ERC Grant for Hannes Link
Dr. Hannes Link, research group leader at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology, has received one of the highly prestigious ERC Starting Grants from the European Research Council (ERC). The ERC project MapMe will receive 1.5 million Euro to develop novel bio-engineering concepts, and to investigate basic problems in life sciences, especially in the field of metabolomics.
Metabolic engineering aims at creating microbes with improved properties for the overproduction of fine and bulk chemicals. Traditionally, the approach taken to reach this goal is to rationally modify genes with known roles in the production pathway of interest.
However, over the years it has become clear that genes that are “unrelated” to the production pathway of interest may also substantially impact productivity. To date there are no methods that allow the prediction of such “unrelated” genes on a rational basis. Effects of these “unrelated” genes are indirect, and mediated through interactions between metabolites and proteins, most of which are currently unknown even in the well-studied bacterium Escherichia coli. The ERC grant will fund research in the Link laboratory to systematically map regulatory metabolite-protein interactions, and apply this information to create superior production strains for industrial biotechnology.
Dr. Hannes Link heads the research group “Dynamic Control of Metabolic Networks” at the Max Planck Institute for Terrestrial Microbiology. Hannes Link studied chemical engineering (TU Munich), did his Ph.D. in bio-chemical engineering (TU Munich), and was a postdoc at the Institute of Molecular Systems Biology at ETH Zurich, before coming to Marburg.