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Biocatalysis and Biotransformations

The addition of the biocatalysis & biotransformation theme to the UK Catalysis Hub will enable integration into the wider catalysis landscape, with the broad participation of UK catalysis scientists and engineers at the Hub expected to dramatically enhance the scope of biocatalysis research relative to what might be achieved with a stand-alone bid. This added-value will see UK biocatalysis research contributing to major societal grand challenges such as energy, healthcare and sustainable manufacture – part of the overall mission of the Catalysis Hub is to drive research in these areas in the UK over the next 5-10 years.

The biocatalysis & biotransformation theme will be established using the same inclusivity ethos that underpins the existing Hub. This new theme will carry out world-leading research, offering expertise and capacity for translational research to all researchers looking to tackle major challenges in the biocatalysis field. Initial collaborating institutions include: Universities of Cardiff, Queen Mary’s London, Queen’s Belfast, Northumbria, Cambridge, University College London, Bath, Edinburgh, Aston, Bristol, Strathclyde, Sheffield, Leeds, Leicester, Exeter, Liverpool, Oxford, Warwick, Southampton, St Andrews and York.

The 5th theme will be led by Nicholas Turner as PI (Manchester) with the following Co-Investigators who will be responsible for the 5 exemplar projects presented as sub-themes in this proposal:

Project 1: Fundamental & Underpinning Mechanistic Studies on Enzymes. Adrian Mulholland (Bristol) & Nigel Scrutton (Manchester),

Project 2: Integration of Bio- and Chemo-Catalysis into Telescoped Processes. Michael Greaney (Manchester) & Turner;

Project 3: Flow Biocatalysis. Rudolf Allemann and Thomas Wirth (Cardiff);

Project 4: Development of the Next Generation of Biocatalysts. Ben Davis (Oxford);

Project 5: Exemplars for increasing the speed of biocatalyst discovery, development, and application. Gary Lye (UCL).

Projects 2016

Artificial Metalloenzymes: Unlocking New Catalytic Routes to Amines
Development of Continuous Flow Processes for Efficient Transaminase Reactions
Exploring the Catalytic Properties of Heme Enzymes with Non-Canonical Proximal Ligands
Integrated flow electrosynthesis / biocatalysis

2018 Projects (continuing Projects)

  • Modelling and Simulation for Biocatalyst Design and Engineering in the Hub. VanderKamp (Bristol 2 years) 
  • Synthetic Protein Metalloclusters – Hanging Catalytically Exciting Metals from Precise Sites. Hutchings (Cardiff), Davis (Oxford) ( 2years)
  • High-throughput selection method for extracellular biocatalysts. Dixon, Grogan Turner (Manchester 2 years)
  • Flow Biocatalysis. R. Allemann (Cardiff, 1year 
  • New boundaries in fluorine biotechnology. D. O’Hagan (St Andrews, 1 year),
  •  Monooxygenase Biocatalysts for the Sustainable Manufacture of Lactone Monomers and Novel Lactone-based Polymers for Healthcare Applications. Prof Nigel Scrutton (Manchester 1 year). 
  • Understanding the reactivity of ferryl heme, and its role in biocatalysis. E Raven (Leicester).