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Research at the Biocatalysis group

The HIMS Biocatalysis group is part of the UvA Research Priority area in “Sustainable Chemistry” and carries out cutting-edge research at the interphase between the chemical and the biological sciences.

Our research is focused on:

  • The development of novel biocatalytic systems for the sustainable manufacture of chemical products. This is achieved through the development of one-pot multi-step enzymatic processes using isolated enzymes in vitro as well as the engineering of biosynthetic pathways in microbial organisms.
  • Identification and characterisation of novel enzymes.
  • Engineering of enzymes to improve existing activities or introduce new activities.
  • Kinetic and thermodynamic measurements of enzymatic reactions.
  • Elucidation of enzymatic reaction mechanisms.
  • Creation of artificial enzymes.

Our research requires therefore a high level of multidisciplinary expertise, encompassing organic synthesis, bioorganic chemistry, biochemistry, enzyme engineering and molecular biology.

Collaborations with other groups at HIMS and at other Universities complement and support our research, in particular regarding X-ray crystallisation of new enzymes and computational studies.

Student research projects

Research projects are available for students with expertise in biological sciences, chemical sciences or biotechnological engineering. Erasmus students are also welcome for a traineeship.