Programme Overview

Course Description

Intensive one-week course from Monday to Thursday. Lectures and hands-on laboratory courses will be provided by local and invited lecturers from academia and industry.

As scientists and wider society have become increasingly aware of the negative impacts of global warming and climate change, the need to refine and develop processes that are sustainable and environmentally friendly has become an ever-pressing issue. As such, it is some cause for consternation that catalyzing chemical reactions often involves catalysts that are toxic and contain chemical residues that can pollute the environment. In addition, chemical catalysis can be a laborious and costly exercise. It is for these reasons that researchers around the world are focusing on developing a new means of catalyzing chemical reactions that is more efficient and environmentally friendly.

99% of all microorganism cannot be cultivated and thus are not easily accessible for biotechnology. Metagenomics is a key technology to explore the not-yet-cultivated microbes for bioindustries. Since the onset of metagenomics 20 years ago, numerous novel biocatalysts and other valuable biomolecules have been mined from diverse metagenomes. While modern sequencing technologies have given us fast and reliable insight into the genomes of complex microbial communities, mining, expressing proteins, and delivering them to bioindustries is still a major challenge and often takes several years.

The course will summarize current knowledge in the field of functional and applied metagenomics. It will point out bottlenecks and challenges in the field of enzyme mining, and it will give insights into to novel technology developments using functional and in silico mining.

With increasing and accelerating pollution of our oceans with plastic waste, as well as the negative impact of microplastics on the environment and the human body, this year's programme will focus in particular on microbial plastic degradation.

Download the ESSIB 2023 programme here

Download the flyer here

Major Topics

  1. Finding genes and enzymes
  2. Mining the sea
  3. Finding plastic-active enzymes & others
  4. From (meta) genomes to applications

Practical courses

  1. Cell-free expression
  2. Screening activities of novel enzymes
  3. Computational tools for metagenomic enzyme search

Confirmed lecturers

  • Rolf Daniel (University of Göttingen, Germany)
  • Jennifer Chow (University of Hamburg, Germany)
  • Andrew Pickford (University of Portsmouth, UK)
  • Jürgen Pleiss (University of Stuttgart, Germany)
  • Manuel Ferrer (CSIC Madrid, Spain)
  • Ruth Schmitz (University of Kiel, Germany)
  • Ute Hentschel (Geomar, Kiel, Germany)
  • Peter Golyshin (University of Bangor, UK)
  • Federica Bertocchini (CSIC, Madrid, Spain)
  • Ren Wei (University of Greifswald, Germany
  • Victor Guallar (University of Barcelona, Spain)
  • Stephan Kolkenbrock (Altona Diagnostics, Hamburg, Germany)
  • Karl-Erich Jaeger (University of Düsseldorf/Research Center Jülich, Germany)
  • Rainhard Koch (formerly Bayer, Germany)