Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy

Research • Educate • Connect
Towards a sustainable bioeconomy
SEED FUND 3.0 - Project LignoPharm

From the valorisation of lignin to new pharmaceuticals


In the LignoPharm project, the aim is to investigate how phenolic lignin components can be converted into N-heterocycles by bioinorganic copper complexes. These N-heterocycles are then microbially tested and reduced with the help of imine reductases. This type of lignin functionalization thus involves a completely novel chemobiohybrid reaction chain that will lead to a large number of bioactive N-heterocycles. LignoPharm opens up new ways to generate a library of potentially pharmaceutically active compounds from the inexpensive raw material lignin in a bio-inspired manner. The combination of chemical and biological catalysis ensures maximum atomic economy, which will give the bioeconomy a further boost.

SEED FUND 3.0 Project Coordinator

Prof. Dr. Sonja Herres-Pawlis
Bioinorganic Chemistry
RWTH Aachen
email: sonja.herres-pawlis[at]



Prof. Dr. Sonja Herres-Pawlis, Bioinorganic Chemistry, RWTH Aachen
Dr. Philipp M. Grande, Prof. Dr. Ulrich Schurr, IBG-2 – Plant Sciences, Forschungszentrum Jülich
Prof. Dr. Lars Lauterbach, iAMB – Synthetic Microbiology, RWTH Aachen


Funding period

01.01.2024 - 31.12.2025



LignoPharm is part of the NRW-Strategieprojekt BioSC and thus funded by the Ministry of Culture and Science of the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia.