News: Funding for new Emmy Noether Research Group

February 18, 2019

Dr. Stephan Hammer from the Institute of Technical Biochemistry has been elected for the Emmy Noether program of the German Research Foundation (DFG). He has received funding to establish a research group to address “New catalytic reaction development by laboratory evolution of protein-based catalysts”.

Generating new enzyme function is a long-standing goal in chemical biology and has disruptive potential to various fields such as industrial biocatalysis, biomedicine and synthetic biology. The new Emmy Noether research group focusses on a highly interdisciplinary approach to engineer new enzymes for synthetic organic chemistry. The primary focus is to access previously unknown C-C and C-X bond forming reactions by discovering, developing and understanding new catalytic principles in enzyme-catalyzed reactions. Research in the Hammer research group combines methods from synthetic organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, protein biochemistry and molecular biology and will thus attract students from chemistry and biology.

The Emmy Noether Program gives exceptionally qualified early career researchers the chance to qualify for the post of professor at a university by leading an independent junior research group for a period of six years. Dr. Stephan Hammer was trained as a chemical laboratory assistant at BASF (Ludwigshafen). He studied chemistry at the University of Marburg and Cambridge. He joined the research group of Prof. Bernhard Hauer (University of Stuttgart) in 2010 and graduated with summa cum laude for his research on the poly-reactivity of enzymes. In 2015, he moved to Pasadena to perform research under the guidance of Prof. Frances Arnold (California Institute of Technology).

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