Associate Professor Esteban Marcellin Saldana

Principal Research Fellow

Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
+61 7 334 64298


Research Interests

  • Advance Biomanufacturing and Systems and Synthetic Biology
    Systems and synthetic biology are powerful tool to guide the improvement of biological systems for the production of fuels, chemicals and biopharmaceuticals. Systems and synthetic approaches can be used to identify targets for metabolic engineering and to develop new production strains. It is a knowledge and data driven approach that takes advantage of the tremendous growth in high throughput ‘-omics, (genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics) coupled with mathematical models. The data gathered can be used to suggest potential metabolic engineering strategies (e.g. gene targets for knock out/up-regulation) to improve yields and productivities. Biological systems are refined and improved using biological data, leading to further iterative rounds of metabolic engineering to enhance production. Using gas fermentation, we are consuming greenhouse gases (CO and CO2) as feedstock for fermentation and converting those greenhouse gases into valuable chemicals and fuels. The technology enables a decrease in our dependence on finite fossil fuel resources and improves sustainability for Australia and the chemical industry. Our projects aim at producing efficient cell lines to increase yields and productivities of biological systems. In collaboration with leaders in the industry, such as Lanzatech, Amyris, Zoetis, Dow, CSL and Thermo-Fisher we are applying systems metabolic engineering to enhance yields and to increase the production scope of the advanced biomanufacturing sector.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Science, Instituto Quimico de Sarria


  • Liu, Yun, Vaughan, James, Southam, Gordon, Serrano, Antonio, Gao, Han, Palfreyman, Robin, Marcellin, Esteban and Villa-Gomez, Denys K. (2022). Role of the substrate on Ni inhibition in biological sulfate reduction. Journal of Environmental Management, 316 115216, 115216. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2022.115216

  • MacDonald, Michael A., Nöbel, Matthias, Martínez, Verónica S., Baker, Kym, Shave, Evan, Gray, Peter P., Mahler, Stephen, Munro, Trent, Nielsen, Lars K. and Marcellin, Esteban (2022). Engineering death resistance in CHO cells for improved perfusion culture. mAbs, 14 (1). doi: 10.1080/19420862.2022.2083465

  • Heffernan, James K., Mahamkali, Vishnu, Valgepea, Kaspar, Marcellin, Esteban and Nielsen, Lars K. (2022). Analytical tools for unravelling the metabolism of gas-fermenting Clostridia. Current Opinion in Biotechnology, 75 102700, 102700. doi: 10.1016/j.copbio.2022.102700

View all Publications


  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

  • Doctor Philosophy

View all Supervision


Book Chapter

  • Turner, Mark S., Vu, Thu Ngoc Minh, Marcellin, Esteban, Liang, Zhao-Xun and Pham, Huong Thi (2020). Osmoregulation via Cyclic di-AMP Signaling. Microbial Cyclic Di-Nucleotide Signaling. (pp. 177-189) Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-030-33308-9_11

  • Marcellin, Esteban, Chen, Wendy Y. and Nielsen, Lars K. (2016). Metabolic pathway engineering for hyaluronic acid production. Handbook of carbohydrate-modifying biocatalysts. (pp. 683-696) edited by Peter Grunwald. New York, NY, United States: Pan Stanford Publishing. doi: 10.4032/9789814669795

  • Marcellin, Esteban, Chen, Wendy Y. and Nielsen, Lars K. (2012). Metabolic pathway engineering for hyaluronic acid production. Carbohydrate modifying biocatalysts. (pp. 571-584) edited by Peter Grundwald. Singapore: Pan Stanford Publishing. doi: 10.4032/9789814303484

  • Marcellin, Esteban, Chen, Wendy and Nielsen, Lars Keld (2009). Microbial hyaluronic acid biosynthesis. Microbial Production of Biopolymers and Polymer Precursors: Applications and Perspectives. (pp. 163-180) edited by B.H.A. Rehm. Norfolk, UK: Caister Academic Press.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

  • Nielsen, Lars Keld, Chen, Wendy and Saldana Marcellin, Esteban Stefane (2010). Production of hyaluronic acid. EP 2195348 A1.

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision