Get to know our ESRs

ESR 01
Matteo Vajente

Synthetic biology to streamline the metabolism of C. necator toward the production of rare amino acids and proteins

Host/Lead University:
University of Groningen.
Main Supervisor:
Prof. Dr. Gerrit J. Poelarends and Dr. Sandy Schmidt
Second University:
RWTH Aachen University
Second Supervisor:
Prof. Lars M. Blank
Secondments to:
RWTH Aachen University; LegenDairy Foods GmbH
My background:
I have a background in Industrial Biotechnologies, focused on molecular biology in yeasts.
My scientific interests:
I am interested in genetic manipulation of autotrophic organisms, to create products using CO2 as a resource.
My hobbies:
Hiking, yoga, calligraphy, music. May have random bursts of passion for unexpected topics.
If I would not have become a scientist I might have become a …
Probably an engineer
I really do not like …
Bad color palettes
I can get really enthusiastic about …
Musicals, historical handwriting and turtleneck sweaters

ESR 02
Franziska Bock

Metabolic strategies for the synthesis of isotope-labeled amino acids in C. necator

Host/Lead University:
University of Groningen
Main Supervisor:
Prof. Dr. Gerrit J. Poelarends and Dr. Sandy Schmidt
Second University:
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Second Supervisor:
Dr. Sandy Schmidt
Secondments to:
Silantes GmbH
My background:
Pharmacy
My scientific interests:
Green (bio-)chemistry, biopharmaceuticals
My hobbies:
Cycling, hiking, reading
If I would not have become a scientist I might have become a …
Veterinarian
I really do not like …
Vanilla scented candles, boiled eggs
I can get really enthusiastic about …
Plants, good food, mountaineering

ESR 03
Riccardo Clerici

Metabolic Engineering of C. necator to exploid lipid de novo synthesis for OH-fattyacid ester production

Host/Lead University:
RWTH Aachen
Main Supervisor:
Prof. Lars M. Blank
Second University:
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Second Supervisor:
Dr. Sandy Schmidt
Secondments to:
Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP), Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
My background:
B.Sc. in Biological Sciences and M.Sc. in Industrial Biotechnology with a specialization in Computational Biology
My scientific interests:
Metabolic engineering, Computational Biology, Synthetic Biology, Bioeconomy
My hobbies:
Mountain biking, trekking, soccer, video games
If I would not have become a scientist I might have become a …
Wildlife preserver
I really do not like …
Climate change, peas, traffic jams
I can get really enthusiastic about …
Animals, Star Wars, well-made pasta
ESR 04
Javier García Navarro

Transport engineering in Cupriavidus necator

Host/Lead University:
acib GmbH,  Graz University of Technology
Main Supervisor:
Prof. Robert Kourist
Second University:
INSA Toulouse
Second Supervisor:
Prof. Stéphane Guillouet
Secondments to:
INSA Toulouse, CASCAT GmbH (Germany)
My background:
Microbiology
My scientific interests:
Biocatalysis, Microbial Cell Factories, Genetic engineering and Green Chemistry
My hobbies:
Basketball, graphic design and snorkeling
If I would not have become a scientist I might have become a …
Physiotherapist
I really do not like …
Having cold feet
I can get really enthusiastic about …
Jar terrariums and documentaries
ESR 05
Itzel Castro González

H2-driven production of substituted piperidines in Cupriavidus necator

Host/Lead University:
RWTH Aachen
Main Supervisor:
Dr. Lars Lauterbach
Second University:INSA Toulouse
Second Supervisor:
Dr. Stephane Guillouet
Secondments to:
INSA Toulouse, University of Groningen, Silantes GmbH
My background:
Engineering (Biochemistry and Biology)
My scientific interests:
Microbial enzymes and metabolism. Applications in sustainable development and biotechnology.
My hobbies:
Sports (Parkour), walking around discovering a city, listening to podcasts, drawing, reading
If I would not have become a scientist I might have become a …
Chef and owner of a taco restaurant
I really do not like …
People not being nice to each other
I can get really enthusiastic about …
Discussing historical events, cooking, traveling
ESR 06
Donato Calabrese

Protein Engineering of several Oxidoreductases for the whole cell production of functionalized Piperazines in C. Necator

Host/Lead University:
RWTH Aachen
Main Supervisor:
Dr. Lars Lauterbach
Second University:
University of Groningen
Second Supervisor:
Dr. Sandy Schmidt
Secondments to:
Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP) at RUG, National Institute for Applied Sciences (INSA)
My background:
B. Sc in Biological Sciences, M. Sc. In Theoretical Chemistry
My scientific interests:
Structural Biology, Reaction Mechanisms, Spectroscopy and Crystallography
My hobbies:
Reading, Playing Videogames, Listening to and Playing Music
If I would not have become a scientist I might have become a …
Fisherman or Musician
I really do not like …
P values greater then 0.05
I can get really enthusiastic about …
New album releases from Tool and some comfy food like cinnamon rolls
ESR 07
Sander Noordam

Electrophotoautotrophic production of N-heterocycles by an enzymatic cascade in Rhodopseudomonas palustris

Host/Lead University:
Universidade NOVA de Lisboa
Main Supervisor:
Prof. Ricardo Louro
Second University:
Rijksuniversiteit Groningen
Second Supervisor:
Dr. Sandy Schmidt
Secondments to:
Institute of Applied Microbiology, RWTH Aachen, Germany
My background:
Life Science and Technology with a specialization in biocatalysis
My scientific interests:
Sustainable processes, use of CO2 as molecular building block, pharmaceutical synthesis, asymmetric synthesis
My hobbies:
Mountaineering, wakeboarding, fitness and backpacking
If I would not have become a scientist I might have become a …
Surgeon
I really do not like …
The soft/dark spots on a banana
I can get really enthusiastic about …
Labradors and some sports that involve a bit of adrenaline
ESR 08
Isabell Weickardt

Impacts of high pressure for efficient biomolecules production from CO2: from reactor design to microbial physiology

Host/Lead University:
INSA Toulouse
Main Supervisor:
Prof. Stéphane Guillouet
Second University:
RWTH Aachen
Second Supervisor:
Prof. Lars M. Blank
Secondments to:
SUEZ Groupe
My background:
Biotechnology, bioprocess engineering
My scientific interests:
Industrial microbiology, bioeconomy, sustainable processes
My hobbies:
Bouldering, jogging, DIY, reading
If I would not have become a scientist I might have become a …
Industrial designer
I really do not like …
Narrow-mindedness, caraway
I can get really enthusiastic about …
Sustainability, games, Harry Potter, food
ESR 09
Frederico di Bisceglie

Production of isopropanol from C. necator under low H2

Host/Lead University:
INSA Toulouse
Main Supervisor:
Prof. Stéphane Guillouet
Second University:
Graz University of Technology (Austria)
Second Supervisor:
Dr. Regina Kratzer
Secondments to:
Graz University of Technology (Austria), POLYMEM (France)
My background:
M.Sc. degree in Industrial Biotechnology
My scientific interests:
Fermentations, Process Engineering, Biorefineries
My hobbies:
Chess, Reading, Hiking and Mixology
If I would not have become a scientist I might have become a …
Financial Analyst
I really do not like …
Untidy spaces
I can get really enthusiastic about …
A good book, a new city and a bowl of pasta
ESR 10
Pauline Pijpstra

Dynamic analysis of subpopulation distributions of engineered C. necator for biomolecules production from CO2: determination of the strain robustness under the constraints of gas fermentation

Host/Lead University:
INSA Toulouse
Main Supervisor:
Dr. Nathalie Gorret
Second University:
Graz University of Technology (Austria)
Second Supervisor:
Prof. Robert Kourist
Secondments to:
Total Energies
My background:
Bioscience engineering in cell and gene biotechnology
My scientific interests:
Genetic engineering, metabolic engineering and synthetic biology
My hobbies:
Reading, cooking and taking long walks
If I would not have become a scientist I might have become a …
Baker
I really do not like …
Contamination
I can get really enthusiastic about …
Good results and great food!
ESR 11
Halima Aliyu Alhafiz

Gas fermentation to match microbial requirements and technological feasibilities

More information coming soon …