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NWO XS Grant for Clemens Mayer

18 December 2023
Clemens Mayer
Clemens Mayer

Clemens Mayer has been awarded an NWO XS grant for his project “Nothing lasts forever - fighting PFAS pollution with engineered enzymes”

XS grants (maximum of € 50,000) are intended to support promising ideas and to facilitate innovative and more speculative ground-breaking and high-risk projects. What counts is that all results, be they positive or negative, must contribute to the advancement of science.

Poly- and perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) encompass thousands of individual compounds that are widely used in consumer products. However, the presence of strong carbon-fluoride bonds makes PFAS difficult to degrade and long-term exposure to these forever chemicals has been shown to severely impact human health. In this project, Mayer and his team will apply the laboratory evolution to engineer biological catalysts (=enzymes) that can effectively degrade PFAS. By pioneering a strategy that converts model PFAS into carbon and energy sources for bacteria, this work will provide a promising means for the on-demand bio-remediation of these forever chemicals.

Last modified:18 December 2023 1.30 p.m.

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