Sandy Schmidt

Dr. Sandy Schmidt is Coordinator, first supervisor of ESR1 & ESR2 and co-supervisor of ESR3, ESR6 and ESR7. Additionally, she is member of the Recruitment committee.

Starting from April 2020 on, Dr. Schmidt has been Assistant Professor and Rosalind Franklin Fellow at the University of Groningen and is leading the research group “Synthetic Biotechnology” at the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy within the Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Biology. Sandy Schmidt studied Biochemistry at the University of Greifswald, Germany. She completed her PhD in 2015 in the group of Prof. Uwe Bornscheuer at the University of Greifswald in the field of protein engineering and enzymatic cascade reactions. During her time as postdoctoral researcher at TU Delft, she acquired a strong knowledge on in vitro enzymatic and photo-chemo-enzymatic cascades and further developed her research profile as Junior Group Leader at TU Graz by the design and assembly of synthetic metabolic pathways and multi-enzymatic cascades for biocatalytic applications using synthetic biology tools.

Key expertise, mainly used research methodologies & equipment

Research in the Schmidt lab exploits the powerful reactivity and selectivity of enzymes from secondary metabolite pathways for the production of natural products and their analogs for pharmaceutical applications. Moreover, she is interested in the engineering autotrophic chassis strains using advanced synthetic biology tools for various biotechnological applications. The main lines of research are

  1. the design and assembly of synthetic metabolic pathways and (chemo)enzymatic cascades for biocatalytic applications using synthetic biology tools
  2. Rieske oxygenases involved in natural product biosynthesis
  3. Photobiocatalysis
  4. the development of new concepts for electron transfer pathways in microorganisms

Research facilities include laboratories equipped with state-of-the-art equipment for research in fundamental and applied biocatalysis. This includes know-how and equipment for molecular biology with S1-safety (PCR, cloning), cell culture, protein purification (Äkta purifier), organic synthesis (equipment for synthesis under protection gas), analysis (GC, GC/MS, HPLC, LC-MS, NMR), molecular modeling (MD, Yasara), small to lab scale cultivation facilities, a robotic liquid and plate handling station, and crystallization and X-ray analysis, including a high-throughput nano-volume crystallization robot.
Several central research facilities are available within the GRIP-UMCG environment such as a:

  • Interfaculty Mass Spectrometry Center
  • Human Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cell Facility (Pathology and Medical Biology)
  • Central Animal Facility
  • University Microscope Imaging Center


  • Özgen, F. F., Runda, M. E., Burek, B. O., Wied, P., Bloh, J. Z., Kourist, R., Schmidt, S. Artificial light-harvesting complexes enable Rieske oxygenase-catalyzed hydroxylations in non-photosynthetic cells. Angew. Chem Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 1-7.
  • Zhang, W., Fernández-Fueyo, E., Hollmann, F., Leemans Martin, L., Pesic, M., Wardenga, R., Höhne, M., Schmidt, S., Combining photo-redox and enzyme catalysis facilitates asymmetric C-H bond functionalization. Eur.J.Org.Chem., 2019 (1), 80-84.
  • Assil-Companioni, L., Schmidt, S., Heidinger, P., Schwab, H., Kourist, R. ChemSusChem 2019, 12, 2361–2365.

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