Inspired by Nature, I am engineering the core metabolic pathways of Pseudomonas putida to produce new-to-Nature long-chain fluorinated molecules.
I am working on the DF2AP2 project funded by The Novo Nordisk Foundation. The aim is to engineer P. putida as a suitable platform for the bioproduction of long-chain fluorinated molecules. These compounds are used as chemical synthons to produce pharmaceuticals and high-performing materials; still, there is no biological solution to produce them. To this end, I am rewiring P. putida’s unique glycolytic metabolism to control the reducing power output to fuel NADPH-demanding biosynthesis pathways. At the same time, and by following the principle of Learning from nature, create nature, I aim at designing metabolic control networks inspired by nature to allow improved stable production of new-to-nature compounds. Therefore, I am also investigating and engineering F-metabolite-dependent regulatory elements as SynBio parts to build networks and circuits. Additionally, I am developing a cloning toolkit that will allow rapid combinatorial pathways and circuit assembly, and additional tools to support the project goals. Overall, with my work, I want to contribute to a sustainable bio-based economy by producing molecules that, so far, can only be accessed by traditional chemistry.