University of Groningen: Prof. Gerrit J. Poelarends is partner in a consortium that receives a Horizon Europe MSCA Doctoral Network grant

Prof. Gerrit J. Poelarends of the Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP) is a partner in a consortium that has been awarded a MSCA Doctoral Network grant within the Horizon Europe programme. The grant of almost EUR 2.7 million is for the BiocatCodeExpander project, which aims to expand the diversity of functional groups present in proteins to enhance biocatalysis by using non-canonical amino acids (NCAAs) as building blocks for enzyme engineering.

This Doctoral Network brings together world-class scientists with different expertise, ranging from synthetic biology to bioorganic chemistry, to train and educate 10 PhD students and to ensure the development of efficient methodologies for NCAA incorporation in proteins in a collaborative manner, with strong participation of the private sector. The proposed research affords new tools and applications, and the newly designed biocatalysts are envisioned to be important for the development of new biotechnological processes for a greener, more environmentally friendly production of chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Prof. G.J. Poelarends and his team will receive around 274,000 euro to develop novel biocatalysts for new-to-nature C-C bond-forming reactions, which are highly looked-for in pharmaceutical synthesis.

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