ENGINEERING A MULTI-FUNCTIONAL MOLECULAR MACHINE FOR INDUSTRIAL BIOCATALYSIS

Michael Herrera Theme: Cohort Year: 2019 Academic Partner: University of Edinburgh Industry Partner: Ingenza

Academic supervisor Dominic Campopiano

I obtained my BSc in Medicinal Chemistry from the University of Keele in 2015, graduating with
first-class honours and being awarded the Royal Society of Chemistry Prize 2014/5 for my
academic performance. My final year project involved the design,
synthesis and characterisation of selenium (IV) derivatives of Ebselen under the supervision of
Dr. Michael Edwards.
 
In January 2016 I entered the field of industrial biocatalysis as a Research Assistant for Ingenza,
where I was involved in several projects investigating the sustainable bioproduction of
commercially-important molecules and polymers. During my employment, I specialised in
profiling bioprocesses by GC-FID/MS, separating complex mixtures of multi-polarity analytes for
the determination of product titres, mass balances, production rates and competing metabolic
pathways.
 
I joined the University of Edinburgh as a Ph.D student in September 2018. Under the supervision
of Professor Dominic Campopiano and in collaboration with Ingenza, my project aims to
deconstruct, study and engineer a Polyketide Synthase – a large, multi-functional enzyme
complex – for the bespoke manufacture of a commercially-sensitive chemical.

 

Michael