Dr Samuel De Visser


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BBSRC DTA Studentship available starting October.

How do alpha-ketoglutarate dependent halogenases produce halogenated products and avoid hydroxylated byproducts?

There are few enzymes in nature that catalyze substrate halogenation reactions, such as the alpha-ketoglutarate dependent halogenases that use this for biosynthesis of antibiotics. Substrate halogenation has important functions in industry for the biosynthesis of pharmaceuticals and therapeutic agents. Currently, it is unknown how these enzymes work and what their potential for commercial applications is. The student will investigate the mechanism and function of alpha-ketoglutarate dependent halogenases and compare it with alpha-ketoglutarate dependent halogenases using theoretical chemistry methods. Understanding its mechanism will enable us to predict substrate specificity and reactivity patterns. A full range of computational methods is available in our group ranging from density functional theory to quantum mechanics/molecular mechanics. The research will be based in the Manchester Interdisciplinary Biocenter in Manchester, which is a dynamic research center within the University of Manchester with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities for experimental and theoretical studies of this kind.