Pep Charusanti – Senior Resaearcher
Pep Charusanti is a Researcher at DTU Biosustain with a background in microbiology, molecular biology, analytical chemistry, and mathematical modelling of biological systems. He has two primary responsibilities within the IIMENA program. First, he is in charge of implementing a co-adaptive laboratory evolution (co-ALE) technique against important human pathogens as a means to find new antibiotics. Second, he is in charge of the chemical isolation of the new molecules. Pep first developed and implemented the co-ALE approach while working as a postdoc in Bernhard Palsson’s lab at UC San Diego.
Xinglin Jiang – Researcher
Xinglin Jiang has background is synthetic biology, biochemistry, bacterial metabolism, antibiotics and antibiotic resistance. His phd project was about designing and constructing biosynthetic pathways to produce novel biofuels and biochemicals. Then he worked as a PostDoc at DTU Biosustain on synthetic biology around antibiotic compounds. In this project he will have responsibility for developing of high through put cloning methods and robotic platforms as well as antibiotic biosynthetic gene clusters cloning and heterologous expression.
Mie Damborg – Laboratory specialist
Mie Damborg has contributed to the project until March 2019. We wish her good luck for her future endeavors. Mie was a Laboratory Specialist at DTU Biosustain with a background in biochemistry and immunology. She wrote her master’s thesis on the characterization of memory T cells in Tuberculosis at KU in collaboration with Statens Serum Institute. Mie was in charge of evolving a large library of Streptomyces strains supplies by MEDINA using the co-adaptive laboratory evolution (co-ALE) technique.
Oliwia Durczak – Technician
Oliwia Durczak is laboratory technician trained in chemical and biotechnical science (Erhvervsakademi Århus), with research experience gained at one of the Max Planck Institutes in Germany. Her prime tasks for this project are: assembly of gene clusters by using molecular biology techniques, extraction and preparing genomic DNA for sequencing.
Eftychia Eva Kontou – Laboratory specialist
Eftychia Eva Kontou is a Chemical Engineer and Biotechnology graduate (BSc and MSc respectively). Eftychia’s competencies are: Analytical techniques and LC-MS data analysis; Organic (Microbial & Medicinal) Chemistry; Microbial-related and general Laboratory work; Drug discovery. Her MSc thesis involved potential of the ubiquitous products of secondary metabolism, with focus on polyketides in Aspergillus nidulans, a sequenced and well-studied model organism. The primary goal was the characterization of a putative polyketidic compound. The micro-scale extracts of all strains were analysed through RP UHPLC-DAD-HR MS. Her tasks in the project are: Extraction, Analytical Chemistry (HPLC) and New compound purification and discovery.
Charlotte Beck – PhD Student
Charlotte Beck has contributed to the project until June 2021. We wish her good luck for her future endeavors. She was a PhD Student in the New Bioactive Compounds section at DTU Biosustain, supervised by Tilmann Weber. She has a background in molecular biology and genetic engineering with a master degree in biotechnology from the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Her PhD aimed to improve the highly effective CRISPR toolkit developed by the NBC section in order to make it compatible with high throughput biosynthetic gene cluster (BGC) inactivation. By inactivating all potential BGCs of strains identified in the coALE screening it will be possible to identify which BGCs are responsible for the bioactivities and characterize them in detail. She used the information gathered by these experiments to design engineering strategies to improve yield and/or generate derivatives of these molecules.
Omkar Satyavan Mohite – PhD Student
Omkar Satyavan Mohite has contributed to the project until April 2021. We wish him good luck for his future endeavors. Omkar have completed B.Tech and M.Tech. in Biological Engineering from IIT Madras, India. He is interested in metabolic network analysis and mathematical modelling of biological systems.
He was a PhD student at Dr. Tilmann Weber’s group and he was working on genome scale metabolic modelling of antibiotics biosynthesis in actinomycetes. His tasks were to improve computational tools to generate metabolic models of secondary metabolism. These tools will further be applied to understand/predict metabolic features of the antibiotics producers.
Tetiana Gren – PostDoc
Tetiana has contributed to the project until April 2021. We wish her good luck for her future endeavors. She is a biotechnologist and microbiologist, who have spent her career working with different Actinobacteria, producers of secondary metabolites. She carried out her PhD project in Center of Biotechnology (CeBiTec) in Bielefeld University, Germany under the supervision of Prof Dr Jörn Kalinowski in cooperation with Bayer HealthCare. In the PhD project she established genetic engineering techniques for Actinoplanes sp. SE50/110, producer of the industrially produced antidiabetic compound acarbose. In IIMENA project she was responsible for developing cloning methods for biosynthetic gene clusters, design and development of the potential heterologous hosts and adjustment of the production of metabolites in native conditions.
Sebastian Theobald – PostDoc
Sebastian has contributed to the project until December 2018. We wish him good luck for his future endeavors. Sebastian was a PostDoc at DTU Biosustain, Center for Biosustainabolity with a background in bioinformatics, biotechnology and molecular biology. Withing the IIMENA project he was responsible for comparative genomics of Streptomyces and genome mining to identify leads for novel bioactive compounds. Sebastian gained extensive experience of comparative genomics of large organism sets during his PhD thesis at DTU Bioengineering under the supervision of Mikael R. Andersen.
Christopher Whitford – PhD Student
Christopher Whitford is a PhD student in the New Bioactive Compounds research section. He received his B.Sc and M.Sc in Molecular Biotechnology from Bielefeld University, Germany. He gained extensive experience in metabolic engineering and synthetic biology through his studies and a research internship at MIT, successful participation in the iGEM competition with iGEM Bielefeld-CeBiTec 2017, and an external M.Sc thesis on “CRISPR-Based Engineering of Streptomycetes – Tool Development and Host Engineering” at DTU Biosustain. In his PhD, he develops new CRISPR-based technologies for highly efficient genome engineering of actinomycetes with the goal of reducing the DBTL cycle time. Furthermore, he uses these tools to engineer strains of interest identified within the IIMENA project.
Sofie Emilie Hornslet – Research Assistant
Sofie’s background is mainly in immunology and biochemistry, with a M.Sc. degree in biotechnology from DTU. She did her master’s thesis at DTU Food, which focused on exploring birch sap as a remedy for birch pollen allergy. As part of this team, Sofie will be in charge of evolving a large library of Streptomyces strains supplied by MEDINA and from NBC’s own collection using the co-adaptive laboratory evolution (co-ALE) technique. Furthermore, she will be doing the isolation of new actinomycetes from soil samples collected from different places in Denmark.