I am passionate about the interface between science and technology
Molecular Biologist, Research Group Lead
I am passionate about the interface between science and technology and thus driven to transfer basic science to industrial applications. My scientific experiences are manifold, including toxicology, cytokines (protein biochemistry), immunology (chronic inflammation), and for the past twelfth years, fungal biotechnology. Consequently, my expertise also comprehends various aspects of molecular biology, protein biochemistry and the associated basic and advanced techniques.
Currently, my primary objective is to enlarge our research portfolio and product development with close collaborators from industry and academic international research partners. The main goal is to develop green and sustainable products, particularly biopolymers such as chitin and derivatives thereof and to investigate their application in medicine, water engineering and above all, crop control. The current projects are a consequential development of my ongoing research on chitin degradation (started in 2009), remodeling and its role in mycoparasitism. I executed this project together with leading scientists in the field . and international experts located at the KTH Stockholm and the University of Adelaide, as well as experts at the Vienna University of Technology.
To this end, I have built a team of scientists with strong backgrounds in various disciplines to successfully complement our research goals in the areas of basic research and applied areas such as biocontrol and process development. Thus, highly qualified postdocs and students have been hired to achieve these ambitious goals.
I would like to emphasize that the indented medical application of biopolymer-based nanoparticles exemplifies the bridge I built between my medical educations (medical PhD) and the vast experience I gained as a researcher in biotech during the last 12 years.
Mag. Dr. Sabine Gruber
Researcher - Core member
My name is Carolina Escobar, I have a chemistry background and broad expertise in molecular biology and bioanalytics. I am convinced of the yet underexplored potential of microorganisms for more green and sustainable technologies in a myriad of areas, including agriculture, medicine as well as in environmental and industrial processes. Therefore, I am thrilled to be a core member of the ChisMet Labs. Back in 2018, I contributed to gaining knowledge on how the filamentous fungus Trichoderma atroviride regulates the architecture of its cell wall, focusing on the synthesis of chitin and chitin-derivates. Today, I get to further elaborate this work with the aim to translate these newly gained insights in establishing and optimizing green processes that will ultimately allow us to obtain high-quality bioactive compounds from both fungal and insect-derived chitin.
During my Ph.D. studies at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences in Vienna (BOKU), I gained additional proficiency in the molecular mechanisms involved in plant-microbiome interactions as well as in analyses of high amounts of data derived from next generation sequencing (NGS) technologies. Together with our scientific partners, I contribute with these competencies to assess the impact and efficacy of the obtained bioactive compounds in plant protection and to further identify and characterize potentially crucial enzymes involved in the bioconversion of chitin from both fungal and insect sources.
Bioprocess Engineer - Key Scientist - until 2021
My name is Karl Metzger, I am a consulting bioprocess expert for the research group, with additional education in executive management. I am enthusiastic about using bioprocess engineering and biotechnology as future-oriented strategies to tackle upcoming environmental but also health and sustainable development challenges.
In the course of my PhD studies at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Vienna, I have worked as a research associate on an international project together with a multinational company to develop and intensify integrated fermentation as well as downstream processes for microbial recombinant protein production. My role as a key scientist in the current project deals with the development and scale-up of filamentous fungi cultivation processes. The main objective is the process transfer from bench-scale operations to large scale production strategies for industrial applications. In further consequence, an integrated bioprocess design comprising of finetuned upstream, as well as downstream unit operations, will be developed to provide an economical along with an environmentally relevant strategy for producing chitin and chitin derivates.
Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Karl Metzger
Bachelor Thesis from 01.09.2021 - 15.02. 2022 Nicole Kosa
""Differential gene expressions in a cell wall biosynthesis mutant in Trichoderma atroviride"
2022: Nicole is involved in the FWF project TRICHOCELLWALL
Meet our international scientific partner - Vincent Bulone
International Scientific Cooperation Partner
The University of Adelaide
Wine Innovation Central building | Level 4 | Waite Campus, Urrbrae, SA 5064, Australia
Director, Adelaide Glycomics
Director, Agricultural Product Development
Research Director, Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre
KTH | Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm
Roslagstullsbacken 21 | Plan 2
9335+C4 Stockholm, Sweden
Professor, Division of Glycoscience
Prof. Vincent Bulone
This is our national scientific partner -
FH campus Vienna
Dr. Harald Kühnel
FH Campus Vienna
This is our national scientific partner
University of Innsbruck
FFG BRIDGE 1- ChitoBSF
Lead National Part UIBK
I am a microbiologist with great interest in microbial resource management, microbiomes, and data science.
For my PhD, I worked on microbe-host interactions using the black soldier fly as model organism. Currently, I am a postdoc at the Department of Microbiology and the Department of Ecology of the University of Innsbruck, where we work on basic and applied research projects involving industrially reared insects. Besides research, I teach various lectures and lab courses on waste management, sustainability, and bioinformatics at the UIBK and the MCI - Management Center Innsbruck.