2024 Alum Speaker

Cory KnootDr. Cory Knoot attended ISU from 2005 – 2009, majoring in Biochemistry. While at ISU, Cory worked in the laboratory of Prof. Erik Vollbrecht on a variety of projects related to Zea mays development. He still recalls designing his first PCR primers in the Summer of 2006. In 2010, he started in the BMBB graduate doctoral program at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. In 2015, earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry studying the structures and catalytic mechanisms of non-heme iron oxygenases. His primary research methods were transient and steady-state enzyme kinetics and X-ray crystallography. In 2016, Cory started as a postdoctoral fellow at Washington University in St. Louis, working in the field of cyanobacterial synthetic biology. He engineered strains to produce high-value alkaloids using CO2 as a sole carbon source and developed synthetic biology tools such as CRISPRi for use in fast-growing cyanobacteria. In 2020, Cory joined as the second employee at glycoconjugate vaccine biotechnology startup Omniose in St. Louis. As a scientist at Omniose, Cory has been involved in nearly all aspects of the company’s programs and has worked to develop glycoconjugate vaccines against a wide variety of bacterial threats, including K. pneumoniae. In 2024, Omniose entered a partnership with AstraZeneca to develop vaccines against a range of high-priority pathogens.