Tobi Erb named 'Talented 12' by C&EN
Tobias Erb from the Max Planck Institute of Terrestrial Microbiology in Marburg has been selected to the ‘Talented 12’ by the ‘Chemical & Engineering News’ (C&EN).
C&EN is the magazine of the American Society of Chemistry, which is the world´s largest scientific organization with more than 158,000 members.
The Max Planck Researcher Group Leader was highlighted along with eleven other young scientists and entrepreneurs, who are using chemistry to solve global problems in a special feature of C&EN this week. Erb and his team investigate the biochemistry of microbial CO2 fixation. „Temporary chemistry does not offer suitable catalysts that allow removing CO2 from the atmosphere and converting it into a useful product”, says Erb. “Microorganisms, however, have evolved a number of carboxylating enzymes – powerful biocatalysts – that are able to transform CO2 into organic matter on a billion ton scale per year”, he adds. Following Max Planck´s principle of ‘insight must proceed application’, the motivation of Erb´s research is to learn these tricks from the microbes and to apply them in chemistry and synthetic biology.
At the MPI in Marburg and its adjunct center of synthetic microbiology (SYNMIKRO), Erb´s team currently focuses on engineering highly efficient catalysts, synthetic pathways and novel microorganisms for the conversion of CO2 into green products. Support for this project with the name SYBORG comes from the European Research Council (ERC). “Being recognized by your fellow colleagues as one of the future leaders and being the only European among the ‘Talented 12’ is a big honor, but also a big motivation for me and my team to further pursue our scientific visions in an excellent scientific environment”, closes Erb.