Post Doctoral Fellows

Dr. Gordon Honeyman

From Glasgow, Scotland
Gordon's Story

Dr. Arpita Mrigwani

From Gorakhpur, India
Arpita's Story

Dr. Emmanouil Broumidis

From Athens, Greece
Manos' Story

Dr. Valentina Marchini

From Venezia, Italy
Valentina's Story

Dr. David Roura Padrosa

From Girona, Spain
David's Story

Dr. David Lim

From Christchurch, New Zealand
David's Story

Dr. Stefania Gianolio

From Bergamo, Italy
Stefania's Story

Dr. Ana I. Benitez-Mateos

From Cadiz, Spain
Ana's Story

PhD and Master Students

Pablo Díaz-Kruik

From Madrid, Spain
Pablo's Story

Lucia Robustini

From Ferrara, Italy
Lucia's Story

Keir Penston

From Maidenhead, England
Keir's Story

Laura Monte

From Bellinzona, Switzerland
Laura's Story

Lauriane Pillet

From Wallis, Switzerland
Lauriane's Story

Beatrice Rassati

From Monza, Italy
Beatrice's Story

Roja Aziziyan

From Lahijan, Iran
Roja's Story

Glenn Bojanov

From Kleve, Germany
Glenn's Story

Juliette Swit

From Fribourg, Switzerland
Juliette's Story

Those that shared the journey

Thanks for visiting us!

We always publish something on our social media, check them out 😉

connect with us

Gordon Honeyman

About me

I completed a Master’s degree in Chemistry at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow in 2001. From 2001 to 2004 I went on to obtain a PhD in Polymer/Organometallic Chemistry under the joint supervision of Professors David Sherrington and Robert Mulvey. I then took up a one year postdoctoral position in Strathclyde working on the applications of zinc compounds for functionalisation of organic molecules. I then moved to industry working as a scientist in the design of pigments and inks at Ciba/BASF until 2009. I subsequently took a senior scientist position in Controlled Therapeutics (Glasgow, UK) where I applied my knowledge in polymer chemistry to design and synthesise PEG based polyurethanes for medical device applications. In 2012, I joined the team at Ocutec (Bellshill, UK) where I focussed on PEG based contact lens technology, project managing, designing and developing material formulations for both the PEG and silicone-PEG based contact lenses.

Research Area

After moving to Bern, Switzerland in 2019 I first joined the Paradisi lab at the University of Bern as a visiting researcher and since January 2021 I have taken up the position as Laboratory Manager. 

Mail: [email protected]

Arpita Mrigwani

About me

I obtained my bachelor’s degree in Biotechnology from the National Institute of Technology, Durgapur, West Bengal, India, and later pursued my master’s degree in Biotechnology at Anna University in Chennai, India. Subsequently, I embarked on my doctoral studies in Biological Sciences at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research in Mohali, Punjab, India. During my PhD, I focused on the modification of thermophilic enzymes to enhance their ability to break down polyethylene terephthalate. After completing my PhD, I joined the Paradisi group as a postdoctoral fellow. In my free time, I have a penchant for exploring new places with family and friends, as well as indulging in comedy TV shows. Additionally, I find joy in practicing yoga and going for runs.

Research Area

I became a part of the Paradisi group in October 2023, where my primary interest lies in enzyme engineering and their application for eco-friendly synthesis of industrial products. Specifically, I will be working on enhancing the performance of decarboxylase and radical halogenase enzymes to either increase product yields or broaden the range of substrates these enzymes can work with.

X: @Arpitamrig29
Mail: [email protected]

Emmanouille Broumidis

About me

I am from Athens, Greece, where I also completed my undergraduate studies in Chemistry in 2012. I then participated in a EU-funded Erasmus+ traineeship program as a research intern at the University of Cyprus with Prof. Koutentis, focusing on the organic synthesis of Canthin-4-one alkaloids.
Following that, in 2017 I moved to Heriot-Watt University (Scotland, UK) to pursue a PhD, focusing on the development of photoactive materials for ROS generation enabled by mechanochemistry and flow chemistry techniques. In 2022, I moved to Bern to start my postdoc at the Paradisi group.
Besides chemistry, I enjoy listening to 80s music, going scuba diving, and motorbike trips.

Research Area

During my postdoc, I will work on the development of photobioactive 3D printed monolithic inserts that can be used to halogenate a series of biologically important organic substrates under continuous flow conditions.
Mail: [email protected]

Valentina Marchini

About me

I come from Eraclea, a village near the sea in the province of Venice. In 2017, I was awarded a Master Degree in Pharmacy at the University of Trieste (IT). After one year working as a pharmacist, I decided to join the Paradisi lab at the University of Nottingham. Soon after, I moved to Bern with all the group. During these four years of phD studies, my interest in biocatalysis and sustainability grew a lot. That is why I chose to join the startup InSEIT, right after obtaining the phD. In my leisure time, I really enjoy painting, cooking, and playing the guitar. I also love watching Japanese animation (anime).

Research Area

I am currently working as Project Manager at InSEIT and as Research Associate in the Paradisi Research group.

Mail: [email protected], [email protected]

David Roura Padrosa

About me

I come from Girona, where I did my Bachelor and Master studies in Molecular Biology. It was during that time that I became fascinated by the broad diversity of roles proteins have in living organisms.  Following that passion, I moved to Nottingham with Prof. Paradisi, where I started my journey in applied biocatalysis. Outside the lab, I enjoy watching movies, specially those with inspiration from comic books!

Research Area

I am now a post-doc in Bern, focused on the application of new and better immobilized enzymes in collaborative projects with industrial partners. In addition, bioinformatics has become one of my passions, dedicating my time to create new and improved bioinformatic tools for specific applications in biocatalysis.

Mail: [email protected]

David Lim

About me

I hail from the land of Kiwis and Hobbits with a Ph. D in Biochemistry from the University of Canterbury, NZ. After a stint as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Basel, I am now working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Bern in the Paradisi group. In my spare time, I am very passionate about playing guitar and am also into long-distance cycling.

Research Area

Protecting groups are typically unavoidable in synthetic carbohydrate chemistry. Their use inevitably leads to multiple synthetic steps, leading to loss of material and the creation of large amounts of waste. In the lab, I am currently developing methods for the protecting-group-free derivatisation of unprotected sugars in water to mitigate these problems and use this methodology to form medicinally-interesting compounds.

X: @daveylimnz
Mail: [email protected]

Stefania Gianolio

About me

I graduated from the University of Milan in 2019 with a MSc in Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, I won a scholarship for the Erasmus placement which gave me the opportunity to know the Paradisi group in Nottingham. I joined the group as a PhD student in Bern. Now I am greatful to continue learning about applied biocatalysis, leveraging the power of enzyme for new exciting industrial applications. In my spare time, I enjoy baking, drawing and visiting new places.

Research Area

I initiated my PhD in the Paradisi Group in 2019, specializing in the immobilization of enzymes for flow biocatalysis. My work aims to synthesize high-value compounds from low-cost substrates, merging sustainability with efficiency. This research has direct applications in the Pharma industry, offering scalable and eco-friendly solutions for compound synthesis.

Mail: [email protected]

Ana I. Benítez Mateos

About me

After my MSc in Molecular Genetics and Biotechnology in the University of Seville, I moved to the Basque Country to do the PhD in Synthetic Biology and Industrial Chemistry. Since I am keen on biocatalysis, I joined Paradisi group to continue learning about green biochemistry. Apart from science, I am a chocolate lover and I enjoy travelling and hiking.

Research Area

Pipecolic acid is a key pharmaceutical intermediate and more efficient strategies for its production are desirable. In my current research project, we develop a self-sufficient biocatalyst which is integrated in a flow reactor to perform a completely sustainable synthetic process.

Mail: [email protected]

Pablo Díaz-Kruik

About me

I am half Spanish, half Dutch and I started my PhD at the University of Bern after receiving my MSci in Molecular and Supramolecular Chemistry from the University of Strasbourg as well as a double degree between the ECPM (Ecole Européene de Chimie Polymères et Matériaux de Strasbourg) and the Autonomous University of Madrid in the field of Chemical Engineering in 2020. In my free time I enjoy doing sport such as climbing, ice hockey and windsurfing, but also hanging out with friends and discovering new places and cultures.

Research Area

The goal of my research is to explore further reactions which could be performed with an AcT mutant enzyme previously developed by the group.

X: @DiazKruikP
Mail: [email protected]

Lucia Robustini

About me

I hold a Bachelor in Biotechnology and a MSc in Agri-Food Technology and Industrial Biofermentations from the University of Ferrara, with a Master Thesis in Freiburg im Br. (DE) from the Pharmaceutical and Medical Chemistry dept. in the field of biocatalysis. After working for Nestlé for few years, I decided to move back to Accademia in order to do a PhD in the same field. In my spare time I love to do a lot of sport (Volley player since the age of 6), listen to old music and reading good books. I am also passionate about cooking and supporting a “green” life style.

Research Area

In April 2020 I joined the Paradisi group to start a PhD at the interface of biocatalysis and medicine. The possibility of using enzymes to modify specific blood antigens is explored in this project to increase the availability in the supply of universal blood donor. Enzyme engineering and novel immobilization strategy are core technologies of my PhD.

X: @lucia_robustini
Mail: [email protected]

Keir Penston

About me

I am starting my PhD at the University of Bern after receiving my MSci in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham in 2020. Outside the lab I enjoy watching and playing sport, gaming and most of all sinking a few pints at the pub.

Research Area

The focus of my research is to successfully synthesise the universal O blood antigen from other blood types, in order to work closely with the transfusion department of Bern hospital. This will be achieved by utilising my chemical knowledge to synthesise the sugar components and then working closely with colleagues to aid me with the biochemical aspect.

Mail: [email protected]

Laura Monte

About me

After finishing the Bachelor in Biochemistry at the University of Fribourg, I moved to Bern for the Master in Molecular Biology with specialization in Chemical Biology and finally, I stayed to pursue a PhD degree. I am passionate about cinema and informatics and in my spare time I enjoy playing music.

Research Area

My reasearch area is the interface between organometallic catalysis and biocatalysis, with a specific focus on investigating the potential of an Iridium PYE complex to function as a NADH mimic. 

Mail: laura.monte@unibe.ch

Lauriane Pillet

About me

After my Bachelor in Biochemistry at the University of Geneva, I decided to pursue my studies at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) with a Master in Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, which I obtained in 2019. After working for a few months in the pharmaceutical industry, I joined the Paradisi group as PhD. Student in 2020.

Outside the lab, I enjoy hiking both in the summer (trek, bivouac) and in the winter (ski, snowboard, ski hiking), having aperos and dinners with my friends, going to concerts, and spending time with my family. I also play guitar and I sing.

Research Area

 

Being passionate about Biotechnology, Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, working at the boundary between Biocatalysis and Flow chemistry represents a great challenge and an amazing opportunity. I am particularly interested in the modification of enzymes for the design of efficient, sustainable and intensified continuous catalytic bioprocesses.

Mail: [email protected]

Beatrice Rassati

About me

After my bachelor’s degree in Medical Biotechnology, in December 2022 I obtained my master’s degree in Safety Assessment of Xenobiotics and Biotechnological Products at the University of Milan. During my studies I became fascinated by the field of structural bioinformatics and the idea of proteins as versatile tools for the generation of innovative products. In my master’s thesis project I investigated, exclusively using in silico methods, the relationship between protein structure and sensitivity to toxic proteins. In my spare time I like reading books, knitting and dancing.

Research Area

In March 2023 I joined the group as a PhD student. My research, which lies at the intersection of biotechnology, bioinformatics and chemical engineering, is focused on the development of innovative biocatalysts for sustainable and efficient synthetic processes.

X: @BeatriceRassati
Mail: [email protected]

Roja Aziziyan

About me

After obtaining my bachelor’s in Cell and Molecular Biology from the University of Guilan, I decided to pursue my studies at Tarbiat Modares University with a master’s course in Biochemistry, which I completed in 2021. After working for a few years in the same field, I joined the Paradisi group as a Ph.D. student in 2023. Apart from science, in my leisure time, I enjoy listening to old Iranian music, watching movies, going to cafés and shopping with my friends. I am also passionate about cooking for my family and spending time with them in my free time.

Research Area

In August 2023, I joined the group as a PhD student. I am currently working as a part of the MetRaZymes project, which gave me the opportunity to join the Paradisi Research group. I am passionate about the study of proteins as powerful tools for the generation of recombinant products. My research, which lies at the intersection of biotechnology, bioinformatics, bioinorganic and polymer chemistry, and bioprocess engineering, is focused on enzymes with radicalic mechanisms.

X: @r_aziziyan
Mail: [email protected]

Glenn Bojanov

About me

Born and raised at the German-Dutch border, I obtained both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Molecular Science the Radboud University in Nijmegen. During an Erasmus internship at CSIC in Madrid I got fascinated by sustainable catalysis. Outside the lab, I dive into music production, enjoy cooking delishes meals and going for hikes.

 

Research Area

I joined the Paradisi group for my PhD, where my focus lays on the interface of chemistry and biocatalysis. My research aims to create high-value chemicals from renewable materials, contributing to a more sustainable future. 

Mail: [email protected]

Juliette Swit

About me

After finishing my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Fribourg in 2023 I joined the Paradisi group as a master student in Chemistry and Molecular Sciences where I was drawn towards biocatalysis, a field that would allow me to explore the biochemical aspect of enzyme mediated reactions. In my free time I enjoy cooking, doing all kinds of sports and, above all, spending time with my friends.

Research Area

My research is focused on the sustainable production of astaxanthin, an industrial and therapeutical valuable pigment, from β-carotene using two enzymes, β-carotene hydroxylase and β-carotene ketolase.

Mail: [email protected]