Building and controlling the reactivity of a cobalt-porphyrin cofactor
Usage of biocatalysis in the industrial sector has increased significantly in the past few decades and has impacted numerous industries, such as food, pharmaceuticals and fine chemicals. However, in the case of more complicated synthetic transformations, there may be no enzymes that can natively catalyze the reaction. My project aims to utilize protein engineering to overcome this problem. I am currently investigating whether a cobalt-containing heme cofactor can catalyze metal-hydride hydrogen atom transfer (MHAT) reactions. Two-electron reactivity, such as reduction of a ketone to an alcohol, is also being explored. New-to-nature enzymatic reactions like this will shape future bioprocesses that will be used to sustainably generate valuable products in a variety of industries.