Dr. Frank Hollmann and dr. Pascale Daran-Lapujade win ERC Consolidator Grant

News - 17 February 2016

Dr. Frank Hollmann and dr. Pascale Daran-Lapujade (Biotechnology), have been awarded with a Consolidator Grant by the European Research Council (ERC). During the next five years they will receive funding in the amount of approximately 2 million euros for their research.



Dr. Frank Hollmann 

Biocatalysis and Organic Chemistry 
The research of dr. Hollmann concerns the use of water in biocatalysis, thereby making it even more sustainable.

Biocatalysis is the use of natural catalysts, such as enzymes, to perform chemical transformations on organic compounds. Especially redox reactions, which are of particular interest for chemical synthesis, are often questionable from an environmental point-of-view, as valuable (and often edible) resources are consumed. The aim of the project is to solve this conflict by substituting valuable resources by water, which becomes possible through the combination of light and special catalysts.


Dr. Pascale Daran-Lapujade

Industrial Microbiology 
AdLibYeast, the research project of dr. Daran-Lapujade, focuses on the development of technologies that will pave the way for a modular approach to engineering of microbial cells.

Replacement of petrochemistry by bio-based processes is key to sustainable development and requires microbes equipped with outstanding, novel-to-nature capabilities. Constructing such advanced ‘cell factories’ requires large-scale remodelling of their core machinery, and therefore of their genome. However, microbes often harbour mosaic genomes in which thousands of genes are scattered over dozens of chromosomes. This absence of a modular organization tremendously restricts genetic accessibility and defies current technologies. 


AdLibYeast will conquer this limitation by developing microbial platforms with specialized, interchangeable synthetic chromosomes that will enable the core machinery to be remodeled at will. Access to a sheer endless variety of configurations of core metabolism offers unique, new possibilities for fundamental understanding and rational engineering of microbes. 

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