The Team

Postdocs

Steffen Lindner

I have an extensive background in metabolic engineering of prokaryotic organisms. I completed my diploma thesis on polyphosphate metabolism in the institute of biotechnology at the research center Jülich. During my PhD studies, at the institute of molecular microbiology and biotechnology at Münster University, I investigated and engineered the central metabolism of C. glutamicum. I then joined the institute of Genetics of Prokaryotes at Bielefeld University, where I continued my metabolic engineering work, with a special emphasis on alternative carbon sources, sugar transport, glycolysis, and the pentose phosphate pathway. I further engineered C. glutamicum for the production of various compounds of interest. Later, I joined Algenol Biofuels in Berlin, working in strain development of Cyanobacteria.

At Arren’s group I design and implement synthetic pathways for formate assimilation in E. coli, using state of the art metabolic engineering and genome editing techniques.
Patrick Behrens

Patrick Behrens


I gained my diploma in biochemistry at the University of Potsdam. During my studies I became interested in microbiology, and therefore I made my Diploma thesis in intestine microbiology, studying the effect of microorganisms on the formation and excretion of potential carcinogenic nutrients. After my Diploma, I worked for a while in a medicine products company. I completed my PhD studies in the field of geological microbiology, working at the Institute of Earth and Environmental Science at the University of Potsdam. There, I developed and constructed high-pressure, high temperature incubation systems for cultivation of extremophiles as well as for the extraction of organic compounds from condensed organic matter.

At AG Bar-Even, I am responsible for maintaining and operating the technical equipment.
Fabian Machens

Fabian Machens


I earned my Diploma in Biotechnology at the University of Brunswick and conducted my PhD thesis in the field of Plant – Pathogen interaction at the Institute of Genetics in Brunswick. During my work there, I focused on the development and analysis of synthetic promoters responding to pathogen infection. Following up on this project, I joined the University of Potsdam to develop synthetic promoters and tailor-made transcription factors for biotechnological applications in yeast. In this research project I expanded my knowledge on artificial transcription modulation and gained an extensive background on DNA assembly strategies, strain construction and genome engineering in S. cerevisiae

In Arren Bar-Even’s group, I am engineering baker’s yeast to establish formatothropic growth.
Gabriela Alfaro-Espinoza

Gabriela Alfaro-Espinoza


My research interest lies on synthetic microbiology. In the past, I have developed a novel bacterium-plant system to investigate the molecular and physiological interactions between a microaerophilic N2-fixing bacterium and a mangrove plant. This was part of my MSc and PhD studies at Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology and Jacobs University in Bremen. Then, I joined the Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM) as a postdoctoral researcher, where I optimized the bacterial strain Halomonas elongata to overproduce the metabolite ectoine. This was part of a cooperation project with the biotechnological company Bitop AG and BAM.

Currently, I am working in Dr. Bar-Evens group to rewire the central carbon metabolism of Pseudomonas putida and standardize a synthetic biofluorination pathway.
Sebastian Wenk

Sebastian Wenk


For my undergraduate degree, I studied Molecular Biology at the University of Potsdam where I did my BSc thesis on epigenetic regulation of heat stress memory in A. thaliana. Following my interest in applied science, I moved to Strasbourg (France), where I studied Biotechnology at the École Supérieure de Biotechnologie. There, I received a double MSc degree in Synthetic Biology and Structural Biology after writing my thesis on the development of DNA Aptamers against post-transcriptionally modified proteins at the MPI for Immunology and Epigenetics in Freiburg.

In the group of Dr. Bar-Even, I work on novel formate assimilation routes in E.coli.
Enrico Orsi

Enrico Orsi

I obtained my BSc degree in Biotechnology at University of Bologna (Italy), with an internship at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) in Barcelona (Spain). I obtained my MSc diploma in Molecular and Cellular Biotechnology at Wageningen University (The Netherlands), with a thesis on improving itaconic acid production in the bacterium Escherichia coli. Moreover, I performed an internship staying as visiting scholar at University of California San Diego (USA) in the laboratory of prof. Susan Golden. During this experience, I investigated the molecular mechanisms of circadian biology in the model cyanobacterium Synechococcus elongatus.
I obtained my PhD diploma at the Bioprocess Engineering Department at Wageningen University (The Netherlands). During this project, I characterized and improved the metabolism of the bacterium Rhodobacter sphaeroides for enhancing chemoheterotrophic isoprenoid production.

At Bar-Even’s group, I focus on formatothropic bulk chemicals synthesis in the bacterium Cupriavidus necator.

Armin Kubis

Armin Kubis

I studied Biochemistry at the University of Tübingen where I graduated with a thesis at the Friedrich Miescher Laboratory of the Max Planck Society on the control of robust ordering of cell cycle events. For my Master degree I moved to the University of Heidelberg and visited the University of Edinburgh. There, I worked on a variety of different projects from transcriptional regulation over optimization of photosynthesis to optogenetic tools. For my Master thesis at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research I worked on a high-throughput protocol to test engineered light-sensitive dimers.

In Dr. Bar-Even’s Group I am investigating ways to improve photosynthesis by constructing synthetic carbon-neutral photorespiration bypass routes. Combining engineered and natural enzymes, I test novel pathways in E. coli to evaluate their functionality in vivo and perform directed evolution for further optimization.
 

PhD Students

Viswanada Bysani

Viswanada Bysani

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I received my Bachelor’s degree in life sciences from Sri Venkateswara University, India and Master’s degree in biochemistry with a thesis on “Alkaline protease production from Bacillus. spp” from the same university. After my masters, I worked as a research fellow at JNCASR, India where I earned diverse scientific research experience as I had worked on microbial biocatalysts for the production of butanol and developed an inducible synthetic operon to engineer isobutanol production pathway. I also worked on cell biology aspects to develop assays to monitor flux of autophagy in terms of intracellular trafficking of pathogens and degradation of protein aggregates.

In Dr. Arren Bar-Even’s group, I am doing my PhD on engineering synthetic C1 assimilation pathways in yeast.
Alberto de Maria

Alberto de Maria

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I studied Biotechnology Bsc at the Alma Mater Studiorum of Bologna (Italy). I did my Bachelor thesis at the department of biochemistry in the group of Bioenergetics. I did my Master in Cellular and Molecular Biotechnology at the Wageningen University (Netherlands). I did my Master thesis in the BacGen group of Wageningen, working on the development of a CRISPR/CAS9 toolbox and studying DNA repair systems in Rhodobacter sphaeroides. In Arren Bar-Even’s group I did and internship working on flux analysis and engineering of synthetic routes for formate assimilation in Cupriavidus necator.

Currently, I am doing my PhD thesis in the Bar-Even group, working with Gabriela Alfaro Espinoza on establishing a biofluorination route in  Pseudomonas putida and E. coli.
Daniel Bonder

Daniel Bonder

I initially studied Economics at Boston University for my bachelor’s, where I became interested in the great potential of a sustainable bio-based economy powered by synthetic biology. I went on to work at Twist Bioscience and later pursued a postbaccalaureate in Biotechnology at Columbia University. After this, I became a rotation student in the lab of Dr. Emmanuelle Charpentier where I partook in different projects centered on the biology and application of CRISPR/Cas systems. There, I studied the role of DNA replication proteins in a non-replicative context using a B. subtilis strain engineered to lose its ability to replicate DNA. I also worked on the innate immune recognition of the human pathogen S. pyogenes. In my last project, I investigated post-transcriptional regulatory mechanisms of type V-A CRISPR systems. 

In Dr. Bar-Even’s group, I am working with Dr. Steffen Lindner focusing on rewiring the metabolism of C. glutamicum in order to couple growth with the production of value added chemicals.

Tong Wu

Tong Wu

I earned my bachelor’s degree in life science at Shanxi University, China, where I received an organized training. Fascinated by the diverse creatures, I decide to discover the principles behind them. I pursued my master's degree in Biotechnology Engineering at University of Chinese Academy of Sciences. There, I finished my thesis of Mining and Utilization of Sabinene Tolerance Gene from Escherichia coli. In this project, I gained new DNA editing strategies and transcriptome analysis skills.

In Dr. Bar-Even's group, I am pursuing a further study on systems and synthetic metabolism. My PhD project is focusing on exploring novel formaldehyde conversion/assimilation routes.

<a href="#__target_object_not_reachable"><span class="icon link_like_text employee_name">Ari Satanowski</span></a>

I studied biology at the Freie Universität in Berlin and at ETH Zürich, where I first came into contact with research on microbial metabolism and its engineering and became fascinated with the field. I joined the Bar-Even lab for my Master Thesis and worked on a project that explored enzyme reversibility and the implementation of carbon fixation pathways in heterotrophic hosts. A brief stay at the lab of Tobias Erb then taught me more about the mechanisms and engineering of enzymes.

I returned to the Bar-Even lab in fall 2019 to start my PhD thesis, which aims to establish in vivo synthetic pathways for the assimilation of CO2 and reduced C1 compounds.

Beau Dronsella

Beau Dronsella

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I am a Biology student from the Freie Universität Berlin and joined the research group of Dr. Arren Bar-Even for my Master's project. After my Bachelor's degree, which I completed with a thesis on oxidative stress responses in plants in the group of Prof. Dr. Baier (FU Berlin), I decided to focus on molecular Biology, Epigenetics and Microbiology for my master studies.

In the group of Dr. Arren Bar-Even, I am exploring and optimizing formatotrophic growth of C. necator
Paul Gomez

Paul Gomez


I obtained my B.Sc in biology at UNAM in Mexico with a focus on kinetics of pyruvate kinase enzymes. After receiving my Master’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at University of Potsdam, I decided to continue my career as a scientist and start my PhD by taking part in a research project involving the implementation and testing of synthetic photorespiration bypasses in E. coli. This project takes place at Dr. Bar-Even’s Lab and Dr. Erb group from MPI-TM in Marburg as part of a long-standing scientific collaboration between the two groups.

Jan Lukas Krüsemann

Jan Lukas Krüsemann


After studying biology at Freie Universität Berlin, I completed my bachelor thesis with Arren Bar-Even. In his lab, I worked on rewiring E. coli’s central metabolism using phosphoketolase and I got fascinated by Arren’s vision of engineering metabolism and his unique character. During my project-oriented MSc in systems biology at ETH Zürich, I participated in the iGEM competition, completed an internship at the Danish biotechnology company Novozymes and performed my master thesis at Cambridge University where I set up a model to simulate a synthetic gene circuit in the green microalgae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii. After these diverse experiences, I decided to return to Arren’s lab for my PhD, where I plan to improve synthetic methylotrophy in E. coli.
Despite his untimely demise, I will begin my PhD with the amazing Bar-Even family he founded in Potsdam and work on engineering quinone-dependent alcohol dehydrogenases in E. coli together with Tobias Erb as my supervisor.

Master Students

<span>Vittorio Rainaldi</span>

Vittorio Rainaldi

After completing my master's degree in Industrial Biotechnology at Sapienza University of Rome, I received a scholarship to contiue my studies abroad for one year. The topic of my master's thesis was protein degradation in Arabidopsis thaliana, but during my studies I developed a profound interest in Synthetic Biology and Metabolic Engineering and for this reason, I decided to do an internship in Dr. Arren Bar-Evens group. Here, I am working under the supervision of Dr. Seohyoung Kim to engineer the efficient assimilation of methanol in E. coli, with the hope of obtaining a fast-growing strain capable of producing value-added compounds.
Filippo Federici

Filippo Federici

I studied at University of Bologna (Italy) both for my Bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology and for my Master’s degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. My bachelor thesis focused on RT-digital droplet PCR as a method to quantify the copy number of Plum Pox Virus genomes in Apricot trees.

During my Master studies, I developed a strong interest in Synthetic Biology. Fascinated by the approach of the Bar-Even group to tackle environmental issues with a combination of synthetic biology and systems biology, I decided to do my Master’s Thesis in this group.

Here, I work together with Sebastian Wenk to engineer synthetic C1 assimilation routes in unexplored host bacteria.

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Camillo Iacometti

I completed my BSc degree in Biological Sciences at the University of Genoawith a thesis on the effects of organophosphate pollutants on A. salina cholinergic system. During my MSc in Cellular & Molecular Biology at the University of Turin, I did my thesis project at the Institute of Evolutionary Biology of Barcelona. There, I studied the distribution of de novo retrotransposon insertions in several D. melanogaster promoter regions and their role on alternative transcription. My growing interest towards systems and structural biology pushed me to approach synthetic biology after my graduation. For this reason, I am now pursuing an internship in Arren Bar-Even’s group, working under the supervision of Dr. Steffen Lindner on the rational engineering of E. coli central metabolism to produce value-added compounds.

Masoud Babakhani

Bachelor Students & Interns

Lucia Torregrosa

 

Student Workers

Karin Schann

Karin Schann

Helen Meusel

Helen Meusel

<h2 class="h2-gray">Ezgi Yilmaz</h2>

Ezgi Yilmaz

Past Members

Hai He

Postdoctoral researcher

Nestor Giraldo

PhD student

Hai He

Postdoctoral researcher

Nestor Giraldo

PhD student

Hai He

Postdoctoral researcher

Nestor Giraldo

PhD student

Hai He

Postdoctoral researcher

Pauline Kuschel

Bachelor student

Ali Tafazoli Yazdi

Master student

Liliana Calzadiaz Ramirez

PhD student

Zeinoun Awad

Student worker

Megan Sondermann

Student worker

Viktoria Biletskaia

Bachelor student

William Newell

Intern

Dr. Charles Cotton

Postdoctoral researcher

Ravisha Rawal

Student worker

Ezgi Yilmaz

Bachelor student

Theofania Andreadaki

Master student

Dr. Nico Claassens

Postdoctoral researcher

Stijn de Vries

Master student

Ivar de Jong

Master student

Alexandra Müller

Master student

Emmanouil Avtzigiannis

Master student

Marti Munar Palmer

Master student

Melissa Poma

Master student

Tamo Löwe

Bachelor student

Maria Hönick

Bachelor student

Annika Priese

Bachelor student

Selcuk Aslan

PostDoc

Suzan Yilmaz

Master student

Dorian Leger

Bachelor Student

Natalia Giner Laguarda

Master student

Guillermo Bordanaba

Master student

Felicia Bütün

Bachelor Student

Muhammed Andic

Rune Höpers

Diploma student

Marian Dion Dempfle

Master student

Sarah Amina Ahrendt

Master student

Jorge Gonzalez de la Cruz

PhD student

Sara Benito Vaquerizo

Master student

Lukas Friedeheim

Master student

Ari Satanovsky

Master student

Oren Yishai

PhD student

Antje Westendorf

Student worker

Saban Özipek

Student worker

Kimberly Henderson

Intern

Julia Zajac

Bachelor Student

Moritz Dodenhöft

Bachelor Student

Anika Bauer

Bachelor Student

Gabriel Dournes

Master student

Giovanni Scarinci

Master student

Jari Verbunt

Bachelor Student

Alvand Gharib

Student worker

Dr. Christian Edlich Muth

Postdoc and bioinformatician

Lorenz Heck

Student worker

Max Finger Bou

Master student

Sophia Borowsky

Student worker

Sophia Meyer

Intern

Stepan Toman

Intern

Moritz Weresow

Master student

Jan Lukas Krüsemann

Bachelor Student

Patricia Walte

Student worker

Moritz Dodenhöft

Intern

Judith Hartmann

Bachelor Student

Dzmitry Lysh

Intern

Katharina Marx

Bachelor Student

Vincent Blaschke

Studentworker

Mathew Habasque

Master Student

Dr. Hezi Tenenboim

Postdoctoral Researcher

Jost Lühle

Student Worker

Jonas Tietz

Student Worker

Andrew Horcroft

Student Worker

Felix Lohrke

Studentworker

Leander Goldbach

Bachelor Student

Julian Widmer

Bachelor Student

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