Our research aims to understand the fundamental properties of a living bacterial cell and to develop useful microorganisms for novel applications in industry, agriculture and medicine. To achieve our research goals, we focus on three research topics integrating the fields of systems biology, synthetic biology, and digital biology:
Gene building blocks of microorganisms. How can we determine the essential functions of a bacterial cell, which are central for reproduction, metabolism and interaction with other organisms? Using methods of experimental systems biology, we gain new insights into the fundamental functions of a cell and can define important gene building blocks for the production of beneficial microorganisms in the laboratory.
Re-engineering beneficial microorganisms. How can we engineer bacterial cells with useful biotechnological and therapeutic functions and build novel biological systems? Through synthetic biology methods, we are exploring the re-engineering of beneficial microbes. We are developing new methods for creating artificial genomes using DNA synthesis and investigating how to create robust, functional bio-systems.
Digital Genome Design. How can we design novel bacteria? To design bacterial genomes from the ground up with the help of computers, we are developing genome design algorithms and computational engineering approaches that enable, simplify, and scale the manufacturing of artificial genes and genomes.