This week, the European Research Council (ERC) announced the results of the Starting Grant 2022 call, with Dr Sandy Schmidt among its 408 awardees.
This grant will give Sandy the opportunity to expand her research team, working on the topic of nitrogen-nitrogen (N-N)-bond containing pharmaceuticals. The main focus of this project will be on the development of novel iron-dependent enzymes for N-N-bond forming reactions, which is difficult to realise through traditional chemical procedures. In particular structural and functional investigations of this class of enzymes will guide engineering efforts toward non-natural reactivities, by using directed evolution and developing novel high-throughput methodologies.
As such, this research will lead to new enzymes for biocatalytic N-N bond formation, opening up novel synthetic routes to a diverse range of N-N-bonded compounds that can be used in various applications such as pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, and cosmetics.
The ERC funding will allow Sandy to push the boundaries of this exciting research field in biocatalysis, where newly developed methodologies from this project can also contribute to environmentally friendlier production routes and could ultimately lead to a greener chemical industry. The ERC Starting Grant marks the end of a very successful year for Sandy (see previous news items), and GRIP wishes her every success starting these new projects as soon as possible.
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