28 November 2022

Karel Proesmans receives EU Marie Curie Fellowship

Novo Nordisk Foundation Assistant Professor Karel Proesmans has received an EU Marie Curie individual fellowship to work on a project titled ‘Thermodynamics of synthetic biological circuits’. Karel obtained his PhD in Belgium and before joining NBIA he has worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Simon Fraser University in Canada and at the University of Luxembourg. He started his own research group at the NBIA in October 2022.

Over the last two decades, the field of synthetic biology has established itself as a cornerstone of modern biotechnology and has lead to major advancements in our comprehension of biological processes inside the cell. There are, however, a number of bottlenecks that put constraints on future applications of synthetic biology. For example, the rate at which the circuit can be powered often limits the possibility to construct new circuits. To overcome this type of bottleneck, a clear understanding of the thermodynamics of synthetic biological circuits is necessary.

The aim of Karel's project will be to create such an understanding by combining the recently developed framework of stochastic thermodynamics with the theory of chemical reaction networks. This should lead to a general framework to quantify and optimise the thermodynamic performance of any synthetic biological circuit.