior to arriving at UCR Dr. Wheeldon was a post-doctoral fellow at Brigham Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University. As a postdoc he developed new methods of high throughput biomaterials synthesis and screening. Dr. Wheeldon received his Ph.D. from Columbia University in the Department of Chemical Engineering. His doctoral research focused on the development of multi-functional enzymatic hydrogels for biofuel cells. This work built on his previous studies at the University of Buenos Aires, where he was a visiting scholar studying the electrochemistry of biological molecules. Dr. Wheeldon received his Master’s degree in Applied Science from the Royal Military College of Canada, under the supervision of Dr. Brant Peppley, where he worked on fuel reforming and hydrogen purification technologies for high and low temperature fuel cells.


  • Ph.D. Columbia University, 2009
  • MASc. The Royal Military College of Canada, 2003
  • BASc. Queen's University, Canada, 1999


  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers
  • Society of Biological Engineers
  • American Chemical Society

Research Topics

In nature chemical synthesis and metabolic pathways are often compartmentalized and spatially organized. While ubiquitous in eukaryotes, this phenomenon has also been observed in bacterial microcompartments. Through protein-protein interactions chemical synthesis pathways in bacteria are co-localized and spatially organized in microscale protein enclosures. Engineering of heterologous metabolic pathways and kinetic activities can lead to deviations from naturally evolved metabolic fluxes. Control of the spatial organization of pathway enzymes, in terms of inter-molecular distances, spatial locations with respect to other enzymes, local concentrations, and immobilization can be used to tune reactant fluxes, recapture pathway efficiencies, and increase engineered pathway titers. We are interested in engineering new multi-enzyme pathway biolocatalyts with controlled spatial locations, distances, and orientations to control substrate flux along pathways. The goals of this work are to create new synthetic biology tools and protein technologies that can be used to solve current problems in bioenergy and biocatalysis.

Protein engineering; Biocatalysis; Synthetic biology; Biofuels

Selected Publications

  • Bauer, M.; Kim, K.; Qiu, Y.; Calpe, B.; Khademhosseini, A.; Liao, R.; Wheeldon, I. "Spot Identification and Quality Control in Cell-Based Microarrays". ACS Combinatorial Science 2012, 14, 471-477.
  • Kwon, C. H.; Wheeldon, I.; Kachouie, N. N.; Lee, S. H.; Bae, H.; Sant, S.; Fukuda, J.; Kang, J. W.; Khademhosseini, A. "Drug-Eluting Microarrays for Cell-Based Screening of Chemical-Induced Apoptosis". Anal Chem 2011, 83, 4118-4125.
  • Wu, J. H.; Wheeldon, I.; Guo, Y. Q.; Lu, T. L.; Du, Y. N.; Wang, B.; He, J. K.; Hu, Y. Q.; Khademhosseini, A. "A sandwiched microarray platform for benchtop cell-based high throughput screening". Biomaterials 2011, 32, 841-848.
  • Wheeldon, I.; Farhadi, A.; Bick, A. G.; Jabbari, E.; Khademhosseini, A. "Nanoscale tissue engineering: spatial control over cell-materials interactions". Nanotechnology 2011, 22.
  • Banta, S.; Wheeldon, I. R.; Blenner, M. "Protein engineering in the development of functional hydrogels". Annual Reviews of Biomedical Engineering 2010, 12, 167-186.
  • Campbell, E.; Wheeldon, I. R.; Banta, S. "Broadening the Cofactor Specificity of a Thermostable Alcohol Dehydrogenase Using Rational Protein Design Introduces Novel Kinetic Transient Behavior". Biotechnology and Bioengineering 2010, 107, 763-774.
  • Lu, H. D.; Wheeldon, I. R.; Banta, S. "Catalytic biomaterials: engineering organophosphate hydrolase to form self-assembling enzymatic hydrogels". Protein Eng. Des. Sel. 2010, 23, 559-566.
  • Wheeldon, I. R.; Campbell, E.; Banta, S. "A Chimeric Fusion Protein Engineered with Disparate Functionalities-Enzymatic Activity and Self-assembly". Journal of Molecular Biology 2009, 392, 129-142.
  • Wheeldon, I. R.; Gallaway, J. W.; Barton, S. C.; Banta, S. "Bioelectrocatalytic hydrogels from electron-conducting metallopolypeptides coassembled with bifunctional enzymatic building blocks". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 2008, 105, 15275-15280.
  • Gallaway, J.; Wheeldon, I.; Rincon, R.; Atanassov, P.; Banta, S.; Barton, S. C. "Oxygen-reducing enzyme cathodes produced from SLAC, a small laccase from Streptomyces coelicolor". Biosens Bioelectron 2008, 23, 1229-1235.

More Information 

General Campus Information

University of California, Riverside
900 University Ave.
Riverside, CA 92521
Tel: (951) 827-1012

College Information

Bourns College of Engineering
446 Winston Chung Hall

Tel: (951) 827-5190
Fax: (951) 827-3188