6th March 2017









Prof. dr. ir. Wim Soetaert
Industrial Biotechnology
Prof. dr. ir. Wim Soetaert, the founder of InBio.be, is an industrial biotechnology and biorefining specialist, who spent 13 years in the carbohydrate processing industry as a research director in Germany and France, for the sugar group Pfeifer & Langen and the wheat processing company Chamtor, before joining UGent as a full professor. He has been active at InBio.be in the field of industrial biotechnology and downstream processing, specifically in the field of biosynthesis of specialty carbohydrate and biosurfactants. He has coordinated several (inter)national research projects on these subjects, focusing on strain engineering, process development and scale-up. He has a strong industrial drive and aims to take the necessary actions to bring new and promising technologies to the market. Lecturing the courses “Microbiology”, “Industrial biotechnology” and “Industrial fermentation processes and downstream processing” at Ghent University, he tries to inspire his students on the potential and importance of white biotechnology.

Prof. Soetaert is the director of the the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant, an open innovation pilot plant for the development of biobased products. He is also the founder of Flanders Biobased Valley, a networking organization for the biobased economy in Flanders. He is a founder and executive chairman of Inbiose NV, a Ghent University spin-off company active in the field of specialty carbohydrate synthesis.

Tel.: +32 9 264 60 83

Post Doctoral Researchers

Dr. ir. Sophie Roelants
Glycolipid Biosurfactants
During her PhD, Sophie transformed the yeast Starmerella bombicola into a platform organism. A dedicated molecular toolkit was developed and proof of concept was delivered for the generation of new-to-nature biomolecules (biosurfactants and others) with this bug with great intrinsic potential. Afterwards Sophie decided to head on the road towards the valorization of this technology and she is currently coordinating actions both at the Bio Base Europe Pilot Plant (BBEPP) and InBio.be; reengineering promising strains, developing sustainable and economically viable processes and exploring the application potential of this versatile technology.

Tel.: +32 9 264 93 85
Dr. ir. Sofie De Maeseneire
Metabolic engineering
Sofie De Maeseneire is an expert in metabolic engineering of yeasts and fungal hosts aiming for the generation of production platforms for specialty carbohydrates and biosurfactants. After obtaining her PhD on the development of a novel fungal host for enzyme production, her research focussed on the improvement of bio-ethanol production in yeast strains, the development of Saccharomyces cerevisiae as a platform for the production of specialty sugars, and (tool development for) metabolic engineering of new (eukaryotic) production hosts. Her research, assistance in and management of several national and international projects, in collaboration with several industrial partners and international research partners, resulted in about 20 peer-reviewed publications, a book chapter and the co-inventorship on 4 patents.

Tel.: +32 9 264 60 26
Dr. ir. Sofie Dobbelaere
Biobased economy
Sofie Dobbelaere has been doing research in the field of plant biotechnology and applied microbiology. Through several national and international projects she gained expertise in the field of biofuels, biorefineries and the biobased economy. Since 2009 she is active as technological adviser for the biobased economy, advising companies who want to switch from fossil-based to biobased production. Since 2012 she is also Managing Director of Flanders Biobased Valley. At the European level she is active in the Bio-economy pilot of Vanguard, where she is coordinating the pilot case on gas fermentation.

Tel.: +32 9 264 59 05

Technical & Scientific Staff

Gilles Velghe
Lab Manager
General lab-manager. Responsible for purchases, practical coordination and communication, member of the faculty’s First Intervention Team and Biosafety Control Unit.

Tel.: +32 9 264 60 30
Isabelle Maryns
Project researcher
Genetic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for the production of specialty carbohydrates. Currently active on the Carbosurf H2020-BBI-JU project.

Tel.: +32 9 264 60 30

PhD Students

ir. Maarten De Mol
Strain robustness & aminoglycosides
Developing novel metabolic engineering tools for Saccharomyces cerevisiae with regard to flexibility, strain stability and aminoglycoside production. Aminoglycosides are complex amino sugars with highly valuable pharmaceutical applications including the use as antimicrobial and antiviral drugs.

Tel.: +32 9 264 93 83
ir. Nico Snoeck
Complex carbohydrate synthesis
Developing a fast genome editing tool to create a biotechnological production platform for the synthesis of complex carbohydrates and glycoproteins. These compounds have applications in food, feed and pharmaceutical industries as nutraceuticals and vaccines.

Tel.: +32 9 264 93 84
ir. Veerle De Clercq
Strain robustness & aminoglycosides
Engineering S. cerevisiae laboratory strains towards improved strain robustness, an important industrial trait for production strains. Proof-of-concept will be provided by developing a production platform for aminogylcosides, highly potent and valuable pharmaceutical compounds.

Tel.: +32 9 264 93 84
ir. Yatti De Nijs
RNA stability engineering
Using RNA stability engineering as a fine-regulating tool to align different pathway steps with each other. This strategy will lower metabolic burden onto the host S. cerevisiae and will in the end lead to a more efficient and stable production of interesting molecules.

Tel.: +32 9 264 60 45
ir. Lisa Van Renterghem
Biosurfactants & applications
Applying an integrated bioprocess design strategy for the production of new-to-nature glycolipids with genetically engineered S. bombicola strains. In this strategy, the entire innovation chain is considered: from genetic engineering to medium optimization, fermentation and downstream processing, to final application testing.

Tel.: +32 9 264 60 27
ing. Sofie Lodens
Glycolipid engineering
Characterizing and optimizing the sophorolipid production pathway of Pseudohyphozyma bogoriensis to obtain high titers of branched sophorolipids. Also to this end, the molecular tool set for Starmerella bombicola is expanded with a promotor library which can be used for metabolic engineering to produce all kinds of new SL production strains.

Tel.: +32 9 264 93 85
Marilyn De Graeve
Glycolipid engineering & lipidomics
Optimizing modified Starmerella bombicola strains for the production of glycolipids. By means of lipidomics, the detailed lipid composition of the whole cell is being determined, as well as the effects of genetic modifications and different production conditions on the present lipophilic compounds. By merging lipidomics data to other information (genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics data), a metabolic network will be made.

Tel.: +32 9 264 60 27
ir. Jelle Remmery
Glycolipid engineering
Harnessing the oxidative power of Starmerella bombicola to further tune this organism into a platform for the production of several fatty acid derived biochemicals. Furthermore an expansion of the molecular toolkit to enable fast, efficient and high throughput engineering is tackled.

Tel.: +32 9 264 93 84
ir. Sven Dierickx
Glycolipid engineering
Increasing the efficiency and elucidation of the regulatory mechanisms affecting glycolipid production with Starmerella bombicola. For these purposes an integrated multi-omics approach (genomics, transcriptomics and metabolomics) is applied which enables the development of rational metabolic engineering strategies.

Tel.: +32 9 264 60 45


ir. Anke Goormans
Assistant for the courses 'Microbiology'(2e Ba Bio-ir), 'Industrial biotechnology' (1e Ma Bio-ir) and 'Industrial Fermentation Processes and Downstream Processing' (2e Ma Bio-ir).

Tel.: +32 9 264 93 85
ing. Sofie Lodens
Assistant for the courses 'Microbiology'(2e Ba Bio-ir), 'Industrial biotechnology' (1e Ma Bio-ir) and 'Industrial Fermentation Processes and Downstream Processing' (2e Ma Bio-ir).

Tel.: +32 9 264 93 85

Research Coordination

Dr. ir. Dominique Delmeire
Coordination Assistant

Tel.: +32 9 264 60 29
Anneleen De Vriendt
Coordination Assistant
Personal assistant of prof. Soetaert

Tel.: +32 9 264 62 26