Nestl Research Group

Expanding the amine biocatalysis toolbox.

Welcome to the Nestl lab!


Heterocyclic amines are important compounds that make up the majority of pharmaceuticals and agrochemicals, as well as many natural products. It is thus not surprising that synthetic chemists spend a considerable amount of time with the synthesis of amines. By developing and engineering enzymes from the biocatalysts toolbox, we can offer a competitive and efficient alternative to chemo-catalysts. Currently, we are exploiting and developing imine-reducing enzymes to build chiral amines. With these new enzymes in hand, we aim to not only combine them with other catalysts in synthetic cascades, but will also make contributions to understanding the evolution of new catalytic activities. As part of an interdisciplinary, team-oriented research experience, we aim at finding new solutions for the asymmetric synthesis of heterocyclic amines and their diversification using further chemo- or enzyme catalysts.


Publications (selected highlights)

"Biocatalytic access to piperazines from diamines and dicarbonyls". Borlinghaus N, Gergel S, Nestl BM. ACS Catal 2018, 8, 3727-3732. Link. This research has been highlighted by the ACS Green Chemistry Institute.

"New imine-reducing enzymes from
b-hydroxyacid dehydrogenases by single amino acid substitutions". Lenz M, Fademrecht S, Sharma M, Pleiss J, Grogan G, Nestl BM. Protein Eng Des Sel 2018, 31, 109-120. Link.

Synthesis of N-heterocycles from diamines via H2-driven NADPH recycling in the presence of O2
Al-Shameri A, Borlinghaus N, Weinmann L, Scheller PN, Lauterbach L, Nestl BM. Green Chem 2019, DOI: 10.1039/c8gc03798a. Link.

For all publications: Google Scholar

Curriculum Vitae

Bettina Nestl received her diploma in Chemistry from the University of Graz, Austria, in 2004.

She joined the lab of Professor Kurt Faber at the University of Graz for her PhD thesis focusing on biocatalytic isomerization protocols for the deracemization of pharmacologically important building blocks. In these studies she identified and developed enzymes that catalyze the stereochemical inversion of α-hydroxycarboxylic acids and α-hydroxyketones. In 2007, Bettina Nestl joined the group of Professor Nicholas J. Turner at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology at the University of Manchester as a Postdoctoral Research Associate where she explored the ability of enzymes to catalyze hydroamination reactions of alkenes. After her postdoctoral stay, Bettina Nestl began as Junior Research Group Leader and habilitant in the group of Professor Bernhard Hauer at the Institute of Technical Biochemistry at the Universitaet Stuttgart.


Bettina M. Nestl

Bettina M. Nestl

Biocatalysis Group Leader

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