Meet the MIAMi-team

Michael Krogh Jensen


Institute: DTU Biosustain


Project: Consortium coordination, yeast metabolic engineering, MIA biosynthetic pathway refactoring, fermentation


Project description: In our group we work on refactoring MIA biosynthetic pathways in yeast. The work involves advanced design and genome engineering technologies of multi-kb gene clusters, HTP physiology screens,  fermentations of engineered yeast, and machine learning-guided design algorithms.


Motto: “Walk the talk”

Christian Janfelt, associate professor


Institute/Company: Department of Pharmacy, University of Copenhagen


Project: PI on DESI and MALDI-MSI for spatio-temporal metabolite detection in plants in WP3: MIA biochemistry and spatial organization in Rauwolfia sp.


Project description: We use mass spectrometry to create images showing the distribution of the metabolites in different plant species and different plant parts (leaves, roots, stem etc.). The images can together with information from transcriptomics provide information about where in the plant different compounds are synthetized, if they are transported around the plant and possibly also which function the compounds have in the plant.


Motto: “Nothing lasts, nothing is finished, and nothing is perfect.”

Sarah O´Connor

Max-Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany


Project: Principal Investigator


Project description: .Investigating biochemical activities of MIA enzymes.


Motto: “If you come to a fork in the road, take it”

Davide De Lucrezia


Company: Doulix – Explora Biotech srl


Project: WP leader


Project description: In vivo characterization of standard DNA parts

Motto: The mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools (Confucius)


Olafur Ömundarson


Institute: DTU – Biosustain /
The Novo Nordisk Foundation Centre for Biosustainability


Project: MIAMi


Project description: Life Cycle- and Techno-Economic Assessment of novel bio-based fine-chemicals


Motto: “If you measure, you can manage!”

Darko Kjiproski


Institute: DTU – Biosustain


Project:  Project Management Support


Project description: I help with collection, consolidation and submissions of scientific project reports and deliverables towards the European Commission and contact point for project meetings, templates, contact lists and miscellaneous partner questions.

Vincent Courdavault


Institute: UT – BBV research group


Project: Identification of alkaloids biosynthetic genes – scale up of yeast cultures


Project description: In the BBV group, we mainly work on the elucidation of the biosynthetic genes involved in the synthesis of valuable alkaloids such as tabersonine. This involves wide transcriptomics/genomics analyses to identify candidate genes that are further validated through reverse genetic approaches. Scale up of alkaloid production in selected yeast strains is achieved through culture in high volume bioreactors.

Motto: “Rome wasn’t built in a day”

Arnaud Lanoue


Institute:  UT – BBV research group


Project: Phytochemical chemistry, Metabolomics, Plant Natural Products, UPLC-MSMS


Project description: We perform metabolomics profiles of the selected plant species and we evaluate the efficiency of engineered yeasts to produce plant natural products.

Audrey Oudin


Institute: UT – BBV research group


Project: Discovering plant biosynthetic pathways, MIA biochemistry, dissemination


Project description: I work on the elucidation of the missing steps of the MIA biosynthetic pathway in medicinal plants. We use Omics approach to identify gene candidates and multiple ways to validate genes including functional in vivo analysis by gene silencing, gene expression analysis, enzymatic assays and analysis and subcellular localizations.

Marta Inês Carqueijeiro


Institute: UT – BBV research group


Project: Pathway discovery


Post-doc Project description: By combining RNA-seq with analysis of gene expression networks and functional approaches we aims to unravel MIA biosynthetic pathways


Motto: “Victory belongs to the most persevering”

Jillian Marc

Institute: UT – BBV research group


Project: Lead yeasts physiology characterization, bioprocess scale-up


Project description: We work on the study of biocatalysts in controlled environnement for scale-up purposes. This mainly includes analysing the lead yeasts physiology and performances together with process design efficiency in small reactors, before to scale the whole process up to 50L batches.


Motto: Findendo fingere disco”

Thomas Dugé de Bernonville

Institute/Company: UT – BBV research group


Project: MIA pathway elucidation


Project description: We use RNA-seq approach to investigate transcript expression levels across a wide spectrum of biological conditions, in order to highlight co-expression among biosynthetic genes


Motto: “When do we eat?”

Emily Stander


Institute: UT – BBV research group


Project: Omics of Rauvolfia sp. to discover MIA biosynthetic pathways


Project description: Identification of candidate genes through transcriptomic- and metabolomic data, and gene expression correlations.

Motto: “Do not think that what is hard for you to master is humanly impossible; but if a thing is humanly possible, consider it to be within your reach” – Marcus Aurelius

Nathalie Giglioli-Guivarc’h

UT – BBV research group


MIA bioproduction and impact assessment


Project description: In the group, I will be more involved in data analysis, development of scale-up bioprocess up to 50 Ltr and production of high mg/L range quantities of MIA compounds in scale-up bioreactor cultivations.


I am thankful to all those who said no. It’s because of them I did it myself” – Albert Einstein

Sébastien Besseau


Institute/Company: UT – BBV research group


Project: Elucidation of the MIA biosynthesis pathways, functional validation of candidate genes


Project description: By using omics data and large-scale plant material resources, we are identifying candidate genes involved in MIA metabolism, which are further functionally validated in planta using virus-induced gene silencing (VIGS) and overexpression approaches.

Linus Naumann


Institute: Max-Planck Institute for chemical ecology in Jena, Germany


Project: Dissemination Manager


Project description: I help bringing the MIAMi-project out to the public and to the scientific community, industry partners and policy makers.


Motto: 道可道,非常道 – “The way, that can be walked, is not the real way” – Lao Zi

Sumesh Sukumara

Institute: Denmark Technical University – Biosustain

Project: Market analysis and impact assessment of Monoterpenoid Indole Alkaloids (MIAs)

Project description: Assess impacts of sustainable bio-based production of Mono Indole Alkaloids (MIAs). Specifically, we estimate economic and environmental impacts of scaled-up processes for producing MIAs. The goal is to equip the team with strategic and scientific information, which will lead to an improved and competitive production scheme, compared to the conventional ones.