OXIPRO is delighted to welcome two new members to our project team and provide them with an opportunity to further their careers:
Espen Joon Søvik – Masters Student at NORCE
Espen completed his undergraduate degree in psychology from Bergen University in the mid-2000s. After working in an unrelated job for close to a decade, a desire to regain some control over his future career led him back to school. The choice fell on molecular biology, primarily due to an innate interest in genetics and evolutionary biology.
During his first semester as a graduate student, an interest in enzymes as tools for production and valorisation of goods manifested during his attendance on OXIPRO Coordinator Gro Bjerga’s course “Innovation in industrial biotechnology” at the University of Bergen. Following this, Espen enquired about the possibility of joining the research team at NORCE Norwegian Research Centre for his graduate thesis. He was warmly welcomed, and is currently spending his time working on alternative substrates of engineered flavin-containing monooxygenases, enzymes valuable for their ability to oxidize trimethylamine: an odorous compound accumulating in fish by-products during the industrial hydrolysis process.
Espen commented: “Additionally, the engineering work on these enzymes made by other members of the team would benefit from more specialized and time saving screening methods”. To help in that regard Espen is adapting an auxotrophic bacterial strain dependent on exogenous NADH regeneration activity, to screen for a successful cofactor switch in the mutant enzymes, a desirable change in the final iteration due to the high cost of the cofactor NADPH, as pointed out in Goris et al, 2020
Alexandre Brosse – Business Development Manager – Agriculture & Consumer Care at Calyxia
Alexandre, originally from France, studied at INP Toulouse (both ENSAT and ENSIACET schools) where he successfully completed an engineering degree in Agronomy, specialising in green chemistry. Following the completion of his technical studies, Alexandre first worked for a year as a research and development engineer for a start-up developing biocontrol product from plant extracts.
He then moved into a project management and partnership role at INRAE (French National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and the Environment) as public-private partnership developer for a network of 18 laboratories, in the field of biotechnology/green chemistry. After four years at INRAE, Alexandre furthered his career as a Business Developer for a Chair of Biotechnology from CentraleSupélec.
Alexandre joined Calyxia nine months ago as a Business Development Manager for biodegradable microcapsules in Agriculture and Home/Personal Care markets and is now involved in the OXIPRO project. He will be running the project management aspects on behalf of Calyxia and, although not engaged in research and development in the lab, he will follow the coordination of work between different teams.
Alexandre commented: “There is a growing market for enzyme applications and I look forward to seeing how OXIPRO brings new solutions to help enzyme performance for applications in consumer products.”