Prof. Gerrit Poelarends

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Gerrit J. Poelarends has been leading an independent research group at the department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Biology, University of Groningen, The Netherlands since 2006, with promotion to Full Professor in 2017. He is an internationally recognised leader in the enzyme engineering and biocatalysis fields and has been at the forefront of the development of enzymes for new-to-nature reactions during the past decade. This has spanned from the discovery and exploitation of promiscuous enzyme activities to the creation of new biocatalysts for abiological C-C, C-N and C-O bond-forming reactions. This includes the use of advanced laboratory evolution strategies to improve the properties (e.g. activity, stability, chemoselectivity & stereoselectivity) of enzymes. His distinctive contributions to the field of enzyme engineering have been acknowledged with prestigious national (VENI, VIDI, VICI) and international (ERC-StG & ERC-PoC) grants and have resulted in many invited lectures at international conferences.



Kunzendorf A., Xu G., Saifuddin M., Saravanan T., and Poelarends G.J. Biocatalytic asymmetric cyclopropanations via enzyme-bound iminium ion intermediates. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2021, 60, 24059-24063

Zhang J., Grandi E., Fu H., Saravanan T., Bothof L., Tepper P.G., Thunnissen A.M.W.H., and Poelarends, G.J. Engineered C-N lyase: Enantioselective synthesis of chiral synthons for artificial dipeptide sweeteners. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 429-435.

Xu G., Crotti M., Thangavelu S., Kataja K., and Poelarends, G. J. Enantiocomplementary epoxidation reactions catalyzed by an engineered cofactor-independent non-natural peroxygenase. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2020, 59, 10374-10378.