ESR9 – Giuseppe Arbia

ESR9 will investigate applications for the synthesis of hydroxyketones, as they are complex models carrying multiple chiral elements. The researcher will evaluate wild type and variants of transketolases and glyoxylate carboligases (GLCs) that are industrially applicable. They will use directed evolution to expand the substrate scopes of these enzymes towards donor and acceptor substrates and generate libraries that can be screened using high-throughput assays, in order to retrieve the best variants for biocatalytic processes.

I gained a Master´s degree in Pharmacy from the University of Siena with a thesis project and post-graduation internship in directed protein evolution and enzymology.
The pharmacy degree helped me to have a comprehensive understanding of the enzymes´ cycle and activity, particularly with respect to their biological aspects and their applications in variety of settings. I am eager and really curious to study in depth the enzymatic processes and how to apply it in the production of chemicals in a safe and environmentally friendly approach. In my free time I am keen on reading novels, toxicology and botanical books. When I am outdoors I practice cycletourism, box, swimming, and boat sailing. My favourite hobby is discussions with friends over a leisurely dinner. When I was child I used to watch with extreme attention all the natural processes such as flowerings, ants behaviour and parfum extraction, probably these encouraged me to study pharmacy and continue with a Ph.D.  I’m eager to learn more about various biological aspects, testing intuitions with empirical analysis and manage the scientific method in all its aspects (ethics, journalism, techniques). If I have to dislike something, my list may be rather long, but for sure I am not very fond of Trap music, clichés, stereotypes and national geographic documentaries. I am really enthusiastic about organising trips, meetings, work schedules. During my free time I like to cook new dishes and taste new food, I am also keen on doing botanical extractions to produce drinks such as limoncello or myrtle liquor. My vision of the future is a world where I am rich and free (surely in my mind!). I believe that within CC-TOP we will be able to become part of the new generation of scientists who will be able to fill the gap between conventional organic chemistry and the biotechnology approach, aiming at sustainability.

Project information

Workpackage: WP2

Project title: TDP dependent transketolases and glyoxylate carboligases for synthesis of chiral polyols

Host institution: Université Clermont-Auvergne

Secondments: TU Darmstadt, Georg-August-Universität Göttingen and BASF SE

Supervisor: Laurence Hecquet