Research

In our research program we are developing homogeneous and bio-catalytic methods targeting sustainable Green Chemistry protocols. As a general concept, we investigate and combine molecular processes of living cells with the tools and principles of chemistry to design and create novel, highly selective and effective catalysts. The four current active research projects span the interface of organometallic chemistry, microbiology and materials science:

Current Research

The genomic mining of Red Sea brine pools in a highly connected collaboration of the KAUST CBRC (Computational Bioscience Research Center), KAUST RSRC (Red Sea Research Center) and KAUST KCC (KAUST Catalysis Center) to obtain novel biocatalysts (enzymes) from uncultured genomes from one of the most remote and challanging places in the world, the Red Sea brine pools.
​Development of efficient catalytic protocols in environmentally benign solvents (water, sc CO2) is fundamental to our research program. ​
Integrating the specific advantages of organometallic and bio–catalysis, the concept of organometallic enzyme hybrids (OMEHs) is developed and utilized in selective hydrogenation, cross–coupling and polymerization reactions.
Enzymes as well as electrotrophic bacteria can utilize an electrode potential as energy for challenging redox catalysis, e.g. water splitting and conversions utilizing CO2. We investigate the enzymes, processes and cellular regulation involved in electrotrophic metabolism.
New methods to determine bio-catalyst activities and selectivities are developed including the application of microarray technology, which in combination with electrochemical detection serves as a valuable diagnostic tool facilitating highly parallelized activity determination for pharmacologically important enzymes.