The Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology group aims at engineering biomolecules and cells for the benefit of mankind. We use means of genetic engineering and protein engineering in combination with synthetic biology approaches to create and deploy biosensors, bioproduction, and bio-pharmaceuticals. These application driven goals are accompanied by basic research aspiring to unravel the principles of biological systems based on their chemical and physical properties.
Currently we focus on three research areas: i) recombinant Adeno-associated viruses for gene-based prodrug-activation therapy of cancer, ii) site specific modification of antibodies for the generation of antibody-drug conjugates, and iii) development of selection and directed evolution technologies.
rAAV are virus-derived nano-sized protein carriers of DNA developed by nature to deliver genes to eukaryotic cells. We engineer these particles to specifically transduce tumor cells and deliver genes for enzymes that promote tumor suicide upon administration of a prodrug.
Site specific chemical modification of proteins is of utmost interest for controlling pharmacological properties. In cooperation with biochemists and organic chemists, we analyze how the formylglycine generating enzyme (FGE) can be utilized to enable the efficient modification of antibodies. Antibody-drug conjugates extend the therapeutic potential of antibodies for tumor therapy.
Utilizing the power of evolution at the molecular level in complex settings enables us to discover unknown or unexpected solutions while at the same time attaining molecules with desired properties. Therefore, we aim at developing novel selection and evolution techniques or adapt existing techniques to our scientific challenges. So far we worked with phage display, TAT selection and protein fragment complementation assays.
Besides the current core projects, the group invests in enabling technologies, maintains previous projects and invests in education. Enabling technologies are for example software tools, such as the NExt DNA shuffling software; previous projects comprise DNA origami nano structuring, and the group was the host of several iGEM teams.
Room UHG E2-143
33615 Bielefeld, Germany
Tel. +49-521-106-6323 (office)
Tel. +49-521-106-6318 (secretary)