Meet the Fellows

 
University of York - CNAP
Maria Razalan Maria Magdalena Razalan

Maria M., after a BSc in Biotechnology and two different internships at italian companies, obtained her MSc in Industrial Biotechnology at the Department of Life Sciences and Systems Biology of the University of Turin, Italy. Working on human flavin containing monooxygenase isoform 3 (hFMO3), under the supervision of Dr. S.Sadeghi and Prof. G.Gilardi, allowed her to gain good knowledge and practice in various biochemical techniques, such as protein expression and purification and substrate turnover assays. Her main interest is protein biochemistry, but she is also interested in extending her experience in molecular biology and modelling. Her PhD project in Prof.N.Bruce's group at CNAP (Centre for Novel Agricultural Products, University of York) and within the P4fifty framework is focused on engineering A.thaliana P450 redox-self-sufficient fusions for biotechnological applications.

University of York - YSBL
Claudia Spandolf Claudia Spandolf

2010 Claudia completed her German Diploma (Equivalent to MSc) in Microbiology at the University Of Rostock, Germany. Her final year thesis comprised the investigation of the granulose-metabolism of Clostridium acetobutylicum using insertional mutagenesis as well as overexpression techniques under the supervision of Dr. Ralf-Jörg Fischer. After her Diploma, Claudia travelled 1 1/2 years through Australia and South East Asia to gain experiences beyond the academical area before applying for a PhD position at the University of York. Her PhD project in Dr Gideon Grogan’s group at YSBL (York Structural Biology Laboratory, University of York) and within the P4fifty framework is focused on the investigation of Beauveria bassiana’s P450 complement for biocatalysis.

 
University of Manchester
S Husarova Slavomira Husarova

After finishing her studies on Faculty of Pharmacy at Comenius University (Slovakia), in 2007 she begun a PhD funded by French Government scholarship under supervision of Dr. Mária Matulová (Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava, Slovakia) and Dr. Anne-Marie Delort (Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, France). Her PhD involved study of metabolism of bacteria isolated from cloud water, especially NMR structure elucidation of exopolysaccharides produced by bacterium under specific conditions, which could have great impact to the atmospheric processes. She currently works as a postdoctoral researcher for Prof. Nicholas Turner at the University of Manchester where her research focuses on the high-throughput screening methods development for study of cytochrome P450s biocatalysts for applications in industry as an Experienced Researcher in P4FIFTY.
  

Anja Eichler Anja Eichler (MC ITN)

As a PhD student joining the Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher Fellowship at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology I would like to introduce myself and provide a brief account of my project.
During my childhood it was always a fascination of mine to discover secrets of nature. Therefore, at college I took a special interest in Biotechnology, as I believed it would bring me closer to finding answers to the challenging questions of life. In order to gain a deeper chemical and biological understanding of all living processes I decided to study Chemistry at Albert-Ludwigs Universitaet in Freiburg, Germany. This enabled me to acquire excellent knowledge of Inorganic, Organic and Physical Chemistry as well as Biochemistry. Moreover, I recently finished my Diploma in Chemistry majoring in Biochemistry by getting a closer look at the NADH:ubiquinone oxidoreductase of a hyperthermophilic bacterium. Basic functional and structural studies of this enzyme are necessary to understand in order to appreciate many human neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson's disease or Alzheimer's disease.

As part of my study, I had the opportunity to work as an Erasmus student with the research group of Professor Flitsch in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology on screening studies of different P450 monooxygenases. The level of interest in understanding these complex biocatalysts reflect by the high demand of the pharmaceutical and chemical industries for their drug synthesis, left a strong impression on me. For this reason I focus during my PhD in developing of a fluorescent high throughput screening method in order to find interesting chemical compounds for P450 biocatalysts. Furthermore, in order to get efficient and industrially attractive biocatalysts and to overcome the expensive use of the electron donor NAD(P)H some investigation will be done in generating electrochemically driven P450s.

Objective:

  • Development of a fluorescent high throughput screening (HTS)method in order to identify stereospecific reactions of mutant libraries of cytochrome P450
  • Results of the HTS method will incorporated to the mutein database (MuteinDB) used for industrial applications
  • Generating of an electrochemically driven P450 attached on a graphene surface

 
University of Stuttgart
Sandra Notonier Sandra Notonier

Sandra obtained her MSc in biotechnology from the Ecole Superieure d´Ingenieurs de Luminy, (Marseille, France). Prior to her PhD she has completed two major internships in the field of biotechnology. At the National Center for the French Scientific Research (Marseille, France), she joined the bacterial biosensor team to work on the construction of a fluorescent bacteriophage to gain knowledge and competent skills in molecular biology techniques. During a six-month internship at LS9 Inc., company in South San Francisco (USA)., she worked on cytochrome P450 monooxygenase enzyme in the metabolic engineering team under the supervision of Dr. Andreas Schirmer. She improved her competencies in practical molecular biology, biochemistry and fermentation techniques, by studying the bacterial production of bifunctional fatty acids derivatives. Sandra is currently working as a PhD student at the Institute of Technical Biochemistry, (Stuttgart, Germany), being led by Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hauer. Her thesis “Development of highly efficient whole cell biotransformation systems of novel P450 monooxygenases” is part of the EU Marie Curie P4FIFTY programme. In there, she aims to improve the production yield of terminal-hydroxylated compounds using mutant self-sufficient cytochrome P450s (CYP153A family). The project is focusing on enzyme characterization, bacterial strain engineering, and fermentation/up-scaling processes in collaboration with the Center for Process Engineering and Technology in Denmark (DTU).


  
L Gricman Lukasz Gricman

Lukasz has a Masters degree in Biotechnology from University of Warmia and Mazury in Olsztyn, Poland. During his studies he worked on structure and sequence analyses of human myelin membrane proteins. He has spend one semester at the University of Trieste, Italy, where he worked on analyses of mRNA-protein interactions in neurons. Lukasz is a PhD student in the group of Prof. Jürgen Pleiss at the Institute of Technical Biochemistry, University of Stuttgart, Germany. He focuses on establishing a modeling strategy for P450 enzymes. Lukasz will apply molecular modeling to design P450 enzyme variants with improved stability, activity, and selectivity, and  analyse the CYPED (www.cyped.uni-stuttgart.de) for data mining and in silico screening for new P450 enzymes.

 
University of Groningen
Nina Beyer Nina Beyer

Nina completed her studies of Biochemistry at the University of Greifswald in 2012 with the German Diploma. She conducted her thesis in the department of Biotechnology and Enzyme Catalysis, supervised by Prof. U. T. Bornscheuer. Her work entailed research on oxaloacetate decarboxylases, thereby giving her the opportunity to gain experience with the application of molecular biological, microbiological, biochemical and analytical methods.

In November 2012, Nina joined the P4fifty network as a PhD student in the group of Biotransformation and Biocatalysis under the supervision of Prof. D. B. Janssen. Her project concerns the exploration and engineering of bacterial and mammalian P450s. It specifically targets the conversion of isoprenoids, steroids and related compounds.

Ilona Jóźwik Ilona Jóźwik

Ilona studied Biotechnology at International Faculty of Engineering (IFE) at Lodz University of Technology in Łódź, Poland and obtained her MSc degree (July 2012) with specialization of Molecular Biology and Technical Biochemistry. Her master thesis was conducted in the Institute of Technical Biochemistry under the supervision of prof. G. Bujacz, the head of X-Ray Analysis Laboratory. The work performed involved purification and crystallization of protein complexes.

Subsequently, she started her PhD study in Protein X-Ray crystallography group of University of Groningen, in December 2012. Her project within the P4FIFTY network, supervised by A.M.W.H. Thunnissen focuses on structural studies of bacterial P450s by X-Ray crystallography methods.

 
CNRS, University of Strasbourg
Tina Ilc Tina Ilc

Tina is an early stage researcher at the Institute of Plant Molecular Biology (Institut de Biologie Moléculaire des Plantes) in Strasbourg, France. She is discovering the role of cytochromes P450 in the biosynthesis of grapevine aroma. Her focus is on metabolism of monoterpenes, which are among the main constituents of white wine bouquet. She combines genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics in her approach.

Tina received a Diploma degree in Biochemistry from University of Ljubljana, Slovenia, in 2012. She completed an internship in the field of plant biochemistry at University of Melbourne, Australia. In 2010 she participated in the winning team at iGEM (International Genetically Engineered Machine) competition, hosted by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. During her studies she volunteered for a non-profit organization IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience). She also spent two summers working in the lab of a local winery, where she learnt about wine and the wine making process: one of the reasons why she could not be happier to enter grapevine research.

 

 
University of Copenhagen
Martina Pičmanová Martina Pičmanová

Martina gained her MSc in Cell and Molecular Plant Biology, from the Faculty of Science of the Charles University in Prague. In her Masters thesis she focused on a cytochrome P450, Isoflavone synthase. As a PhD student at the University of Copenhagen, she has been studying the metabolism of cyanogenic glycosides in cassava and almond.
 

Krutika Bavishi Krutika Bavishi

Krutika is a PhD student under the supervision of Dr Birger Lindberg  Moller,  at the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences, University of Copenhagen since February 2013. Her aim is to delve deeper into the Dhurrin metabolon of the Sorghum plant, which primarily is a ‘P450 containing system’. She shall employ a multidisciplinary approach to solve the mysteries that have ever intrigued scientists in this area for many years.

She has a bachelor degree in Plant Biology and Plant Biotechnology from University of Madras, India (2009) and Master’s degree in Biotechnology from Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India (2012).  As a part of her master’s thesis, she was involved in cloning, expression, purification and crystallization of DAHP Synthase enzyme of Shikimate pathway from Arabidopsis thaliana as well as some bioinformatics studies on DAHPS from Toxoplasma gondii.

 

 
Technical University of Denmark
Marie Andersson Marie Andersson

Marie has a MSc in Chemical Biology from Linköping University, Sweden. Her master thesis was performed in the lab of Prof Claudia Schmidt Dannert at the University of Minnesota entitled Elucidation of the product synthesis of the sesquiterpene synthase Cop6 isolated from Coprinus cinereus. After her masters Marie joined a project at Lund University aiming for enzymatic upgrading of biogas under supervision of Prof Bo Mattiasson. She continued with fermentation pilot plant scale up studies at Indienz HB in collaboration with Lund University, Sweden before she joined Prof John Woodley’s group at DTU. In this group and within the P4fifty project she is focusing on Bioprocess engineering solutions for the application of P450s.

 
University of Saarlandes
  Flòra Màrta Kiss

Flòra was born march 16th 1988 in Budapest, Hungary. After graduating from Biochemical engineering with excellent results at Budapest University of Technology and Economics, she decided to continue with a Master of Science degree.  During the course of her graduate studies, Ms. Kiss joined a research group lead by Dr. Katalin Monostory at the Drug Interaction Lab in the Chemical Research Center of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. Investigating the metabolism of antiepileptic drugs, she gained valuable experience in basic molecular biology and analytical techniques. While working on her master’s thesis Ms. Kiss developed special interest in the field of P450 enzymes, the understanding of drug-metabolism pathways and the interacting molecular processes of complex living systems. She has always craved profound scientific comprehension and believes this is capital to understand the world around us; nature can and must be explained. She sees great potential in both the medical and industrial applications for P450 cytochromes and is eager to orient her efforts in this direction.

Currently, she is a PhD student and lab staff under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Rita Bernhardt in the Biochemistry department at Saarland University. Ms. Kiss was able to obtain financial support through a scholarship from the Marie-Curie Fellowship Programme of the European Union. Her project is entitled: ”Production of CYP106A mutants by site-directed mutagenesis and directed evolution with improved activities/specificities“.

 
Lonza AG, Switzerland
  Michael Ringle

Michael Ringle is working as an experienced researcher (ER) in the P4Fifty project at LONZA AG in Visp.

He studied Chemistry at the University of Saarland from 2002 to 2008. His German diploma thesis was performed in the lab of Prof. Dr. Rita Bernhardt  about the product characterization of CYP106A2 from Bacillus megaterium.
 
After the graduation 2008, he stayed in the lab for his doctoral thesis at Saarbrücken and got a three year research fellowship of the German Federal Environmental Foundation (Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, DBU). This research was focused on cytochrome P450 monooxygenases, especially from the myxobacterium Sorangium cellulosum So ce56. In order to exploit the potential of these novel bacterial P450s, he developed a universally applicable P450-mediated E. coli whole-cell system by co-expression of the P450s and an artificially combined redox chain. Thereby he could demonstrate the applicability of this system with five different P450s from Sorangium cellulosum So ce56 and one P450 from Bacillus megaterium. The Thesis focused mainly on non-physiological substrates like sesquiterpenes, steroids and terpenoic acids and he could produce, isolate and characterise several new hydroxylated products of these P450s.

In autumn 2012, he was hired for the P4Fifty project from LONZA AG and started his work in march 2013 at the Visp site in Switzerland. He is working on the application of P450s biotransformations for the chemical industry. In June2013, he got the graduation as Dr. rer. nat. (Doctorate in Natural Sciences) with the best mark.
 

 
Astrazeneca AB, Sweden
AstraZeneca-JustynaKulig Justyna Kulig

Justyna was born in Poland where she completed a Master of Science degree in Biotechnology in 2008, at the Technical University of Wroclaw (Poland). Her masters project, under supervision of Prof. Dr. S. Lochynski, was focused on the stereoselective multi-step chemical synthesis of lactones as potential insecticides. After these studies she did a traineeship (Leonardo da Vinci) at Aalborg University (Denmark) focussed on enzymatic fatty acid ester syntheses under the  supervision of Prof. Dr. L. H. Pedersen. She then returned to Poland and started work at the Regional State Sanitary as a Junior Assistant. Her tasks encompassed analyses of diversified samples using instrumental analytics under European Standards. In 2010 she started her PhD project (Marie Curie fellowship) at Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH (Germany) under supervision of Prof. Dr. Martina Pohl. Her research was focused on stereoselective synthesis of vicinal diols using synthetic enzyme cascades. During her PhD project she spent three months at the York University (UK) under the supervision of Dr. Gideon Grogan learning some of the secrets of protein crystallisation.
 
In August 2013 she joined the DMPK Design and Biotransformation group CVMD iMED as a Marie Curie sponsored Experienced Researcher at AstraZeneca Mölndal (Sweden).

Her research interests are focused on biocatalysis, asymmetric synthesis, drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics.