Our research addresses methods, technologies, and concepts to afford novel stereoselective biotransformations. Our work aims to bring reactions, which are hitherto exclusively found in either biological or chemical synthesis routes, into whole cells. To this end, the following three core topics are in the focus of our research: Firstly, the establishment of innovative concepts to transfer whole-cell biocatalysts into unconventional reaction media; Secondly, the combination of artificial metal catalysts and protein scaffolds, thereby yielding artificial metalloenzymes. The latter, which are also denoted biohybrid catalysts, combine features of both chemical catalysts and enzymes, so that reactions new-to-nature can be catalyzed. Thirdly, the development of activity assays and methods for characterization of plant secondary metabolite enzymes, and the combination of these enzymes to form whole-cell cascades yielding novel plant-derived compounds.
Given the interdisciplinary character of our research, we rely on a wide range of different techniques and methods. Among others, we utilize methods of molecular biology and gene technology, protein engineering by random mutagenesis or semi-rational design, chemical synthesis and instrumental analytics.
On the following sub-pages, you’ll find information on the currently running projects in the division Next Generation Biocatalysis.