News and Dates

Please find important news and dates for talks, exams etc. on this page.


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Irene Küberl's picture #rainboagainstcorona obviously did not only inspire us and was elected into HERA's pART of Research-Kalender 2021 der HERA gewählt. Thank you, Irene, for your contribution and congratulations on the success. Our congratulations go to all participants of the competition.
I very much hope that next year we will look at the picture and think: Good that Corona has passed by. Until then: Health and nerves for all of you. [TCL]



What does Anja Weber (Ullrich) actually do?

The biochemist Anja Weber was a member of the IBOC from 2014 to 2018. She successfully carried out research and did her doctorate on the topic "Synthesis of isocoumarins and naphthopyranones". After her doctorate, Anja started as a postdoc in chemical fungicide research at BASF in Ludwigshafen and was then hired as laboratory team leader in June 2018. In January 2020, however, she turned her back on the chemical industry to join HSBC Bank as a business analyst in the in-house consulting department.

According to Anja, a good network is extremely helpful for future graduates. In addition, doctoral students should use the time during their doctoral thesis or a postdoc to "think outside the box" and gain experience far removed from their research focus.

Dear Anja, we thank you for your helpful information and wish you all the best for the future. Be sure to check out the BOCipedia to read the detailed answers - it's worth it.



This week our dear colleague Marc is leaving us.

On the one hand we are all very happy for Marc that he has the chance to start his career outside the IBOC. On the other hand, we will miss him a lot. Marc has pushed forward sugar enzymology and our research with DERA and has also made an excellent contribution to external cooperation with RWTH Aachen and Japanese colleagues. Many thanks for the impeccable representation. We would also like to thank Marc for organizing countless game evenings.  Marc, you have always taken care of the team as a community and smoothened many waves with your balancing nature. That is worth its weight in gold.

On your further journey, we wish you all the best, much success and we envy your new employer for having been able to win you on board.


Publication News

This week we are pleased to announce two freshly accepted publications, each of which has emerged from very productive collaborations.

Together with Martin Breugst from the University of Cologne, Anja Weber investigated the reaction between α,β-unsaturated lactones and 1,3-dienes, through which the synthesis of isocoumarin units is easily accessible. They combined experimental and computer-based methods and were able to confirm the theory of a stepwise reaction mechanism in the course of their research. Online available

Another exciting cooperation was held between Hannah U.C. Brass and Andreas Klein from the IBOC with Stefanie Brands and Anna Joëlle Ruff from the RWTH Aachen University. They developed a two-stage high-throughput screening for the prodigiosin ligase PigC. By applying this screening to a PigC epPCR library in Pseudomonas putida, a new PigC variant was identified, which shows both a higher stability and an increased substrate acceptance for different prodiginin derivatives. Online available

Congratulations to all participants.


First attendance event with restrictions

Today the practical part of the module "Molecular and Biomolecular Catalysis" (MoBiCa) starts at our institute. For two weeks, the students will be taught the basics of biocatalysis, in particular enzymatic syntheses, in small groups. Fortunately, at IBOC we have the opportunity to carry out the practical training largely isolated from the rest of the laboratory routine so that it can take place in compliance with the currently necessary hygiene rules. All lectures and seminars are held exclusively as online events.

We would like to welcome our 12 attendees and wish them, despite the unusual conditions, a lot of fun during their practical training.

Information about the practical course



Natural product biochemistry in the summer semester

Normally the module Natural Product Biochemistry is located in the winter semester. This year NatBC should also start in the summer semester and will do so from 25 May.2020, but instead of collecting fresh samples in nature, we hope to have sufficient bandwidth this year. The pandemic now gives us the chance to modify the module virtually.  Of course, the focus has shifted a bit, but we are convinced that both aspects - the principles of secondary metabolism and the fundamentals of natural substance isolation - can be transported in this digital format. In any case, we are looking forward to curious students and a productive time.

We will definitely learn something!


New section – „What is he/she doing now?“

There is a life after the IBOC - our alumni prove this again and again.

Many former colleagues have agreed to answer a small questionnaire and here we'd like to regularly present their stories.

The more detailed, and very fascinating "interviews" can be found in the Bocipedia for institute members. 

We would like to start with Benjamin Berntsson. Benjamin studied chemistry and successfully completed his doctoral studies in carbohydrate chemistry and glycosynthases in 2017, within the CLIB graduate school. Currently, he is working in the chemical production at Evonik, where he joined in 2018 as project manager in R&D. Next year he has the exciting opportunity to spend 18 months in Argentina.

Benjamin advises current doctoral students who wish to work in industry to undertake an internship and to gain additional qualifications. Furthermore, he explicitly states that foreign language competence, particularly in English, are advantageous.

Thank you Benjamin for the interesting perspective. We wish you a successful and enjoyable time in Argentina! The complete questionnaire can be found in the BOCipedia.


A consequential interaction

We are very pleased to be able to report on an exciting cooperation within the region. Marius Hoffmann from RWTH Aachen and Marc R. Hayes from our institute jointly investigated the multivalent binding capacity between the Thomson-Friedenreich antigen and galactin-3. The interaction between the TF-antigen and galactins is significantly involved in tumor cell aggregation, cancer metastasis and T-cell apoptosis in epithelial tissue.
Congratulations to both of you on the successful publication in the Glycoconjugate Journal.



And the cover goes to .....

Once again we were invited to design a cover image for Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis. This time a draft by Irene Küberl for the publication of Drennhaus et al. on the enantioselective One-Pot synthesis of y-butyrolactones was allowed to adorn the cover.

The illustration can be found here.


Science theory goes online

This week we started this year's qualification module for Bachelor students. This module mainly deals with topics from everyday laboratory and institute life and is intended to provide students with important skills for the completion of their bachelor thesis. In addition to the necessary technical basics for bioorganic chemistry, the module also teaches contents from the theory of science or graphic design.
This year, however, we are not able to hold the module as usual, but are breaking new ground due to the special conditions imposed on us by Covid-19. Thus, all lectures/seminars will be held online. This is also a new, but also exciting experience for us, from which we can certainly gain interesting aspects for the future design of our teaching activities.
Of course, we would also like to take this opportunity to once again extend a warm welcome to this year's Bachelor students Nena Billen, Sedef Eyeoglu, Philipp Schäfer, Sebastian Sill, Sascha Malaczynski and Cornelius Pawlowsky. We wish you much success and fun with your bachelor theses and are looking forward to your support!

The module description is available here


Cover-Story for "Biocatalysis Creek"

Recently, the exciting work of Baumer et al. on cofactor recycling in flow systems was published under the title "Efficient Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate [NADP(H)] Recycling in Closed-Loop Continuous Flow Biocatalysis". In addition, we had the opportunity to design a title cover for the journal Advanced Synthesis & Catalysis. The meaningful graphic was created by Thomas Classen and can be admired here.

Very well done, Tom.


Current publications

The scientific world is currently in a corona state of emergency. Many institutions and universities are closed. Nevertheless, three excellent and recently published papers can be reported.

Congratulations to all involved Co-workers

Drennhaus et. al reported on an ammonium ylide controlled access on the way to differently substituted γ-butyrolactones, and thus also described an alternative to the approaches with toxic arsenic compounds used so far. γ-butyrolactones represent a highly interesting building block that is found in many natural substances. online available

Julian Greb wrote an really impressive article for this year's trend report Organic Chemistry of the GDCh. He explained different approaches to the synthesis of the arcutine diterpenoide alkaloidess isolated from the aconitum arcuatum. online available

Furthermore we would like to thank Sonja Herres-Pawlis and all Co-authors for the very nice cooperation on bis(µ-oxo)-copper complex catalyzed oxidation reactions, which also led to a great publication. online available



Poster award at the conference Flow Chemistry Europe 2020

From 3rd – 4th of March our colleague Teresa Friedrichs took part in the conference Flow Chemistry Europe 2020. We are very pleased that Teresa received a poster award from the Royal Society of Chemistry for the poster of the "Poster Consortium", formed by her, Benedikt Baumer, Julia Bramski and Martin Wäscher, presented there. They were able to demonstrate impressively the development and application of a continuous flow system for chemoenzymatic cascade reactions including an integrated co-factor recycling.



Welcome to the IBOC!

Dr. Irene Küberl will join us in March 2020. We are looking forward to the cooperation and are glad that you are now - again - part of the institute.


Spring brings new trainees

f.l.t.r.: Theo Bertelsmann und Tillmann Bartz

Actually, the trainees will not reach us until autumn; however, we are very pleased that Tillmann Bartz and Theo Bertelsmann are strengthening our team for the time of the renovation of their training facility. Welcome to the IBOC!



Cofactor-Recycling in Flow

Baumer et al. recently reported on a possibility to recycle the redox cofactor NADPH in biocatalytic flowchemsitry applications. And recycling can be taken literally, because while the substrate is continuously converted into the product, the cofactor remains in the reactor. The expensive cofactor is not flushed out. After five days, the test reactor with an alcohol dehydrogenase has lost nothing in terms of selectivity and conversion.

The reactor with the alcohol dehydrogenase is only a proof-of-principle: However, we assume that this design is transferable to a large number of oxidoreductases that use NAD(P)H. Since the susbtrate is also transported in an organic solvent, this opens up many possibilities for combining biocatalysis and other chemical synthesis methods.

Great work Benedikt! You can find the study here:



Reinforcement in the Team

f.l.t.r.: Nena Billen, Jan Gebauer, Nadiia Pozhydaieva

Since the end of February, Nadiia Pozhydaieva as master's student and Nena Billen as bachelor's student with Jan Gebauer have strengthened our enzymology team. We are happy about your help and wish you a great time with us.


Welcome Ruth!

This month, Ruth Siahaan is visiting us as part of her studies. She supports the research of Martin Wäscher. Good luck to both of you.


Farewell Florian!

Mr. Florian Garnebode has strengthened our team in recent years as a trainee. We hope that you have learned something with us. In any case, we are very pleased that you have now found a job after graduating as a chemical laboratory assistant, which will bring you closer to your home country again. We are sure you will support the team there - as well as our team - and wish you all the best in your private life, a fulfilling job and exciting challenges.


School internship Elena Raber

Mrs. Elena Raber was able to gain insights into the scientific laboratory routine and the methods of protein biochemistry in her student internship that accompanied Nikolai Huwa. We hope that you will take positive insights for yourself and perhaps even for your life. We really enjoyed the cooperation, your curiosity and openness; keep that up.


Start of 'OptiProt' and 'Natural Product Biochemistry

From the end of January to mid-February our elective modules Optimization Processes in Protein Production and Natural Product Biosynthesis take place at our institute. We wish all participants and all assistants an exciting time and knowledge and are looking forward to the cooperation. The block modules include laboratory work, accompanying seminars and a lecture series.


Farewell to Dr. Andreas Klein

Andreas Klein will leave our working group in February 2020 after his doctorate and a period as a postdoc. In cooperation with our sister institute IMET, Andreas has significantly advanced the research strand of mutasynthesis in general and research on the prodiginins in particular. Later on, he dedicated himself to the (bio)synthesis of natural plant substances. With patience, team spirit, curiosity and dedication to science, Andreas has not only advanced his research work and made it accessible to a broad public in numerous publications. Andreas has also always represented our institute and the natural sciences to the public in a sympathetic, competent and winning manner - be it in student internships, visitor groups or public lectures. We will sorely miss him as a consultant on so many topics - and not only the scientific ones -, as a multi-faceted discussion partner and as a dear friend. We are convinced that you will support our Swiss colleagues just as much in word and deed as a scientist of integrity and a great person.

We wish you success on your further path.

Talks and Meetings
  • Talks and Meetings of Heinrich-Heine-University Düsseldorf Chemie department - undefinedLink
  • Colloquia of Institute of Bio-and Geoscience Biotechnology (IBG-1) of Forschungszentrum Jülich - undefinedLink
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