Our Speakers 2016

 Alcade MiguelNEU
Miguel Alcalde
Staff Researcher CSIC
Dircected Enzyme Evolution Laboratory, Department of Biocatalysis
Miguel Alcalde completed his doctoral studies in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Institute of Catalysis (CSIC, Madrid). From 2001 to 2003, Dr Alcalde took up a postdoctoral fellowship in Biochemistry in Prof. F.H. Arnold’s group at the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the California Institute of Technology, CALTECH. He was later appointed as a Staff Scientist of the CSIC in 2007 and promoted to Researcher in 2014. Dr. Alcade is co­author of 83 publications and 9 patents. The central aim of Dr Alcalde’s laboratory is to develop more robust enzymes with versatile applications by directed molecular evolution.


Mats Åkesson
Manufacturing Sciences, Process Management
Mats Åkesson has over 15 years of experience in bioprocessing with particular interests in modeling, control, and cultivation processes. Since September 2016, he is with the Manufacturing Sciences department at Biogen, Denmark, serving as subject matter expert and process owner for upstream manufacturing processes. Dr Åkesson joined Biogen from a position as principal scientist at Novo Nordisk, Denmark, where his areas of responsibility spanned the whole value chain from pre-clinical material supply and cell line development to clinical and commercial manufacturing. Between 2001 and 2003, he was assistant professor and leader for the research group on systems biology and metabolite profiling at the Danish Technical University, Denmark. Prior to DTU he was in charge of fermentation process development at Biotecnol SA, Portugal. Dr Åkesson holds a Ph.D. in Control Engineering from the University of Lund, Sweden, where he pursued research on modeling and control of fermentation processes in a collaboration with Pharmacia and Upjohn.


Michael S. Belegratis
Innovation Manager
Michael is a natural scientist from an entrepreneurial family with a focus on business as well as acquisition & corporate finance. As a success-oriented manager, he actively drove M&A transactions-, strategy-, compliance- & business development projects. Currently, Michael is working for ESIM Chemicals GmbH. Before, he held management positions at DPx, DSM, BYK-Chemie GmbH and others.


Binder MichaelNEU
Michael Binder
Director for Strategy
Michael Binder acts as Director for Strategy in the Austrian Research Promotion Agency (FFG), the central federal agency for applied research and innovation. He is responsible for the fundamental strategic positioning of the FFG in the national and international innovation systems. Prior to that Michael Binder was CEO of the Austrian Council for Research and Technology Development and Head of the Division Research&Technology Policy in the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs.


Davide BulgarelliNEU
Davide Bulgarelli
Principal Investigator
Davide Bulgarelli is academic primarily interested in understanding the genetic relationships between plants and their associated microbial communities, the plant microbiota. To achieve this task, my group uses a range of approaches at the crossroad of different disciplines, such as soil science, molecular microbiology, plant genetics and computational biology. There ultimate goal is to tap into our scientific achievements to enhance sustainable crop production.


Paola Branduardi
Professor in Chemistry of Fermentation and Industrial Microbiology
Paola is associate professor in chemistry of fermentation and industrial microbiology at the University of Milano-Bicocca, Dept. of Biotechnology and Biosciences (Milano, Italy).
The first part of her scientific career was focused on the development and the growth of superior eukaryotes and yeast cells. Based on metabolic engineering and genetic improvement, she later on started developing sustainable and viable biorefineries for producing heterologous proteins, bulk and fine chemicals (including biofuels) or nutraceutics.


dirk CarrezNEU
Dirk Carrez
Executive Director, Biobased Industries Consortium
Managing Director, Clever Consult
Dirk Carrez is Bio-engineer and holds a PhD in Agricultural Sciences. Between 1990 and 1999, he has worked at SOLVAY S.A. in the research department (genetics and industrial fermentation for the enzyme and the healthcare business). In 1999, he joined FEDICHEM (the Federation of the Belgian Chemical and Life Science Industries, now Essenscia) as Director Innovation & Product Policy and as Secretary-general of BELGOBIOTECH (the Belgian Biotech Industry Association). Between 2004 and 2011, he was Director Industrial Biotechnology at EUROPABIO (The European Association for BioIndustries), where he coordinated the activities in the area of industrial biotechnology and the “biobased economy”, as well as horizontal issues, such as research & innovation, SMEs & access to finance, IPR, etc. Today, he is also the Executive Director of the Biobased Industries Consortium (BIC). Dirk Carrez is Vice-Chair of BIAC’s Biotechnology Committee (Business and Industry Advisory Committee to the OECD), Vice-Chair of OECD’s Task Force for Industrial Biotechnology, and member of the European Commission’s Biobased Products Expert Group.


Patrick DanowskiNEU
Patrick Danowski
Manager of the Library
Patrick Danowski is the manager of IST Austria Library. He is co-author of the Austrian recommendation for Open Access and a member of the core team of the Open Access Network Austria. Additionally, he is serving on the board of the Austrian consortium. He has a degree in computer science as well as library and information science.  Earlier he worked at CERN and in the Berlin state library).


Tom DesmetNEU
Tom Desmet
Associate Professor (Head Lecturer)
Tom Desmet received a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from Ghent University (2005) for work done on (hemi)cellulases. After a postdoctoral stay at Wageningen University, he was appointed Associate Professor of Biocatalysis and Enzyme Engineering in 2011. He is particularly interested in the engineering of carbohydrate-active enzymes for the synthesis of rare sugars and glycoconjugates, and has (co-)authored 70 papers in that field.


Helene Faustrup Kildegaard
Senior Researcher and Co-PI
Helene Faustrup Kildegaard is Senior Researcher and Co-PI for the CHO Cell Line Engineering and Design section at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability. Her current research focuses on applying ‘omics data and developing efficient genome editing tools to engineer CHO cell factories for increased production and improved quality of therapeutic proteins.


Catharine Goodman
Scientific Editor at the Journal of Biological Chemistry,
formerly Senior Editor at Nature Chemical Biology
Catherine got her undergraduate degree in chemistry from Rice University, followed by a Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of Massachusetts, focusing on enzyme model systems, biophysical characterization of peptides, and molecular recognition. She completed an NIH postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania working on protein design. In 2006, Catherine moved to the world of science publishing, spending nearly a decade at Nature Chemical Biology and joining The Journal of Biological Chemistry in early 2016.


 Grassauer AndreasNEU
Andreas Grassauer
CEO and Co-Founder
Andreas Grassauer, CEO and Co-Founder of Marinomed Biotechnologie GmbH managed the development of a portfolio of OTC common cold product from discovery to the global market. He runs a team of 25 excellent scientists that has recently discovered a new technology for dissolution of otherwise insoluble compounds.


Klaus Graumann
Head Drug Substance Development
Klaus Graumann studied Food- and Biotechnology at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences (BOKU) in Vienna, Austria, where he also earned his master and doctoral degrees. Since 2001, Klaus has been holding several positions within Technical Development of Sandoz Biopharmaceuticals (part of Novartis) on a local and global level. He has been directly involved in several development projects for biosimilar and innovative biopharmaceuticals, several of which are meanwhile marketed worldwide. Since May 2016, Klaus is Head Drug Substance Development for Biologics within Novartis Technical Operations, Biologics Technical Development and Manufacturing.


Michael Hammerschmid
Michael Hammerschmid, CEO of Syconium Lactic Acid GmbH is managing the development of a novel proprietary solution for the industrial production of lactic acid. He holds a PhD in Biotechnology and has more than 17 years professional experience in different leading positions within the biopharmaceutical industry. The position of the COO in a start-up company in the field of medical diagnostic complemented his broad management experience for constantly changing organizations. In addition M. Hammerschmid is CEO and co-founder of Transform Science Management GmbH http://www.transform-science.com.


Milton T W Hearn
Professor of Chemistry, Monash University
MILTON HEARN AM, FRSV, FTSE, FAICD, FRACI CChem, FIUPAC, FIChemE(A), is currently Professor of Chemistry, Lead Scientist and Director, Victorian Centre for Sustainable Chemical Manufacturing, and Associate Director-Industry, Green Chemical Futures, Monash University. Both of these Centres have arisen due to his successful leadership since 2002 of the Monash Centre for Green Chemistry.
In recognition of his scientific contributions, he has received the American Chemical Society 2015 Award for Chromatography, the American Chemical Society 2015 Alan S. Michaels Award, the Alexander von Humboldt Forschungspreis, the Royal Australian Chemical Institute’s Leighton Memorial Medal [the Institute’s highest honour] as well as the Institute’s Green Chemistry Challenge Award, H.G. Smith Medal, Applied Research Medal, Analytical Chemistry Medal and R.K Murphy Medal, and numerous other national and international awards. He is a recipient of the Centennial Medal of the Commonwealth of Australia for service to the chemical and biotechnology industry and the public. In January 2015, he was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for “significant service to science through major contributions to advances in chemical manufacturing”. Over his career, his research has led to many practical developments, which have been adopted by the chemical, pharmaceutical and biotechnology sciences and industry within Australia and internationally. His studies in the fields of bioseparation science, synthesis of new classes of compounds and materials, production and purification of recombinant proteins, and the manufacture of chemical and biological products, are widely recognised. These contributions have extended from fundamental investigations, their industrial translation and deployment to public policy. More recently his attention has turned to the development and adoption of green chemistry metrics as a major strategic driver for the development of advanced and more sustainable manufacturing processes across multiple industry sectors.


Manfred Kircher
Chairman Advisory Board KADIB, CLIB2021

Manfred Kircher chairs the Advisory Boards of CLIB2021 (www.clib2021.de) and KADIB (www.kadib.de). Based on more than 30 years experience in chemical industry and bioeconomy he works on regional as well as international bioeconomy strategies. His career milestones are biotechnological research and development (Degussa AG, Germany), production (Fermas s.r.o.; Slovakia), venture capital (Burrill & Company; USA) and biotechnology partnering and branding (Evonik Industries AG; Germany). Manfred Kircher has been appointed to the Advisory Board of young companies and steering committees of international bioeconomy programs. He has been awarded with a honorary professorship of the Michurinsk State Agrarian University (Russia). Manfred Kircher is biologist by training (Goethe-University; Frankfurt, Germany).

Timo Johannes Koch
Head of Innovation Center
Timo Johannes Koch studied chemistry with a specialization in Industrial Chemistry at the RWTH Aachen University from 2000-2005 and Business Administration from 2007-2009. In 2009 he completed his PhD studies at the Institute for Technical and Macromolecular Chemistry (Prof. Leitner). Today he heads the Innovation Center at Pfeifer & Langen GmbH & Co. KG. Here all scientific and technical issues of Pfeifer & Langen GmbH & Co KG are processed.


Robert Kourist
Juniorprofessor of Mikrobielle Biotechnologie
Robert Kourist is Junior Professor for Microbial Biotechnology at Ruhr University Bochum.  He received her diploma in biochemistry from the University of Greifswald, Germany, in 2006. After obtaining his PhD in 2008 under the supervision of Prof. Uwe Bornscheuer at the University of Greifswald, he went for one year as postdoctoral fellow to the laboratory of Prof. Kenji Miyamoto at the Keio University in Yokohama, Japan. In 2009, he received the DSM Science and Technology Award North and a 1st prize in the VentureCup Mecklenburg-Vorpommern. In 2012, he was appointed as Junior Professor for Microbial Biotechnology at the Ruhr-University Bochum. Dr. Kourist’s expertise lies in the field of biocatalysis with a special focus on the development of chemo-enzymatic cascade reactions and light-catalyzed redoxreactions. He has co-authored more than 55 publications and patents and has an H-index of 16.


Stefan Krahulec
Senior Manager Technology & Innovation
Stefan received his PhD degree from the Technical University of Graz, Austria. After postdoctoral studies on second generation bioethanol production, Stefan joined Boehringer Ingelheim RCV GmbH & Co KG in 2011 as a Process Engineer for upstream manufacturing. A year ago, he filled a position as Senior Manager for Technology and Innovation at Boehringer Ingelheim. In this role he is currently responsible for technology development within the biopharmaceutical process science. This includes management of the associated project portfolio, technology scouting and responsibility of external collaborations in this field. Besides, Stefan has been employed as an external lecturer at universities of applied sciences in Krems and Graz, Austria.


Jonathan Kua
Group Director, IDG, A*STAR
Jonathan Kua is Group Director, Industry Development, A*STAR.In this role, he oversees the industry development strategy and engagement activities of A*STAR and its research institutes. He is concurrently Director, BMS IPO – a national office dedicated to developing public-private partnerships between the biomedical research community and companies. Prior to joining A*STAR in 2012, Jonathan served for 16 years in the Singapore Economic Development Board (EDB), including as Director, New Businesses Group (seeding efforts in nanotechnology, robotics, space, natural resources, international organisations).  He also led initiatives to develop Singapore as a regional Education and Talent Hub.  From 2004-2007, he served in EDB’s Global Operations as Regional Director (Western US) based in the San Francisco Bay Area, and from 1998-2000 as Centre Director (Boston).Jonathan graduated with an MSc and BSc (summa cum laude) in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Waldemar Kütt
Head of Unit Biobased Products and Processing
Waldemar Kütt obtained his ph.d. from the Technical University in Aachen (RWTH) in 1988 in solid state physics and semiconductor technology. He joined the Research Directorate General of the European Commission in 1997 and has since coordinated activities and polices related to innovation, SME, IPR, finance, technology transfer and bioregions, and as part of the EU Life Sciences and Biotechnology Strategy. He has coordinated European Technology Platform activities and was involved in the setting up of the first platforms. He has contributed to the development of the FP7 thematic programme for “Food, agriculture, fishery and biotechnology” and a strategy for a European knowledge-based bio-economy (KBBE), as well as the related lead market initiative on bio-based products. From May 2008 to November 2014 he held various positions as senior expert, Deputy and Head of Cabinet in the Cabinet of Research Commissioners Potočnik and Geoghegan-Quinn. His main responsibilities included the €80billion new Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, Horizon 2020. Since November 2014 he is Head of Unit of “Bio-based Products and Processing” in DG Research and Innovation.


Andreas Liese
Head of Institute of Technical Biocatalysis

Andreas Liese is Professor at the Hamburg University of Technology, where he is head of the Institute of Technical Biocatalysis. He studied chemistry at the University of Bonn, Germany, and carried out his doctoral research at the Research Center Jülich, Germany. From 1998 to 2003 he was head of the Enzyme Group within the Institute of Biotechnology II (Prof. Dr. C. Wandrey), Research Center Jülich. During a sabbatical in 2000 at Pfizer Global Research & Development, San Diego, USA, he there initiated a R&D group on biocatalysis. From 2003 to 2004 he worked as associate professor at the University of Münster. In 2003 Liese received the Award of Up-and-Coming Teacher in Higher Education in the field of biotechnology (DECHEMA, Germany). Since 2014 he is elected member of the steering committee of the DECHEMA e.V.



Rita Litauszky
Expert and National Contact Point (NCP)
European and International Programmes (FFG/EIP)

Rita Litauszky has been working at FFG/EIP since 2002. She is the Austrian NCP for Bioeconomy & Biotechnology in Horizon 2020. Rita holds a doctoral degree from the Humboldt University of Berlin and a Master’s degree from the Corvinus University in Budapest, Hungary; both in Horticultural Sciences. As a National Contact Point in Horizon 2020 and previously FP7 programs, she is providing support to Austrian stakeholders such as researchers, SMEs, NGOs applying for funding. As a member of the Program Committee for Societal Challenge 2, she is representing Austria’s bioeconomy research interest at European level.


 MarzoratiNEU -
Massimo Marzorati
Business Development Director & Co-Founder
Massimo Marzorati obtained a PhD degree in the field of microbial ecology at the University of Milan in 2007. He then started as a post-doctoral researcher at CMET, Ghent University (Belgium). His main research interest is the interaction between intestinal bacteria and human health. He is co-founder of ProDigest (spin-off company from Ghent University) and Micro4yoU (spin-off company from the University of Milan).


Lars Nielsen
Professor & Chair of Biological Engineering
Lars Nielsen heads the Systems and Synthetic Biology Group at the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology. He also heads the Queensland Node of BioPlatforms Australia. He was awarded the 2015 Novo Nordisk Foundation Laureate Research Grant to establish a group at Centre for Biosustainability at the Technical University of Denmark.


 Alex Patist_NEU
Alex Patist
Senior Director, BioProcess Technology
Alex Patist has over 15 years of experience in directing new product, process development, scale-up and start-up efforts in the food, nutraceutical, biochemical and biofuel industries. Since 2013, he has been at Genomatica, a leading biotech innovator for the chemical industry.  At Genomatica, he has led several teams responsible for technology transfer to customers worldwide, development of high precision scale-up/scale-down methodologies, and selection and preparation of pilot and tolling facilities. In addition, he has been a catalyst in ‘mainstreaming’ a whole-process approach to deliver advantaged bioprocesses, of which the successful start-up of the first Bio 1,4 Butanediol production facility by Novamont in Italy being the most noteworthy! Previously, Alex was at Cargill R&D in Minneapolis, MN. During his tenure as Director of Technology, he worked with major partners such as PepsiCo, Kraft and Nestle, taking ideas from concept, through patents, to rollout in areas such as natural sweeteners (e.g., Stevia) and improved line operations. Alex has a BS from Hogeschool Utrecht, MS from TU Eindhoven and a PhD from the University of Florida, all in Chemical Engineering.


 Gerda RedlNEU
Gerda Redl
CEO & Patent Attorney
Gerda Redl is a patent attorney with more than 20 years experience in the life sciences industry. Her technical speciality is in the fields of biotechnology, biochemistry and chemistry (including immunology, protein  engineering, molecular genetics, cancer research, plasma protein research, and virology). Prior to founding REDL Life Science Patent Attorneys, she held senior management positions at f-star Biotechnology, Aphton Corp., Igeneon AG, and Octapharma AG, with responsibilities for business management, business  development, and intellectual property management. Earlier in her career, Dr. Redl was at Immuno AG and Baxter  Bioscience. She graduated as a biochemist and received her  Ph.D. in microbiology from the Technical University of Vienna.


Anthony Rees
Educated at University of Oxford  (MSc, MA, DPhil). Lectureship in Molecular Biophysics at Oxford and Student of Christ Church 1980-90. Professor of Biochemistry and Head of School of Biology & Biochemistry, University of Bath (1990-97). Emeritus Professorship, University of Bath, 2003. Doctor of Science Honoris Causa, University of Bath, 2009. Academic research career in receptor biology, and antibody engineering, modeling and design. Co-founded (1989) Oxford Molecular plc and took public on LSE 1994. Early Supervisory Board member and later Chairman of the Austrian antibody biotech company, f-star 2006-2011. CEO of MIP Technologies 2004-2010 until acquired by Biotage AB. Currently CEO of Rees Consultancy AB, Chairman of the Board for SpinChem AB (Sweden) and co-founder of Synergy Biotherapeutics Inc with Dr Jim Huston. Member American association for the History of Medicine. Authored more than 120 scientific papers and more than 20 patent families. Co-authored undergraduate book ‘Molecular Biology at-a-Glance’, Blackwell Scientific Publications, 1984 (with MJE Sternberg) and single author of ‘The Antibody Molecule: from antitoxins to Therapeutic Antibodies’, OUP Medical Histories Series, 2014.


Peter Schintlmeister
Senior Technology Officer Life Sciences
Peter Schintlmeister a chemical engineer (TU Graz) by training joined the Federal Ministry of Science, Research and Economy in 2002, where he since is in charge of the area of Life Sciences and Biotechnology. Amongst his other duties he represents the ministry in various groups and networks on national and international level, especially with the European Commission and OECD where he holds chairmanships of several expert groups. In 2016 temporarily joined the Austrian Embassy in Beijing to head Austria’s Office of Science and Technology in China for the time being.


 Andreas SchmidNEU
Andreas Schmid
Head of Department Solar Materials & MiKat (Center for Biocatalysis)
Andreas Schmid is Head of the Department Solar Materials (SOMA) at the UFZ in Leipzig and he is also Professor for Biotechnology at the University of Leipzig. My research focuses on sustainable chemicals production and photosynthesis. Using his expertise in the design of biocatalysts, Andreas Schmid and his team develop microbial catalysts (cyanobacteria) for producing fuels and value-added products from sunlight and carbon dioxide. He is also interested in single cell analysis, microreactors, catalytic biofilms and systems biotechnology. A unique feature of SOMA is a broad and closely interconnected methodology linking microbiology and chemistry with genetic and biochemical engineering. The SOMA Department is coordinating the Centre for Biocatalysis (MiKat).


Birgit Schmidt
Scientific Manager / Project Coordinator
Birgit Schmidt coordinates international and national projects in the Electronic Publishing unit at Göttingen State and University Library. Her activities focus on policies, e-infrastructures and training in support of the implementation of open access and open science. She serves as Scientific Secretary and working group co-chair in LIBER’s Steering Committee on Scholarly Communication and Research Infrastructures. She contributes to several international committees, e.g. Knowledge Exchange’s Open Access Experts Group and formerly the Belmont Forum’s working group on Open Data in the context of the e-infrastructure data management project. Previously, she acted as Scientific Manager of the European OpenAIRE project and as Executive Director of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR). She has a background in Mathematics and Philosophy, and a postgraduate degree in Library and Information Science.


Rainer Schneider
Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Rainer Schneider is Associate Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Innsbruck since 1992. He was born 1957 in Hard, Austria and studied chemistry in Innsbruck, Austria. Within the frame of the Austrian Center for Industrial Biotechnology (acib) he is engaged in the development and optimization of biotechnological methods, mainly novel expression/selection systems and tools for downstream processing. Recent enzyme optimizations involve proteases and autoproteases; recent strain improvements were achieved by selection of E.coli for increased production of antibody fragments. Furthermore he is engaged in the study of structural/functional relationships of proteins and enzymes with emphasis on components of the human ubiquitin system and its implications in human diseases like prostate cancer, movement disorders (Parkinson’s disease, Huntington´s disease, Spinocerebellar Ataxia, Friedreich´s Ataxia, Epilepsy) and on embryonic malformations like the Opitz Syndrome. In the latter the focus lies in the role of the E3 ubiquitin ligase MID1, mTOR and PP2A in the regulation of specific local mRNA translation and its implications in intellectual disability syndromes.


 Manfred SchusterNEU
Manfred Schuster
Founder & CEO
Manfred Schuster has some twenty years of experience in pharmaceutical and biotech industry. He studied biochemistry, biotechnology and pharmaceutical quality management and is also certified as QP. He recently co-founded Remute Bio and RMB-Research as well as Apeiron Biologics AG in 2005 where he worked as COO until 2015. He previously worked for six years at Igeneon AG and Novartis.


Peter Seitz
Head of Department
Peter Seitz has been working in the ministry for Science and Research for more than twenty Years. As he and his team is responsible for library affairs the open access issue has been raised in this field. Mr Seitz is member of the Open Access Network Austria and is one of the initiators of the open access strategy on scientific publications which was recently adopted by the Austrian Ministerrat.


Arne Skerra
Professor of Biological Chemistry
Arne Skerra (b. 1961) conducts research in the field of protein engineering and design. The focus of this work is on the construction of artificial proteins with new customized functions, such as antibody fragments with biomedically relevant antigen specificity, anticalins as new biotech drugs for human therapy and enzymes for industrial biotechnology. Rational and combinatorial research approaches are pursued in tandem with protein biochemical and spectroscopic methods as well as protein crystallographic analyses.  Following his chemistry studies at TU Darmstadt, Prof. Skerra obtained a doctorate at the Gene Centre of Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University in 1989 and completed his lecturer qualification in biochemistry at the University of Frankfurt am Main in 1995. Before his appointment as full professor at TUM, he was professor of protein chemistry at TU Darmstadt from 1994 to 1998. Prof. Skerra is the founder and member of the supervisory board of Pieris AG, Vice-Coordinator of the Cluster of Excellence at the Munich Center for Integrated Protein Science and a member of the editorial board of the journal Nachrichten aus der Chemie. In 2008, he was elected to Acatech (German Academy of Technical Sciences). He is active in the German National Academic Association, the Society of German Chemists and the Bavarian Elite Academy.


Matthias Steiger
Senior Scientist
Matthias Steiger studied chemical engineering and obtained his PhD from the Vienna University of Technology in 2010. In the same year, he joined the team of PD Dr. Michael Sauer in ACIB Area 3 and has been working on projects dealing with the biochemical production of chemicals mainly organic acids. In 2014, he stayed at the University Leiden as a PostDoc. His research is focused on the implementation of metabolic engineering approaches to understand, improve and benefit from microbial cell factories like filamentous fungi, yeast or bacteria.


Oliver Thum
Director Bioprocesses Science & Technology
Within Evonik’s Strategic Research Unit “Creavis” Oliver Thum is responsible for the interface between chemistry and biology, thus heading the research department “Bioprocesses”, focused on the development of novel production processes based on biocatalysis (isolated enzymes and whole-cell processes), biotransformation, fermentation and new bioprocess technologies. Prior to that he hold several R&D positions in operative units within Evonik (formerly Degussa and Goldschmidt) and Noxxon Pharma AG. He studied chemistry at University of Bonn and obtained a Ph.D in Organic Chemistry.


Nigel Titchener-Hooker
Professor of Biological Chemistry, Dean of Faculty of Engineering Sciences
Nigel Titchener-Hooker leads the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacture in Emergent Macromolecular Therapies and was the past lead of the UCL Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (IMRC) in Bioprocessing programme. This involves a multidisciplinary group from over a dozen departments to research new methods to speed the development of efficient and robust processes for the manufacture of the next generations of macromolecular drugs. A major focus of Nigel’s work is the creation of whole bioprocess models and the use of these to gain process insights and understanding. Nigel has held consultancies with a broad range of international companies and serves on the editorial board of key peer-reviewed journals. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2008 in recognition of his pioneering work on biopharmaceuticals manufacturing. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers and was awarded the Donal Medal for hsi contributions to Biochemical Engineering in 2013. He is Chair of the Board of the prestigious ACS-supported Recovery of Biological Products conference series.


 Nicholas J TurnerNeu
Nicholas J Turner
Professor of Chemical Biology
Nicholas  Turner obtained his DPhil in 1985 with Professor Sir Jack Baldwin and from 1985-1987 was a Royal Society Junior Research Fellow, spending time at Harvard University with Professor George Whitesides. He was appointed lecturer in 1987 at Exeter University and moved to Edinburgh in 1995, initially as a Reader and subsequently Professor in 1998. In October 2004 he joined Manchester University as Professor of Chemical Biology where his research group is located in the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology Biocentre (MIB: www.mib.ac.uk). He is Director of the Centre of Excellence in Biocatalysis (CoEBio3) (www.coebio3.org) and also a co-founder and Scientific Director of Ingenza (www.ingenza.com), a spin-out biocatalysis company based in Edinburgh and more recently Discovery Biocatalysts. He is a member of the Editorial Board of ChemCatChem and Advanced Synthesis and Catalysis. His research interests are in the area of biocatalysis with particular emphasis on the discovery and development of novel enzyme catalysed reactions for applications in organic synthesis. His group is also interested in the application of directed evolution technologies for the development of biocatalysts with tailored functions.


Arjen Van Kampen
Senior Consultant Chemistry & Biotechnology
Arjen van Kampen is active in strategy consulting, collaborative project development and innovation management for innovation projects in the Chemical and Biobased sector. He is specialized in European grant schemes, the development of international public-private partnerships, stakeholder analyses and regional innovation strategies. Currently Arjen is PNO’s lead representative in the European projects SPLASH, ROBOX and the European Sustainable Chemicals Support Service contract for the European Commission.
Michela Vignoli is Open Science expert at AIT Austrian Institute of Technology. In the H2020 project OpenUP she contributes to researching novel ways of scholarly communication beyond traditional research channels and alternative peer review methodologies. Earlier this year she was nominated as a member of the EU high-level advisory group Open Science Policy Platform.


Huimin Zhao
Steven L. Miller Chair Professor
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Huimin Zhao is the Steven L. Miller Chair Professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering, and professor of chemistry, biochemistry, biophysics, and bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC).  Prior to joining UIUC in 2000, he was a project leader at the Industrial Biotechnology Laboratory of the Dow Chemical Company.  He was promoted to full professor in 2008.  Dr. Zhao has authored and co-authored over 240 research articles and over 20 issued and pending patent applications with several being licensed by industry.  In addition, he has given plenary, keynote or invited lectures in over 270 international meetings, universities, industries, and research institutes.
Dr. Zhao received numerous research and teaching awards and honors and served as a consultant for over 10 companies such as Pfizer, Maxygen, BP, Gevo, and zuChem, and is a Scientific Advisory Board member of Gevo, Myriant Technologies, Toulouse White Biotechnology (TWB) and AgriMetis. He is currently an advisor to the Department of Energy’s Biological and Environmental Research program and the visiting principal investigator of the metabolic engineering research laboratory (MERL) in the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore and Qiushi visiting chair professor in Zhejiang University.  In addition, he is the theme leader of the Biosystems Design theme in the Institute for Genomic Biology at UIUC.  Dr. Zhao is an Associate Editor of ACS Catalysis and an editor of ACS Synthetic Biology, Journal of Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnology, Scientific Reports, Biocatalysis, and Engineering in Life Sciences. His primary research interests are in the development and applications of synthetic biology tools to address society’s most daunting challenges in health, energy, and sustainability, and in the fundamental aspects of enzyme catalysis, cell metabolism, and gene regulation.