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Microbial & Enzyme Technology Lab

 

 

TOWARDS A BIO-BASED SOCIETY

 

enzymes that convert renewable raw feedstocks into valuable bio-based products, materials, fuels and energy are part of the solution to current key global challenges: climate change mitigation, creation of a knowledge-based society  and a sustainable, circular and inclusive economy.

 

The research activities in our lab are in the interface of Protein Science and Protein Technology

The focus is in the discovery of new enzymes, in their thorough biochemical and structural characterization, engineering towards improved properties, and, in the design of eco-friendly and cost-effective bioprocesses for Environmental and Industrial Biotechnology.

Biomass has emerged in recent years as an extremely attractive renewable source of chemicals, materials and fuels. It is widely believed that their mere abundance can facilitate the switch to bioprocesses to replace the petrol-based industry that we have relied upon in the near past. However, the full development of sustainable biorefineries is critically dependent on the development of robust and efficient enzymes.

We aim to enlarge the tool-box of enzymes (biocatalysts) for the synthesis, degradation and valorization of natural and xeno-aromatic compounds, supporting the bio-based economy vision of the XXI century

In the fundamental side, our goals are to contribute for answering the long-standing question in protein science of “how function and structure are related”  and investigating the molecular mechanisms of enzyme fitness evolution.

A multidisciplinary approach is followed to investigate oxidoreductive enzymes from bacterial origin, laccases, metalloxidases, azo/quinone reductases, DyP ligninolytic peroxidases, pyranose 2-oxidases, and more recently isoeugenol monooxygenases, combining Biochemistry, Molecular Biology, Microbiology, and Structural Biology.

 


Principal Investigator

Lígia O. Martins 

+351 214 469 534, lmartins@itqb.unl.pt

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