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NWO XS Grant for Clemens Mayer

22 April 2022
Clemens Mayer

Clemens Mayer has been awarded a NWO Open Competition Domain Science - XS grant worth EUR 50,000. He receives the grant for the project ‘Making bacteria love pesticides – engineering designer microbes for organophosphate removal’. With the XS grants, NWO strives to encourage curiosity-driven and bold research involving a quick analysis of a promising idea. A special aspect is that the applicants themselves assess the other applications.

Organophosphates are pest-killing nerve agents that account for almost 40% of the total pesticides used worldwide. Given their toxicity to humans and animals, their bioaccumulation in soil and wastewater streams is a growing health and environmental concern. Therefore, effective and sustainable ways to break down (=remediate) these pollutants are in high demand. To meet this challenge, Mayer aims to apply the evolutionary algorithm to engineer biological catalysts (=enzymes) that can effectively neutralize organophosphates. Critically, the production of these tailor-made enzymes by designer microbes provides a promising means for the on-demand bio-remediation of persistent organophosphates.

Last modified:22 April 2022 09.50 a.m.

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