The Systems and Synthetic Biology research line fosters resource-efficient, carbon-/ climate-neutral, technically feasible and economically affordable biotechnological production processes by bending the huge and versatile metabolic capabilities of (photo)autotrophic microorganisms to applicative purposes. The microorganisms of our interest are able to produce value-added compounds by using inorganic carbon as a substrate. Therefore, the exploitation of this peculiar metabolic feature permits to develop innovative biotechnological solutions to convert polluting greenhouse gasses, such as CO2, into bulk and fine chemicals of manifold industrial interests as well as fuels such as methane.
To repurpose the native cellular machinery for the production of desired platform molecules at appealing yields and productivities, our laboratory integrates systems biology, microbial physiology and biochemistry and fermentation technologies with metabolic flux optimization and strain engineering. To develop product-oriented proof-of-concept approaches into cell factories relevant to a circular and clean economy, stability and scalability of the engineered biocatalysts are of utmost relevance. To meet these objectives, strain optimization needs to be performed in conjunction with biochemical process engineering. We are developing the engineering aspects of our reactors and processes. The cross-sectorial skills deployed in our laboratory allow us to co-evolve process-related engineering solutions and strain development.
The main field of activities are organized into four work packages:
- WP1 - Light-powered carbon capture and upcycling through cyanobacteria
- WP2 - Gas fermentation into bulk and fine chemicals through acetogens
- WP3 - Biotransformation of carbon dioxide into energy carriers through archaea
- WP4 - Multi-scale bioprocess modelling