PhD defence by Nur Kusaira Binti Khairul Ikram – Københavns Universitet

PhD defence by Nur Kusaira Binti Khairul Ikram

Title of thesis
Artemisinin production in the moss Physcomitrella patens


Malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum infection has for centuries been a major concern for international public health. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that over 212 million cases with more than 429 000 deaths worldwide every year (mainly children).  To date, artemisinin isolated from the Chinese medicinal herb, Artemisia annua L. is the best anti-malaria treatment, as it is highly effective against multiple drug-resistant strains of malaria. However, the production of artemisinin in A. annua is limited due to the low yields obtained from the farmed herbs. In the present study, we report the development of a simple, sustainable, and scalable production platform of artemisinin; the in vivo biosynthesis of artemisinin in the moss Physcomitrella patens through engineering of the complete artemisinin biosynthetic pathway into P. patens. The result of this bioengineering suggests P. patens is a promising host for the biotechnological production of high value compound such as artemisinin.

Professor Poul Erik Jensen, KU
Associate Professor Henrik Toft Simonsen, DTU

Assessment committee
Associate Professor Dae-Kyun Ro, University of Calgary, Canada
Professor Stefan A. Rensing, University of Marburg, Germany
Associate Professor Meike Burow, KU (chair)

After the defence there will be a reception in room A1-01.14