Bessel research award of Alexander von Humboldt Stiftung for Prof. Dr. Gurvan Michel

Today, the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation informed us that based on Prof. Bruno Moerschbacher’s nomination, Prof. Dr. Gurvan Michel from the Station Biologique de Roscoff in Brittany, France, will be awarded a Bessel Research Award. This award goes to “internationally renowned scientists” with an “outstanding research record” who “are expected to continue producing cutting-edge achievements which will have a seminal influence on their discipline beyond their immediate field of work”. The award includes an invitation “to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at a research institution in Germany.” We are proud that this will be our group at WWU-IBBP! The award will allow Gurvan to extend his current stay to a full year in which he plans to focus on enzymes from marine bacteria which can deacetylate or demethylate algal polysaccharides, thus modifying their physico-chemical properties and, hence, their biological functionalities. Obviously, this is very close to our own projects on chitin and chitosan modifying enzymes, and we are looking forward to an exciting collaboration. Of course, Gurvan also already supports the students and doctoral researchers in our group with his advice, and he is also eager to be involved in teaching. During our current Advanced Module on Molecular BioEngineering, he will be discussing several bioinformatics topics such as genome annotation, introduction to protein crystallography, and protein-carbohydrate interactions with our Master students. Congratulations Gurvan - and thanks for joining our group!