This is the first webinar on Catalysts, entitled: "Recent Advances in Biocatalysis for Biomanufacturing." This is particularly interesting, as global trends toward sustainability are driving the demand for greener products with improved properties and new environmentally friendly biomanufacturing. Prof. Dr. Anwar Sunnawas the chair of the webinar. Prof. Dr. Sunna welcomed the audience to the subject and introduced the two following expert researchers: Prof. Dr. Schmidt-Dannert and Prof. Dr. Ulf Hanefeld.
The title of Prof. Dr. Claudia Schmidt-Dannert's presentation was "Towards Genetically Programmable Functional Biomaterials for Biocatalysis and Beyond". Her presentation was followed by Prof. Dr. Ulf Hanefeld, who presented his research on "Flowing towards Chirality: Continous Reactions Catalysed by Enzymes".
Details of the experts:
Prof. Dr. Sunna received his Ph.D. in Technical Microbiology from the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH), Germany, and has held research and teaching positions at the TUHH and Potsdam University (Germany). He joined Macquarie University (MQ) in 2005 and is currently Associate Professor with the Department of Molecular Sciences. He was the recipient of a MQ Research Fellowship and the prestigious MQ Vice-Chancellor’s Innovation Fellowship. His current research integrates enzyme technology and biomolecule–inorganic interactions with synthetic biology for the construction of multi-enzyme biocatalytic modules and the assembly of natural and synthetic pathways for valorization of organic waste. He is currently Director of the MQ Biomolecular Discovery Research Centre and Director of the Master of Biotechnology and Master of Biotechnology and Business programs at MQ.
Prof. Dr. Schmidt-Dannert is a distinguished McKnight Professor and Kirkwood Chair of Biochemistry in the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Minnesota. She completed her B.S. and M.S. in Biochemistry and Genetics at the TU Braunschweig and performed her Ph.D. research at the National Research Center for Biotechnology in Braunschweig. She then moved to the University of Stuttgart to lead the Molecular Biotechnology Group with the Institute of Technical Biochemistry. In 1998, she received a habilitation-fellowship from the German Science Foundation for the molecular breeding of pathways; with this project, she joined Prof. Frances Arnold’s group at Caltech. In 2000, she joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota. Her current research focuses on natural product pathways and enzymes from higher fungi (mushrooms) and multi-enzyme biocatalysis using synthetic biology approaches for the design of genetically programmable and hierarchical materials. He has published numerous manuscripts, patents, and book chapters; serves as Editor and Board Member of several journals; and received several awards such as a David and Lucile Packard Fellowship and McKnight Fellow- and Professorships.
In 1993, Dr. Hanefeld received his Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry from the Georg-August-Universität zu Göttingen, having performed research both with Prof. H. Laatsch (Göttingen) and Prof. H. G. Floss (Seattle). After postdoctoral years with Prof. C. W. Rees (Imperial College London), Prof. J. Staunton (Cambridge), and Prof. J. J. Heijnen and Dr. A. J. J. Straathof (TU Delft), he received a fellowship from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. He rose through the ranks at the Technische Universiteit Delft and his research in Delft focuses on enzymes, their immobilisation, and their application in organic synthesis.