Faculty

Dr. Marcelo Fernandez-Lahore

Dr. Marcelo Fernandez-Lahore
Professor of Biochemistry

Focus Area:
Downstream Bioprocessing

Dr. Fernandez Lahore is Professor of Biochemical Engineering at the Department of Life Sciences & Chemistry at Jacobs University Bremen. His laboratory runs diverse projects in the fields of bioprocess engineering, enzyme technology / biocatalysis, and bioproduct downstream processing. In addition to offering regular courses serving our undergraduate students (Pharmaceutical Technology, Biorefining), Prof. Fernandez Lahore also teaches a very popular course – “Biotechnology: From Science to Business”.

Current projects under development in Prof. Fernandez Lahore’s Lab are related to:

  1. Bio production platforms based on filamentous fungi
  2. Design of novel materials for bioproduct downstream processing
  3. Bioprocess intensification
  4. Biochemical synthesis of APIs
  5. Biorefining of agricultural and forest byproducts

This work has been, and continues to be, funded by public and private agencies, including the DFG, BMBF, European Commission, and private foundation. The Lab has been specializing in actions supporting SMEs across Europe, applied R&D (mainly in cooperation with industrial partners), and translational science in the field of biotechnology. Many projects are coordinated by Prof. Fernandez Lahore from Jacobs University.

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Dr. Detlef Gabel

Dr. Detlef Gabel
Professor of Chemistry

Focus Areas:
Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry

The group is working in two different areas. One area is focused on the use of boron clusters as new entities for drugs and in supramolecular chemistry. The clusters have unique properties which are not found in organic or other inorganic molecules. They are the first anions which bind strongly to supramolecular hosts such as cyclodextrins and cucurbiturils. Due to the unusual properties of the cluster, their interaction with biological membranes is unexpected. The necessary methods for synthesizing derivatives of these clusters are being pursued.

The other area deals with the development of new dyes for ocular surgery. The aim is to develop better dyes, especially for visualization of the internal limiting membrane. This work includes synthesis, testing for toxicity in vitro, staining in suitable models, and collaboration with ophthalmologists for eventual application in the clinic.

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Dr. Ulrich Kortz

Dr. Ulrich Kortz
Professor of Chemistry

Focus Areas:
Synthetic Inorganic and Organometallic Chemistry

The research activity of the U. Kortz group is in the area of inorganic functional materials, with applications in the areas of catalysis, energy, biomedicine and environment. We are amongst the world leaders in the synthesis, characterization and application of discrete metal-oxides (polyoxometalates, POMs).

We prepare novel compounds with the goal of using them, for example, as heterogeneous or homogeneous oxidation (and reduction) catalysts, as redox components in batteries, in the biomedical area (e.g. antiviral, antibiotics), as well as for the development of smart surfaces (e.g. self-cleaning, anti-fouling).

We work on fundamental as well as applied problems, as shown by the many academic collaborations around the world and joint projects with various industrial partners. The research group has a large variety of analytical instrumentation and is highly international.

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Dr. Nikolai Kuhnert

Dr. Nikolai Kunhnert
Professor of Chemistry

Focus Area:
Analytical and Organic Chemistry

The Kuhnert group’s research is dedicated to the analysis of dietary plants and processed food. Using modern mass spectrometry techniques, we elucidate the chemical processes appearing during food processing and the associated chemical changes. Processing includes fermentation, such as in black tea manufacturing and cocoa fermentation, and thermal processing, such as in coffee roasting, caramel formation or cocoa roasting.

In these processes, up to 70% of the original composition of the raw material is altered. As a consequence, thousands of new processing products are formed, determining the sensory properties of the food, as well as contributing to beneficial health effects.

As a second step, we try to identify those compounds that matter. For example, we identified food processing compounds from tea that prolong cell life or improve brain performance, chemopreventive compounds against cancer, antivirals from coffee, and compounds contributing to diabetis prevention in coffee.

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Dr. Werner M. Nau

Dr. Werner Nau
Professor of Chemistry

Focus Area:
Physical Organic Chemistry

In our research, we combine the areas of organic chemistry and physical chemistry to address fundamental problems in the life sciences. We develop, for example, fluorescent probes for investigating protein folding and antioxidants, and we study supramolecular receptors as molecular recognition models and for drug delivery.

As a consequence, practical applications are frequently emerging as well, which includes, for example, an antioxidant sensor for human blood plasma and fluorescence-based assays for high-throughput screening for drug discovery.

Our expertise includes synthesis, various spectroscopic techniques (fluorescence and absorption spectroscopy, NMR spectroscopy, laser-flash photolysis, time-correlated single-photon counting), and the analysis of thermodynamic and kinetic data, including the development of global fitting and numerical integration routines.

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Dr. Elke Nevoigt

Dr. Elke Nevoigt
Professor of Molecular Biotechnology

Focus Areas:
Synthetic Biology and Chemical Biotechnology

Chemical biotechnology is the application of biotechnology for the production of pharmaceuticals and fine- and bulk chemicals, including transportation fuels. The major goal of our research is to make use of non-edible feedstocks, including energy plants and agro-industrial waste streams, for the chemical industry.

Our lab focuses on exploiting the huge metabolic capacities of microbes to convert renewable resources into valuable chemicals. Our strength is the metabolic engineering and synthetic biology of baker’s yeast – i.e., the re-routing of its metabolic pathways towards making the product of interest. This includes the application of cutting-edge methods of molecular and synthetic biology.

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Dr. Thomas C. Nugent

Dr. Thomas Nugent
Professor of Chemistry

Focus Area:
Synthetic Organic Chemistry

As an organic chemist in my group, the training you will receive (B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D., or postdoctoral) will prepare you to meet the chemical challenges for organic method development and for natural product synthesis. This knowledge will come from being fully integrated into a project at both the intellectual and laboratory level.

Group members learn strategy, implementation of chemical ideas, interpretation of results, decision making, and problem solving; while gaining the experience and organizational skills required to summarize and then publish their results in a peer reviewed journal. These combined skills will allow you to compete for, and win, high paying jobs in the North American and European pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

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Dr. Gerd-Volker Röschenthaler

Dr. Gerd-Volker Roeschenthaler
Professor of Chemistry

Focus Areas:
Inorganic Chemistry, Organometallic Chemistry, Organofluorine and Organophosphorus Chemistry

The group is active in basic reasearch funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG) and the Federal Ministry of Economy and Energy, and applied (industrially-orientated) research supported by partners from the chemical industry.

The main interests are syntheses and development of:

  1. Fluorinating-, polyfluoroalkylating-, and pentafluorosulfanylating reagents, as well as fluorinated building blocks to modify biological and pharmacological active compounds
  2. Modern fluorinated liquid crystal molecules for LCD-displays
  3. New lithium-ion battery electrolyte components
  4. Novel bisphosphonates, active agents against osteoporoses and bone cancer
  5. Fluorinated and/or phosphorus containing heterocycles as possible anticancer, antiviral, anticonvulsant antitubercolosis drugs
  6. Main group halide complexes with small N-containing carbenes

The results have been published so far in 350 papers, 21 book chapters, and 35 patents. Momentarily, we are cooperating with groups in China, Estonia, Israel, Japan and Poland.

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Dr. Mathias Winterhalter

Dr. Mathias Winterhalter
Professor of Biophysics

Focus Area:
Nanobiotechnology

We are interested in the underlying physics of transport phenomena across membranes. Within our main project Translocation, we quantify the permeation of antibiotic molecules across bacterial channels. For this, we modify, produce and purify the relevant membrane channel from bacteria, and reconstitute them into artificial membrane. We measure the ion conductance and the modulation in presence of antibiotics, which allows us to conclude on antibiotic permeability. Knowledge on selective permeation can be used in the area of nanobiotechnology – using natural or engineered channels as molecular sieves to control substrate permeation.

For example, we develop such nanometer sized capsules containing enzymes as inside cell reporter. Multidrug efflux (MDE) transporters are major contributors to bacterial resistance towards antibiotics and naturally occurring toxic substances. The overall goal of our research is to identify and characterize MDE pumps in environmental bacteria and to gain in-depth knowledge about their regulation, structure, mechanism of transport and natural function.

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Dr. Richard Wagner

Dr. Richard Wagner
Wisdom Professor of Biophysics

Focus Area:
Physical Chemistry, Membrane Biophysics, Membrane Transport

Research Interests: Membrane transport, molecular and physiological aspects of ion channels, protein transport pores, metabolite-pores and transporters, and protein-protein interactions in / on membranes.

Our research is focused on the following topics:

  1. Mechanisms and regulation of protein import into chloroplasts and mitochondria
  2. Mechanisms and regulation of secretory protein transport at the endoplasmic reticulum
  3. Peroxisomal protein import
  4. Metabolite channels in the outer membranes of chloroplasts and mitochondria and regulation of metabolite transport across these membranes
  5. Structure & function of prokaryotic ion channels and porins

Applied methods include biophysical (electrophysiology, high-resolution fluorescence microscopy / spectroscopy, CD spectroscopy), biochemical and molecular biology techniques.

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