Our aim is to develop solar driven production of many high-value, structurally complex compounds wanted by society. We achieve this by using combinatorial biochemistry and the plasticity of natural systems to transfer the production modules into the chloroplast – i.e. the light-driven powerhouse of the plant cell – and thereby reaching higher yields of the desired compound.
This involves a wide palette of expertise; e.g. plant pathway discovery, metabolon assembly, single molecule studies, structural analysis via scattering, mass spectrometry-based gas-phase structural biology and much more.
Our synthetic biology approach integrates legal studies, bioethics and communication to equip society and scientists to constructive dialogues on new technologies and Responsible Research and Innovation.
Find more information about the group in the menu below.
A movie by the American Society for Cell Biology presenting our work in plant based synthetic biology. The focus areas of the movie is plant pathway discoveries and inter-disciplinary research.
The group of synthetic biology researchers is wide spanning at the University of Copenhagen.
- Plant pathway discovery of interesting high-value natural products including diterpenoids, vanillin and derivatives, carminic acid and related compounds, and cannabinoids
- Transfer of entire biosynthetic pathways to the chloroplast to obtain light driven synthesis of high-value products with carbon dioxide from the air as the sole carbon source
- Cyanogenic glucosides as a model system for studying metabolic channeling
- Natural Deep Eutectic Solvents as liquid crystals for high-density storage of bioactive natural products in soluble form in living cells without auto-toxicity effects
- The linkage between lysine metabolism and systemic acquired resistance (SAR)
- The role of N-hydroxy amino acids in biology
- The establishing of a C-glucosyl transferase platform
- Ethics, communication and legal aspects related to synthetic biology such as gene editing technologies
Current research projects
- ERC Advanced grant for “Light-driven Chemical Synthesis using Cytochrome P450s” Metabolic highways and metabolons
- VILLUM Research Center for Plant Plasticity: Plasticity manifested in supramolecuar complexes and Biotechnological applications of plant plasticity
- Lundbeck Foundation: “Brewing Diterpenoids” with focus on diterpenoids as drug leads for treatment of movement related diseases as Parkinson´s and Alzheimer´s
- Novo Nordisk Foundation: “Desert-loving Therapeutics” with focus on identification of diterpenoids with interesting therapeutic properties within Eremophila species in the Western Australian desert
- Australian Research Council:
- Australia’s native sorghums: discovering new wild crop relatives
- Light-driven P450: Using Photosynthesis to Power Fine Chemical Production
- Evolution of the marsupial gut microbiome and adaptation to eucalypt toxins
- Birger Lindberg Møller
- Cecilie Ida Cetti Hansen
- Alexandra Bianca Maimann
- Thies Gülck
- Victor Forman
- Camilla Knudsen Baden
- Nethaji Janeshawari Gallage
- Mohammad Saddik Motawie
- Irini Pateraki
- Allison Heskes
- Nikolaj Lervad Hansen
- Dan Luo
- Oliver Gericke
- Sara Thodberg
- Nanna Heinz
- Anne Blem Mitchell
- Johan Andersen-Ranberg
Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences have various bachelor and master programs.
Partners and networks
University of South Australia: Susan Semple (natural products chemistry and aboriginal contact person)
University of Perth: Bevan Buirchell (botanist)
Faculty of Science
Faculty of Health
Søren Balling Engelsen (FOOD, Chemometrics)
Department of Drug Design and Pharmacology
Faculty of Humanities
Faculty of Law
Evolva biotech, Chr. Hansen, River Stone
We have a large number of important additional collaborators who may be identified from our joint publications.
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