Prof. Dr. Robert Kourist

Graz University of Technology | ACIB
Petersgasse 14, 8010 Graz, Austria


Prof. Dr. Robert Kourist, supervisor of ESR3 and ESR4 and involved in the training of PhD9 and PhD10, WP6 “Dissemination, Exploitation, and Communication and Public Engagement” Leader, has been Professor at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology at the Graz University of Technology (TUG) since January 2017. At acib, he is Head of the Area Biotransformation. His research focus is on catalytic multi-step reactions for the utilization of renewable resources. Prof. Kourist studied Biochemistry in Greifswald and received there his diploma in 2006 and his doctoral degree in 2008. A one-year research stay at the University of Oviedo laid the basis for the proposed collaboration with the company EntreChem. After postdoctoral stays at the Keio University in Yokohama and the TU München, Prof. Kourist was appointed Junior Professor for Microbial Biotechnology at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum. In 2016, he was appointed member of the Young College of the Academy of Science and Art North Rhine Westphalia. Prof. Kourist has coauthored more than 90 peer-reviewed publications and patents and has an h-index of 25.

Key Research Facilities, Infrastructure and Equipment
The laboratories of Prof. Robert Kourist at the Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in the Petersgasse 14, 8010 Graz are very well equipped for all methods molecular biotechnology, biocatalysis and organic chemistry required for the PhD-supervision.

Hosting Center: Austrian Center of Industrial Biotechnology
The Austrian Centre of Industrial Biotechnology (acib) is an international competence centre specializing on gapping the bridge between academic and industrial research. With approximately 200 of our own employees and expertise from our currently 17 scientific partners acib offers a multi-disciplinary team of experts in the fields of biocatalysis, enzyme technology, protein engineering, (bio)polymers, metabolic modelling, bioprocess engineering, synthetic biology and cell engineering. The main locations are in Austria (Vienna, Graz, Tulln, Linz, Innsbruck), but includes also international sites in Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Spain, Italy and Taiwan. The research area of “Biocatalysis & Enzyme Technology“, with Prof. Dr. Robert Kourist will be located in Graz. There, an interdisciplinary team of molecular biologists, biochemists and biotechnologists is working together with various company and scientific partners on new methods for a better application of biotechnology for industrial purposes.

Relevant Publications and/or Research / Innovation Product

  • Zhang, J.-H. Lee, S.H.H. Younes, F. Tonin, P.-L. Hagedoorn, H. Pichler, Y. Baeg, J.-B. Park,* R. Kourist* and F. Hollmann* (2020), Photobiocatalytic synthesis of chiral secondary fatty alcohols from renewable unsaturated fatty acids, Nat. Commun., in press

  • Köninger, K., A. Gomez-Baraibar, C. Mügge, C. Paul., F. Hollmann, M. Nowaczyk and Kourist* (2016). “Recombinant cyanobacteria as tools for asymmetric C=C bond reduction fueled by biocatalytic water oxidation.” Ang. Chem., Int. Ed.: DOI: 10.1002/anie.201601200

  • Á. Gómez-Baraibar, D. Reichert, C. Mügge, S. Seger, H. Gröger and R. Kourist (2016). “A sequential one-pot cascade reaction combining an encapsulated decarboxylase with metathesis for the synthesis of bio-based antioxidants.” Chem., Int. Ed.: DOI: 10.1002/anie.201607777

  • Schweiger, N. Rios Lombardía, C. Winkler, S. Schmidt, F. Morís, W. Kroutil, J.  Gonzalez-Sabin*, R. Kourist* (2019) Using deep eutectic solvents to overcome limited substrate solubility in the enzymatic decarboxylation of bio-based phenolic acids; ACS Sust. Chem. Eng., 7, 16364-16370