Delft University of Biotechnology.
After obtaining her Ph.D. in Metabolic Engineering in 2000 from the Institut National Polytechnique de Lorraine (INPL) in France in the field of metabolic engineering, Pascale Daran-Lapujade started as post-doctoral fellow and later as tenure-tracker at the Delft University of Technology to explore the physiology of the model and industrial yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. With an overarching goal of exploring fundamental questions relevant for industrial applications, she more specifically focused on the regulation of central metabolism and on yeast cultures at near-zero growth rates. She became Associate Professor in 2018 and Full Professor in 2019. In the past decade, she has embarked in the exciting field of synthetic biology, to improve Saccharomyces cerevisiae molecular toolbox and genetic accessibility, a research spurred by a Dutch Vidi grant and an ERC consolidator grant.
Pablo received a M.Sc. in Biotechnology (2004) and a Ph.D. in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology (2009) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During graduate school, his research focused on repurposing two-component signal transduction systems in Escherichia coli to produce biopolymers and biofuels. After receiving training in 13C-based technologies for quantitative physiology in USA (Rice University), Pablo moved to Europe in 2011 as a post-doctoral fellow in Prof. de Lorenzo’s laboratory in Madrid, funded by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) of the European Commission. During his post-doctoral training, he came across the world of environmental bacteria, and in particular, Pseudomonas putida. Inspired by the unique possibilities that this bacterium offered for bioengineering, he is now leading the Systems Environmental Microbiology Group at DTU Biosustain to rewrite P. putida’s core biochemistry (neo-metabolism) for the biosynthesis of novel compounds with a focus on new-to-nature fine chemicals. The ultimate ambition of this research programme is to expand the very limits of microbial biochemistry—allowing access to compounds that are exclusively produced via traditional chemistry nowadays. Pablo is also the coordinator of the H2020 project SinFonia (sinfoniabiotec.eu).
University of Birmingham.
Tim obtained a Ph.D. in Biochemistry in 2003, focusing on regulation of transcription initiation by the FNR protein in Escherichia coli and Neisseria gonorrhoeae. Subsequent research investigated global gene regulation in response to oxygen, nitrate, nitrite and reactive nitrogen species in these two species. In 2007 he moved to the School of Chemical Engineering, where his research focuses on three main areas: microbial fermentation for the production of diverse products (e.g. recombinant proteins, biopolymers, magnetic nanoparticles); biofilms, how to remove and prevent them where they are not desired and how to make them for useful applications; and flow cytometry as a technique for process optimisation and analysis of microbial physiology.
Dr. Urartu Safak Ozgur Seker received his Ph.D. degree from Molecular Biology Genetics and Biotechnology programme at Istanbul Technical University in 2009. Between 2004 and 2008 he worked as a Research Assistant at Materials Science and Engineering Department of the University of Washington. Afterwards, he worked as a research associate at Singapore Nanyang Technological University, Electrical and Electronics Engineering and Applied Physics departments. Then, he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at MIT Biological Engineering Department and MIT Synthetic Biology Center between 2011 and 2014. In 2014, he joined Bilkent University UNAM as an Assistant Professor. His research interests span a wide field including synthetic biology enabled cellular programming for biosensing and regenerative medicine, synthetic biogenesis of bioinspired biomaterials and targeted drug delivery and controlled release platforms.
Institut National des Sciences Appliquées.
Jean-Marie François is full professor of Industrial Microbiology and BioNanotechnology at the Federal University of Toulouse, School of Engineering. His research activity concerns integrated physiology and functional genomics in microbial systems, with a specific focus on genetic and metabolic regulation and refactoring carbon and energy metabolism towards production of bio-based chemicals for renewable carbon sources. He is author of more than 200 papers in international journals, with a H index of 48 (as of December 2019) and holds 20 patents. He is Editor-in-Chief of BMC Biotechnology for Biofuels and Specialty Editor in Chief of Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology, section Synthetic Biology and member of the European Federation of Biotechnology. Jean-Marie is also a co-founder of two spin-offs in the field of bio(nano)technology.
Technische Universität Berlin.
Vera Meyer studied biotechnology at the Sofia University (Bulgaria) and the TUB (Berlin University of Technology, Germany). After obtaining a Ph.D. degree (2001) and habilitation (2008) at the TUB, she worked as Assistant Professor at Leiden University (2008-2011). She has been visiting scientist at the Imperial College London (2003) and at Leiden University (2005-2006). In 2011, she became Full Professor of Applied and Molecular Microbiology at the TUB. Vera Meyer has research interests on fungal biotechnology with main emphasis on systems biology, genetic engineering and antifungal drug development.
University of Milano-Bicocca.
Paola’s group is interested in the development of sustainable microbial-based bioprocesses, mainly valorizing residual biomasses as in the concept of biorefineries. This is pursued by tailoring microbial strains, mainly but not exclusively Saccharomyces and non-Saccharomyces yeasts, for the production of fine and bulk chemicals, biofuels, nutraceuticals. Synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, flow cytometry, screening protocols and adaptive laboratory evolution are the approaches used to leverage microbial potential, including robustness against stress, to match industrial requirements. She published over 60 peer-reviewed papers, 7 book chapters, and she is (co-)inventor of 10 patent applications, 6 of which obtained the PCT status, and 5 were subsequently licensed. She is co-founder and CSO of Galatea BioTech SRL, a University spin-off company active in the production of bio-based biodegradable materials. She acts as coordinator of the Ph.D. program in “Converging Technologies for Biomolecular Systems”, and as beneficiary of past and present MSCA ITN programmes: principles and concepts of Open Science and RRI are embedded both in her researches as in her teaching and communication activities.
Ralf Takors worked at Evonik Degussa GmbH from 2004 to 2009. In 2001, he received the Dechema Young Professor Award and has been the director of the Institute of Biochemical Engineering (IBVT), University of Stuttgart, since 2009. His main research interests are systems metabolic engineering, synthetic biology and biochemical engineering to develop novel bioprocesses from lab to production scale. Wet-lab activities are supported by intensive modelling activities comprising genome scale stoichiometric modelling, metabolic flux analysis, gene regulatory networks, and bioreactor modelling using compartmented approaches and computational fluid dynamics. Since 2014, Ralf is co-chair of the ‘Bioprozesstechnik’ group at DECHEMA e.V.
INRAE. iSSB. Univ. of Manchester.
France / UK.
Jean-Loup Faulon obtained a Ph.D. in Computational Chemistry at the École Nationale Supérieure des Mines, France, in 1991, and a Habilitation from the University of Strasbourg in Theoretical Chemistry. He currently works at the MICALIS, an INRAE research institute, and he is also a Professor at the University of Manchester in the SYNBIOCHEM Synthetic Biology center. Jean-Loup does research in Synthetic Biology for Metabolic and Biosensor Engineering. The applications of his work include metabolic pathway, biosensor, and biocomputation device design and engineering in whole-cell and cell-free systems. Other activities include the use of artificial intelligence methods (supervised, active and reinforcement learning) for design of experiments in synthetic biology.
University of Ghent.
Marjan De Mey obtained a Ph.D. in Bioscience Engineering at the University of Ghent. She was visiting researcher at TU Delft (The Netherlands) and MIT (USA) and since 2011 she holds a position as professor in Metabolic Engineering at the Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, where she leads the Metabolic Engineering group at the Centre for Synthetic Biology. Their research focuses on the development of novel tools and methods to fine tune metabolic pathways for the biosynthesis of chemically complex metabolites. These novel tools and technologies include several DNA parts libraries as well as efficient and rapid methods for constructing synthetic pathways, transferring them into prokaryotic or eukaryotic microbial systems, and screening them in a high-throughput manner. Marjan’s team applies these tools and methods to create custom designed microbes for the production of useful chemicals from renewable resources, in particular for the production of specialty carbohydrates and natural products. These molecules, or their direct precursors, have a myriad of high-added value applications in—among others—pharmaceuticals, food additives and cosmetics.
CSIC, Universidad de Valencia.
Manel obtained his Ph.D. degree at the University of Navarra in 2000. After spending 4 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute Pasteur, Paris, he joined the University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain, in 2004 as a Ramón y Cajal Researcher. He currently leads the Biotechnology and Synthetic Biology group at the Institute of Integrative Systems Biology (I2SysBio), where the research interests revolve around different aspects of applied microbiology and in one of the newest scientific disciplines, Synthetic Biology. Manel’s group has experience in NGS techniques applied to determine the taxonomic profile of natural samples as well as their metabolic and functional traits by metagenomics analysis. Microbial communities adapted to extreme conditions studied by members of the group include solar panels and two-stage reactors for biogas production. Another focus of his group is studying, through computational modeling, how genome information translates into metabolic and ecological traits in microbial communities. Manel’s team also contribute to the discussion on standards in Synthetic Biology, as well as to historical, philosophical, and sociological aspects of the field.