ESR7 – Jules Perrard

ESR7 will develop transketolase variants with activity against non-natural electrophiles using directed evolution. The goal with is to broaden transketolase catalysis for novel carboligations. The researchers enrolled will characterise these variants kinetically for their substrate scope and will use them for preparative-scale synthesis. Jointly with ESR6 and ESR8 the most interesting enzymes developed will be subjected to X-ray structure determination.

I grew up in France and was passionate about science-fiction from an early age. The appeal of futuristic technologies and the dream of what could be is what drew me to science. I got my Master’s degree in drug science  and the Bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Université Clermont Auvergne (UCA) , at Clermont-Ferrand. The more I learned, the more fascinated I was, be it about the graceful dance of the immune system, the neat design of rockets, or the scale of atoms. It was quite hard to choose a field of study, but I fell in love with molecules in high school, that’s why I did a chemistry bachelor and specialized in organic chemistry and drug design through my master´s. I couldn’t resist the appeal of biology and its tremendous biochemical power, that’s why I’ve applied to this ITN centered on biocatalysts, and here I am! When I’m not doing science, you can find me in my garage crafting objects (which have a strong tendency to catch fire or fail spectacularly) while listening to rock music. I mainly love metal-working, it gives great satisfaction to see a shiny object you made yourself. And if I’m nowhere to be found, I am very likely hiking in some places with mountains!

Project information

Workpackage: WP2

Project title: Engineering Transketolase for novel reactivities

Host institution: TU Darmstadt

Secondments: Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and AstraZeneca

Supervisor: Wolf-Dieter Fessner