Overview

Welcome to the Eppinger Group! 
 
The ultimate goal of our research is to combineJoerg Eppinger
biological and homogeneous catalysis for sustainable and selective synthesis  
 
Catalysis is the key-technology to conduct chemical reactions in a specific manner consuming the least possible amount of resources and energy. Catalysis is fundamental for modern industrialised societies providing access to new compounds or materials, enabling efficient and responsible utilization of resources and reducing environmental pollution. Needs of the 21st Century’s societies generate tremendous challenges for catalysis research, demanding a shift to multidisciplinary approaches.
 

In the Biological & Organometallic Catalysis Laboratories (BOC-Labs) we combine molecular processes of living cells with the tools and principles of chemistry to tailor novel, highly selective and effective catalysts. Fundamental tasks involve the development of inorganic catalyst motifs with high activity under aqueous conditions, incorporation of artificial functionalities into biomolecules and optimization of biocatalyst stability under classical reaction conditions. Correspondingly, the currently active research projects are highly interdisciplinary and integrate organometallic chemistry, molecular biology and materials science into catalysis research. Our objectives include (i) development of aqueous catalysis and green chemistry protocols, (ii) rapid generation, testing and optimization of highly selective, catalytically active organometallic enzyme hybrids (OMEHs) based on artificial co-factors or incorporation of unnatural amino acids, (iii) application of electro-active proteins, pathways or microbes targeting e.g. carbon dioxide conversion or generation of efficient fuel cell cathode surfaces, (iv) investigation and characterization of novel extremophilic metalloproteins and (v) design of peptide-inorganic interfaces to provide intelligent catalyst support or nano-structured hybrid materials. The BOC-Labs are part of the KAUST Catalysis Center (KCC). 


The unique location at the shores of the Red Sea, collaborations with KAUST’s Marine Research Center and the Computational Bioscience Research Centre as well as access to KAUST’s outstanding core facilities guarantee direct access to data resulting from investigation of novel Read See extremophiles, which directly feed into research projects.