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BIO SEMINAR:What is the relationship between intracellular...

Speaker:Silas Villas-Boas

Title: What is the relationship between intracellular and extracellular metabolites? 

Date/Time:March 31, 2023 11:40AM


Abstract:Microbial cells secrete many metabolites during growth, including important intermediates of the central carbon metabolism. This has not been taken into account by researchers when modelling microbial metabolism for metabolic engineering and systems biology studies. The uptake of metabolites by microorganisms is well studied, but our knowledge of how and why they secrete different intracellular compounds is poor. The secretion of metabolites by microbial cells has traditionally been regarded as a consequence of intracellular metabolic overflow. Based on time-series metabolomics data it becomes evident that microbial cells eliminate some metabolites in response to environmental cues, independent of metabolic overflow. Moreover, different mechanisms of metabolite secretion will be reviewed to explore how this knowledge can benefit metabolic modelling and engineering.

Bio:Dr Silas VILLAS BOAS completed his academic studies up to M.Sc. level in Brazil focused on biological sciences, chemistry, and biotechnology. He joined the group of Prof. Jens Nielsen at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU) in 2001. While there, he completed his PhD in August 2004 focused on the development and application of metabolomic tools to study microbial cell metabolism. VILLAS-BOAS has over 18 years scientific research experience working first as a post-doc at AgResearch Limited in New Zealand (2004-2007); and then as an Associate Professor and head of the Metabolomics Lab at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, also in New Zealand. His research career has mainly been focused on microbial metabolomics, both on development and application thereof. Through a multi-disciplinary approach involving aspects of microbiology, biochemistry, chemistry and engineering, VILLAS-BOAS aim to develop new, cutting-edge technologies to gain insight into the mechanisms governing complex metabolic pathways relevant to industrial fermentation processes and the biodiscovery of novel bioactive compounds of microbial origin. VILLAS-BOAS worked as the Director and CSO of a start-up company that he co-founded in 2018. The start-up received private investment from French investors, which culminated with him leaving his academic position to be dedicated full time to the development of the company and setting up a fermentation pilot plant in France. In 2021 he joined the Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) as a Senior Research & Technology Associate, and he currently holds an ADR (authorization to supervise PhD students) at the University of Luxembourg.