Pablo Ivan Nikel
Engineering neo-metabolism towards bioproduction of new-to-nature molecules in Pseudomonas putida
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability, Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark

Pablo is a Senior Researcher and Group leader at DTU Biosustain. He received an M.Sc. in Biotechnology (2004) and a Ph.D. in Biotechnology and Molecular Biology (2009) in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During graduate school, his research focused on repurposing two-component signal transduction systems in Escherichia coli to produce biopolymers and biofuels. After receiving training in 13C-based technologies for quantitative physiology in USA (Rice University), Pablo moved to Europe in 2011 as a post-doctoral fellow in Prof. de Lorenzo’s laboratory in Madrid, funded by the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO) and the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) of the European Commission. During his post-doctoral training, he came across the world of environmental bacteria, and in particular, Pseudomonas putida. Inspired by the unique possibilities that this bacterium offered for bioengineering, he is now leading the Systems Environmental Microbiology Group at DTU Biosustain to rewrite P. putida’s core biochemistry (neo-metabolism) for the biosynthesis of novel compounds with a focus on new-to-nature fine chemicals. The ultimate ambition of this research programme is to expand the very limits of microbial biochemistry—thus allowing to access compounds that are exclusively produced via traditional chemistry nowadays.