Research Group Mattanovich / Gasser / Sauer

Microbial Biotechnology

Univ.Prof. DI Dr. Diethard Mattanovich

Priv. Doz. DI Dr. Brigitte Gasser

Priv. Doz. FH-Prof. Dr. Michael Sauer

Muthgasse 18

A-1190 Wien

The main research interests focus on microbial strain engineering for production of recombinant proteins of biopharmaceutical and industrial interest and for production of biobased chemicals.

  • Systems biotechnology of Pichia pastoris: The yeast P. pastoris has emerged as an efficient host for recombinant protein production. However, folding and secretion of complex proteins is often limited, leading to reduced yields. We focus on the comprehensive understanding of protein folding and secretion, and on cell engineering for the improvement of these processes. Environmental conditions and core metabolism impact folding and secretion and therefore represent major research targets of our group. We are currently working on the integration of transcriptomic, proteomic, metabolomic and cytometric data in a comprehensive metabolic model.

  • Bioprocess engineering: With the extended knowledge of the physiology and molecular biology of P. pastoris and other microorganisms we aim to develop novel fermentation strategies. Depending on the optimization objective, such as space-time-yield, product titer or product purity the potential of different strategies is explored – from often used batch and fed-batch cultivations to the establishment of appropriately monitored continuous cultivations.

  • Metabolic engineering for the production of biobased chemicals: We employ pathway and cell engineering for the development of microorganisms producing chemicals, such as organic acids, polyalcohols or vitamins. Engineering targets are identified by metabolic models integrating data from metabolomics and metabolic flux analysis. However, not only stoichiometry and energetics, but also stress reactions of the host cells affect the overall economics of biobased chemical production. Consequently, stress regulation mechanisms are one focus of our research. We take an active part in the BOKU Network “Bioconversion of Renewables”

The research is financed by public funding e.g. FWF and FFG as well as by research contracts with industrial partners. Our group is furthermore a strong partner in the Austrian Center of Industrial Biotechnology (ACIB).


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