Microbial Catalysis


Our goal is to develop microbial biotechnology concepts that can ultimately be applied to solve grand challenges such as pollution and climate change. Our scientific focus is on the development of microbial catalysts for the bio-based production of chemicals, and the fundamental understanding of the underlying cellular processes. Our main workhorses are bacteria from the genus Pseudomonas and fungi from the Ustilaginaceae family. Our methods revolve around synthetic biology, metabolic engineering, laboratory evolution, systems analysis, and bioprocess technology.

Research Topics

Bacterial production of aromatics. We apply metabolic engineering and synthetic biology to produce aromatic chemicals from renewable resources with non-pathogenic Pseudomonads.

Bio-upcycling of plastics. We aim to establish plastic waste as a new carbon source for biotechnology by screening and engineering plastic-degrading enzymes and microbes.

Fungal biotechnology. We use non-conventional yeasts like Ustilago maydis for the production of organic acids and other natural products from bio-based substrates and industrial side-streams.

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Prof. Dr. Nick Wierckx


Building 15.21 / Room 5037

+49 2461/61-85247


Group pictures


Last Modified: 22.03.2024