Webinar 1 (Design - 11th March)


Prof. Jean-Loup Faulon (INRAE, France)







J.L. Faulon is a senior research director at the French National Institute for Agronomical Research (INRA) and also a Professor in Synthetic Biology at the University of Manchester. In the past, he has been the director of the Institute of Systems & Synthetic Biology in France and a distinguished research scientist at US DOE laboratories. For most of his career, he has been leading interdisciplinary research in synthetic biology and computational biology. He is renowned for his work on computer-aided design and retrosynthesis in biology. Originally developed in the context of metabolic engineering, the tools and protocols developed by his group are also used to engineer biosensors and for biocomputing in whole-cell and cell-free systems.


Prof. Rainer Breitling (University of Manchester, UK)

Prof. Rainer Breitling studied biochemistry at the University of Hannover, Germany, and received his Ph.D. from the Technical University of Munich, Germany, in 2001. He held postdoctoral positions as a bioinformatician at San Diego State University (California, USA) and the University of Glasgow (UK), followed by professorial appointments at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands) and the University of Glasgow. Since September 2012 he is Professor of Systems Biology at the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester.


Iván Domenzain (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden)

Iván obtained his BSc degree in Energy Engineering from the Metropolitan Autonomous University in Mexico City in 2014. After that, he spent six months as a research assistant in sonocatalysis for waste waters treatment at the department of Chemical engineering in the same University. This experience motivated him to obtain his MSc degree in Chemical Engineering in 2017, working on computational modelling of transport phenomena and reaction networks. That same year he joined Jens Nielsen’s group on Systems and Synthetic Biology, at Chalmers University of Technology, as a PhD student. During the last years, Iván has been working on integrative multi-omics data analysis and software development for reconstruction, simulation, analysis and visualization of metabolic models with enzyme and proteomics constraints. He has accumulated experience on modelling metabolism for a wide variety of organisms, such as diverse industrially relevant yeast species, bacteria and even human cancer cell-lines. Iván has become an advocate for transparency and standardization of metabolic models and scientific software, aiming to the development of user-friendly tools that can reach a wider public.



Webinar 2 (Build - 25th March)


Prof. Huimin Zhao (University of Illinois, United States)






H. Zhao is the Steven L. Miller Chair of chemical and biomolecular engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  He received his B.S. degree in Biology from the University of Science and Technology of China in 1992 and his Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1998 under the guidance of Nobel Laureate Frances Arnold.  Dr. Zhao has authored and co-authored over 320 research articles and over 25 issued and pending patent applications with several being licensed by industry. Twenty-five of his former graduate students and postdocs are pursuing academic careers.


Dr. Mislav Oreb (Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany)

Mislav Oreb is currently working as a group leader at the Goethe University in Frankfurt. His research is focused on engineering sugar transport, metabolism and subcellular compartmentalization in baker´s yeast, with a special emphasis on the production of fatty acids and their derivatives in recent years. Besides developing tools for synthetic biology approaches, biosensors and screening platforms, his work also address fundamental aspects of metabolism and cell biology.


Dr. Oksana Bilyk (University of Manchester, UK)

Oksana completed her PhD at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research working on genome mining of Actinobacteria as well as identification and engineering of natural product biosynthetic gene clusters. She then joined Prof Peter Leadlay’s group (University of Cambridge) as a Marie Curie PDRA focusing on the generation of novel derivatives of industrially-relevant antibiotics and enzymology of polyketides biosynthesis. Currently, Oksana is working on the production optimisation of high-value pharmaceuticals in Actinobacteria within the TOPCAPI project.


Webinar 3 (Validation - 8th April)


Dr. Sophie Roelants (Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, Belgium)

Dr. ir. Sophie ROELANTS (F) is Innovation Manager Biosurfactants and has worked on Microbial Biosurfactants for over 12 years. She managed(s)/coordinated several projects on the development of microbial strains, fermentation- and purification processes and application research for (new-to-nature) biosurfactants (AppliSurf, Marisurf, Carbosurf, StaboSurf, IB2M, Biosurfing and the recently granted BBI demo project WASTE2FUNC). She holds a degree in Bio Science Engineering (Ghent University, 2007) and a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences (Ghent University, 2013). Sophie and her team have developed a battery of yeast strains derived from the non-conventional yeast Starmerella bombicola for the production of a portfolio of novel glycolipid biosurfactants. She subsequently embarked on the quest to develop sustainable, scalable and efficient production processes (fermentation and purification) for these novel compounds of which some multiple were scaled up to the multiple ton scale. Recently she coordinated the AppliSurf project where about 25 of those so-called microbial biosurfactants and 40 innovative derivatives were screened for their application potential by evaluating their physicochemical and biological properties in high throughput. Moreover, the project laid the base for structure-function relationship modelling. Sophies research resulted in over 40 peer-reviewed publications, 4 book chapters and the co-inventorship of 6 patent applications.


Dr. Olga Genilloud (MEDINA, Spain)

Olga Genilloud, MEDINA Scientific Director, has a PhD in Chemistry (U. Complutense, Madrid) and more than 30 years experience in natural products drug discovery in the academic and clinical environments (Hospital Ramón y Cajal, Madrid; Harvard Medical School, Boston) as well as in the pharma sector with former positions at Merck Research Labs where she contributed to the discovery of key novel antibiotics (Basic Research Center, MSD, Spain, 1989-2008). Since 2009 she leads Fundación MEDINA, that she established from former MSD R&D in Spain, and is Head of the Microbiology department. She manages the discovery programs and international collaborations with academic and industrial partners to identify novel drugs and high value biotechnological products. Her main research interests are focused on the production of novel microbial natural products, the exploration of novel microbial diversity to deliver novel chemistry, and the development of molecular and chemical tools to support natural products drug discovery and the identification of potential new therapeutics. She has more than 160 publications and book chapters, and 18 international patents.


Paolo Corvo (Clariant, Germany)

Paolo joined Clariant’s Business Line Biofuels and Derivatives, which develops and commercializes cellulosic biofuels and bio-based renewables for the Swiss specialty chemicals company Clariant, in 2012. As Global Key Account Manager he oversees the out-licensing of cellulosic ethanol and sugar production plants. From 2005-12 Paolo worked as Business Development Manager for Biofuels Partners, an Italian consultancy with specific expertise in the bioliquid and biodiesel sector. Prior to joining Biofuels Partners, he worked for Aon Insurance in Milan and Rotterdam as an Internal Auditor and later as a Business Development Manager focusing on the renewable energy sector. Paolo graduated in 2000 from the Politecnico di Milano with a degree in Management and Production Engineering, before completing his internship at McKinsey & Company in Milan as a Business Analyst.