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Cool enzymes – biophysics of enzymes from the Arctic

PhD defence, Wednesday 15 March 2023, Jan Stanislaw Nowak

Jan Stanislaw Nowak

Jan Stanislaw Nowak conducted research on enzymes from microorganisms found in Arctic environments as part of his PhD studies. These microorganisms, known as psychrophiles, have adapted their molecular machinery towards survival at low temperatures. One of their adaptations includes cold-active enzymes, which are highly specific and efficient protein biocatalysts that uniquely achieve high reaction rates despite the low temperatures in their surroundings. Jan Stanislaw Nowak studied both metabolic and industrially relevant enzymes from permafrost environments using an array of biophysical methods to understand the relationship between the structure and function of the cold-active enzymes.  The new research contributes to our understanding of what determines cold-activity on the molecular level and the potential application of psychrophilic traits in industrial enzymes.

The PhD study was completed at the Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Faculty of Natural Sciences, Aarhus University.

This summary was prepared by the PhD student.

Time: Wednesday, 15. March 2023 at 13:00
Place: Building 1514, room 213, Auditorium I, Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University, Langelandsgade 140, 8000 Aarhus
Title of PhD thesis: Some Like It Cold: stability, activity, and oligomerization of psychrophilic enzymes

Contact information: Jan Stanislaw Nowak, e-mail: jsn@inano.au.dk, tel.: +45 22407728

Members of the assessment committee:
Professor Alexander Kai Buell, Department of Biotechnology and Biomedicine, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark

Senior Science Manager Kenneth Jensen, Automation and Digitalization, Enzyme Research at Novozymes, Denmark

Senior scientist Morten Foss (chair), Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University, Denmark

Main supervisor:
Main supervisor: Professor Daniel Otzen, Interdisciplinary Nanoscience Center (iNANO), Aarhus University, Denmark

Co-supervisor: Professor Peter Stougaard, Department of Environmental Science, Aarhus University, Denmark

Language: The PhD dissertation will be defended in English