Bacterial secondary metabolites are natural products with various bioactivities. The group of Dr. Anita Loeschcke develops tools which allow the heterologic expression of gene clusters and activation of synthesis pathways. Her research focuses on the biosynthesis of various biological secondary metabolites in the bacterium Pseudomonas putida as well as on the evaluation of the antibiotic activity of these products.
After studying biology at Cologne University Anita Loeschcke prepared her diploma thesis at the Institute of Molecular Enzyme Technology (IMET) of Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf at Forschungszentrum Jülich. She worked on heterologic expression of gene clusters in bacteria. In her PhD thesis she tested the so-called TREX tool for gene expressions in different bacterial hosts like Escherichia coli, Pseudomonas putida and Rhodobacter capsulatus and focused on carotenoids as target products. Since having finished her PhD at HHU Düsseldorf in 2012, Anita Loeschcke is working as a Post-Doc at IMET. Together with the group “Bacterial Photobiotechnology” of Dr. Thomas Drepper she works on the development and use of different expression tools particularly with Pseudomonas putida. The spectrum of target products is extended to other secondary metabolites like other terpenes, pyrrole alkaloids, lipopeptids, violaceines and phenazines. The regulation of the bactericidal effectiveness of these products is another important part of her research.
Anita Loeschcke`s first contact with the BioSC was in the BOOST FUND project PNP-EXPRESS. Then she was intensely involved in the SEED FUND project BioSAF where she was able to verify two recently identified Ccd2-type genes with catalytically active gene products. Since May 2017 she is the leader of the FocusLab CombiCom. In this interdisciplinary three-years project, known and new natural compounds are produced with new methods of molecular biology and their effectiveness for plant protection and for medical purposes is evaluated. In parallel to the biological research, the acceptance for products from synthetic-biological procedures in society will be analysed and strategies for their market launch will be developed.
Dr. Anita Loeschcke
Institut für Molekulare Enzymtechnologie (IMET)