About Us

Biocatalysis, the use of microbial cells or isolated enzymes in the production of fine chemicals, food ingredients, and pharmaceuticals, can lead to cleaner and more sustainable industrial processes.

Enzymes are attractive catalysts for chemical synthesis due to their exceptional enantio- and regioselectivities; hence, enzymes can be used in both simple and complex syntheses without the need for the blocking and deblocking steps often found in organic processes.

Directed evolution is an approach based on the Darwinian algorithm of mutation and selection, which allows investigating and improving enzyme functions. Together with rational design, it constitutes the growing field of protein engineering.

Our lab is involved in utilizing enzymes, mainly oxygenases and lipases, as well as yeast cells, for production of fine chemicals. Our focus is on chiral molecules and food nutraceuticals. We use protein engineering techniques to render the enzymes more suitable for their new and improved catalytic roles. Our main interest is in learning to control enzyme specificity and selectivity.

We are specifically working on the following topics:

  • Applied biocatalysis
  • Protein engineering
  • Enzymes in non-conventional media
  • Structure-function relationships in enzymes

I can for see a time in which physiological chemistry will not only make greater use of natural enzymes but will actually resort to creating synthetic onesEmil Fischer, Nobel Lecture, 1902.