Ass. Prof. Sotirios Kampranis group received a Novo Nordisk Postdoctoral Fellowship – University of Copenhagen

Center for Synthetic Biology > News > Ass. Prof. Sotirios Ka...

28 September 2016

Ass. Prof. Sotirios Kampranis group received a Novo Nordisk Postdoctoral Fellowship

GRANTS:

Sotirios Kampranis group received a Novo Nordisk Postdoctoral Fellowship in Biotechnology-based synthesis and production research. The fellowship will be covering a project on taxol biosynthesis in yeast.

Project title: Reconstruction of the late steps of taxol biosynthesis in yeast

Grant amount: DKK 1,598,993

Abstract: Taxol is a powerful chemotherapeutic agent produced in the bark of the yew trees (Taxus). Extraction of taxol from the trees is very inefficient and requires the sacrifice of two fully-grown trees of an endangered species to obtain 1 gram of the compound. Moreover, chemical synthesis of taxol is not commercially viable. As a result, the price of taxol is very high and the cost of treatment for one patient can reach 55,000 DKK. The awarded fellowship aims to engineer the late steps of the taxol biosynthetic pathway in baker’s yeast (S. cerevisiae). This approach will provide a sustainable alternative to current methods of taxol production. Its successful completion could have a dramatic effect in the cost of patient treatment and in the associated public health system expenditure, and could serve as a paradigm for the biotechnological production of numerous other high-value natural products.

See the announcement on the Novo Nordisk Foundation website