Congratulations to John Mandawe on his successful PhD defence


Congratulations, John!

We are delighted to announce that our PhD fellow John Mandawe successfully graduated today in presence of family, friends and colleagues.

His work is entitled "Engineering of Hyaluronic Acid Synthases from Streptococcus equi subsp. zooepidemicus and Pasteurella multocid a towards improved Hyaluronic Acid Chain Length and Titer".

Hyaluronic acid is one of the natural glycosaminoglycans with diverse cosmetic and medical applications with a global market value of $8.3 billion. High-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid is very much appreciated for several applications such as joint lubrication, osteoarthritis treatment, wound healing, and drug delivery. A deeper molecular understanding of the control of hyaluronic acid polymerization by the synthase machinery can therefore facilitate the tuned production of hyaluronic acid, according to the intended application.

The general objective of John’s doctoral investigation, therefore, was to implement protein engineering principles to Class I and Class II hyaluronic acid synthases to improve hyaluronic acid production by means of polymer length and quantity. He performed the first successful directed evolution campaign of Class II hyaluronic acid synthase for improved hyaluronic acid chain length and titer. The production of high-molecular-weight hyaluronic acid up to 4.7 MDa at twice the normal output was the main highlight of his doctoral thesis. This scientific advancement was published recently in ChemBioChem.

John worked in the division of Biohybrid Systems under the supervision of Dr. Felix Jakob. The whole Schwaneberg group congratulates John for his achievement and wishes all the best and good fortune for his future.

Well done, John!


Impressions of John Mandawe`s PhD Defence