Contact

Dr. Tobias Erb
Dr. Tobias Erb
Director
Phone: +49 6421 178 700
Fax: +49 6421 178 809

Research Group Members

Dr. Nina Socorro Cortina
Scientific Staff Member
Phone: +49 6421 178 733
Fax: +49 6421 178 999
Dr. Jan Zarzycki
Phone: +49 6421 178 742
Martina Carrillo Camacho
Phone: +49 6421 178 711
Tarryn Miller
Tarryn Miller
Ph.D. Student
Phone: +49 6421 178 741
Fax: +49 6421 178 999
Gabriele Stoffel
Gabriele Stoffel
Ph.D. Student
Phone: +49 6421 178 710
Dr. Lennart Schada von Borzyskowski
Dr. Lennart Schada von Borzyskowski
Postdoctoral Fellow
Phone: +49 6421 178 721
Fax: +49 6421 178 999
Thomas Schwander
Thomas Schwander
Ph.D. Student
Phone: +49 6421 178 733
Fax: +49 6421 178 999
Marieke Scheffen
Marieke Scheffen
Ph.D. Student
Phone: +49 6421 178 430
Bastian Vögeli
Ph.D. Student
Phone: +49 6421 178 711
Fax: +49 6421 178 999
Iria Grundling
Ph.D. Student
Phone: +49 6421 178 711
Pascal Pfister
Phone: +49 6421 178 740
Sonja Fleissner
Phone: +49 6421 178 740

Dr. Tobias Erb - Biochemistry and Synthetic Biology of Microbial Metabolism

Dr. Tobias Erb

Curriculum Vitae

Tobias Jürgen Erb (born 1979)
Diploma in Biology, University of Freiburg (D), 2005
Magister scientiarum in Chemistry & Biology, University of Freiburg (D), 2005
Visiting scholar, The Ohio State University (US), 2007
Dr. rer. nat., Institute of Microbiology, University of Freiburg (D), 2009
DFG-Postdoctoral fellow, University of Illinois (US), 2009-2011
ETH-Fellow, Institute of Microbiology, ETH Zürich (CH), 2011-2012
Jr. Group leader & SNF-Ambizione fellow, ETH Zürich (CH), 2012-2014
Elected member of the Junge Akademie at the BBAW and Leopoldina 2013
Max Planck Research Group Leader (free floater) at the MPI Marburg, 2014-2017
Director and Head of the Department of Biochemistry and Synthetic Metabolism at the MPI Marburg, since 2017

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Research area: Biochemistry and Synthetic Metabolism

"Understanding life is impossible without understanding the biochemistry of microbes."

Microorganisms represent the majority of species on Earth and exceed all other life forms in number and biomass by several orders of magnitude. This makes them key players in the global cycle of elements, controlling the release and fixation of carbon, nitrogen, and sulfur.

Our research is located at the interface of microbial physiology, biochemistry, and ecology. We are driven by the desire to discover and engineer novel microbial pathways and enzymes that involve the transformation of carbon compounds, in particular acetate, methanol, methane or CO2. These compounds are central to the global carbon cycle and their conversion through microbes has a direct impact on the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

We currently focus on answering the following questions: How many metabolic pathways in the global carbon cycle are still undiscovered and what is their ecological importance? How do enzymes catalyze challenging reactions (e.g. the fixation of CO2) and what drives their evolution? Can we construct novel enzymes and completely novel metabolic pathways (e.g. for the efficient fixation of CO2 into value-added compounds) using the methods of synthetic biology?

More about "Biochemistry and Synthetic Metabolism"

 
The group of Tobias Erb as per October 2015 Zoom Image
The group of Tobias Erb as per October 2015

Selected Recent Publications

Schwander, T., Schada von Borzyskowski, L., Burgener, S., Cortina, N.S., and *Erb, T.J. (2016) A synthetic pathway for the fixation of carbon dioxide in vitro. Science 354:901-904 http://science.sciencemag.org/content/354/6314/900

Rosenthal, R.G., Vögeli, B., Quade, N., Capitani, G., Kiefer, P., Vorholt, J.A., Ebert, M.-O., and *Erb, T.J. (2015) The use of ene adducts to study and engineer enoyl-thioester reductases. Nature Chemical Biology 11:398-400 http://www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/v11/n6/full/nchembio.1794.html

Könneke, M., Schubert, D.M., Brown, P.C., Hügler, M., Standfest, S., Schwander, T., Schada von Borzyskowski, L., Erb, T.J., Stahl, D.A. and Berg, I.A. (2014) Ammonia-oxidizing archaea use the most energy-efficient aerobic pathway for CO2 fixation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111:8239-8244 http://www.pnas.org/content/111/22/8239

Rosenthal, R.G., Ebert, M.-O., Kiefer, P., Peter, D.M., Vorholt, J.A. and *Erb, T.J. (2014) Direct evidence for a covalent ene adduct intermediate in NAD(P)H-dependent enzymes. Nature Chemical Biology 10:50-55 http://www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/v10/n1/abs/nchembio.1385.html

Erb, T.J., Evans, B.S., Kyuil, C., Warlick, B.P., Sriram, J., Wood, B.M., Sweedler, J.V., Tabita, F.R., Gerlt, J.A. (2012). A RubisCO-like protein links SAM metabolism and isoprenoid biosynthesis. Nature Chemical Biology 8:926-923 http://www.nature.com/nchembio/journal/v8/n11/full/nchembio.1087.html

*Erb, T.J., Kiefer, P., Hattendorf, B., Günther, D., Vorholt, J.A. (2012) GFAJ-1 is an arsenate resistant, phosphate dependent organism. Science 337:467-70 http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2012/07/06/science.1218455

Selected Honors

VAAM-Research Award, Association of General & Applied Microbiology (D), 2017

Heinz Maier-Leibnitz-Prize, German Resarch Foundation (DFG) & German Federal Minstry of Education and Research (BMBF), 2016

C&EN "Talented 12": Up-and-coming chemists of 2015, American Chemical Society

ERC-Starting Grantee 2015

SGM-Encouragement award, Swiss Society of Microbiology, 2013

Election and appointment as member of die Junge Akademie, 2013

Poster Award 22nd Enzyme Mechanisms Conference (US), 2011

Richard I. Gumport Travel Award, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (US), 2011

VAAM-PhD Award, Association of General & Applied Microbiology (D), 2010

Hans-Grisebach Prize, University of Freiburg (D), 2010

Alumni-Diploma Award, University of Freiburg (D), 2006

 
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