Temporary Consultant at Siemens Management Consulting
Topic of Diploma Thesis: "Enzyme an weichen Grenzflächen (Enzymes at soft interfaces)"
Studies of physics at the University of Augsburg
Studies of physics at the Université Bordeaux, France
Internship in the group of Erick Dufourc at the "Institut Européen de Chimie et Biologie" in Bordeaux, France
Scholarship of the IDK-NBT (Elite Network of Bavaria)
2010 - 2011
Scholarship of the Bayerische EliteAkademie
Catalysis is a dominant topic in both basic research and industry. Over 40 Nobel Prizes, more than in any other field, have been awarded on the topic. Biological catalysts, enzymes, are the key players in biochemistry and essential to maintaining the energy household of the cell. While methods to study enzymes in action are very evolved the control of these reaction by physical means is poorly understood. At least one important reason originates from the fact that biological systems are, to a large extent, two dimensional assemblies with most enzymes confined at soft interfaces (e.g. lipid-membranes). Standard 3D methods can therefore not efficiently access the enzymes environment.
In my project I am striving to develop novel tools of microscopic scale which enable understanding and control of enzyme catalysis at man-made interfaces. The first step will be the investigation of catalytic reactions under native conditions. By mechanical, thermal and electrical manipulation I am going to identify the optimum reaction conditions. Afterwards the enzymes will be transfered on a piezoelectric chip, which allows the generation of surface acoustic waves. These waves induce lateral density patterns in the enzymes environment and thus facilitate the physical manipulation of the catalytic rate.