Two new scientists join Center for Synthetic Biology
Center for Synbio warmly welcomes postdocs Camilla Knudsen Baden and Allison Maree Heskes to the Center researcher group. Both are focused in plant pathway discovery of high value compounds, but with very different approaches
Enzyme dynamics is the main area of interest for Camilla Knudsen Baden; particularly the biosynthesis of specialized compounds called cyanogenic glucosides and the three classes of enzymes (Cytochrome P450, oxidoreductase and UDP-glucosyltransferases) that come together in a multi-enzyme complex (metabolon) to make the compounds. Identifying the factors regulating metabolon formation and product formation are key areas which can produce valuable insights into engineering yeast or algae to produce complex and valuable compounds such as anti-cancer drugs.
Camilla Knudsen Baden has also joined the project on the diterpenoid compound Forskolin together with Irini Pateraki focusing on increasing the flux through the forskolin pathway and thereby increase the production of forskolin in vitro and in yeast.
The dopaminergic diterpenoid compounds produced by the medicinal plant Chaste Tree (Vitex agnus-castus) are currently the main object of investigation for Australian born Allison Maree Heskes. Her work revolves around finding the biosynthetic pathways of these compounds that have potential use in the treatment of diseases such as Parkinson and other dopamine-deficient disorders.
She is particularly involved in using novel bio-imaging mass spectrometry methods as well as structural analyses to map and analyze the activity levels of the numerous closely related compounds produced by the plant. This will further the part of her work that focuses on the development of biotechnological tools for their production in alternative organisms such as yeast or algae.
Read more about Allison Maree Heskes and her research here...>
Welcome to the group!