Our research interests focus on the optimization of biocatalysts in view of their biotechnological application. Technical application of enzymes in biocatalysis and biotransformation requires high expression levels, fast substrate conversion rates, high enzyme selectivity as well as system stability in order to reach high total turnovers. The construction of highly active and stable enzyme variants or the discovery of new enzymes alone cannot solve all problems associated with the development of biotechnological processes. Therefore, another indispensible part of our research is establishing concepts for biocatalytic processes. Here, isolated or immobilized enzymes as well as whole-cell catalysts combining several enzymatic steps are applied.
Our research deals with regio- and stereoselective reactions achieved by application of microorganisms or isolated enzymes. Starting from cheap and easily available chemical substances (e.g. waste products of pulp- or paper industries) high-priced sought-after products, for example flavors and fragrances, or precursors and chemical intermediates for synthesis of pharmaceuticals and other important chemical compounds, are formed. Thus new “clean” and environment-friendly value-added chains are generated.