The elimination of bacterial infection as major cause of human death in many parts of the world is one of the major achievements of mankind in the last century. This dramatic achievement is increasingly under threat, in particular because over the last decades bacteria that have become resistant against multiple antibiotics have appeared in hospitals across the world, including central Europe. This has reintensified the search for novel antibiotic molecules. However, the old model of antibiotic discovery seems to no longer work as smoothly as it used to. Novel strategies are emerging. One of them relates to the fact that existing antibiotics might have functional “modules” that help them working efficiently as an antibiotic and that massively re-combining such modules might deliver novel molecules. This approach and the required massive development of novel technology is explored in the EU-project SYNPEPTIDE.
Bioprocess Laboratory D-BSSE - ETH Zuerich
Sven Panke is a Professor of Bioprocess Engineering at the ETH Zurich. After his PhD, also at ETHZ, he worked for two years biocatalysis group of the Dutch chemical company DSM (Geleen, The Neth- erlands). He returned to ETH in 2001 as an Assistant Professor. Received tenure in 2007, and then moved to the newly founded ETHZ Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering in Basel. His main research topics include integrated reaction- separation systems, high-throughput screening, and synthetic biology. His work was awarded with the ETH Medal and the DSM Research Award.