Hi, I am Rob! I work on the implementation and optimization of synthetic fluorometabolism in Pseudomonas putida and Escherichia coli.
In my main project, I aim at engineering optimized enzymes to activate form CoA thioesters from fluorinated substrates – central metabolites that can be exploited for the production of various fluorinated molecules. For this, I am setting up analytical techniques and biochemical assays that allow for random recombination of gene sequences and high-throughput screening to select novel, more efficient enzyme variants than the ancestors. I am also trying to find and engineer new ways of integrating fluorine de novo into organic molecules, currently a big challenge in the (bio)chemistry of halogenation.