D-IAS Assistant Professor Changzhu Wu gets prestigious grant on DKK 6.1 million

Changzhu Wu is now one of only 35 newly elected Sapere Aude research leaders in Denmark and he has been granted with nothing less than DKK 6.1 million from Independent Research Fund Denmark (In Danish: Danmarks Frie Forskningsfond). 

By Susanne Siig Petersen

Creating artificial enzymes from the complex proteins is very challenging. However, desirable artificial enzymes allow for many new functions that natural enzymes do not have, such as the production of new drugs and chemicals of our interests. Therefore, exploring this field impacts significantly the chemistry, pharmaceutics and biotechnology industries.

I am very excited to be awarded to this prestigious grant. This grant will give me a great chance to carry out the project that I have been curious for a few years. It also allows me to expand my research portfolio into a new field, artificial enzymes, which is an extremely emerging area that can benefit not only robust industry but also “green” society. With this grant, I hope that I will be able to establish a strong group in the field, showcasing our contribution to the science and technology community”

Changzhu Wu states, and he further explains:

At DIAS, I can always follow my personal interests – creating the best enzymes for applications. The interdisciplinarity nature of DIAS definitely benefits for my project development in the future. I expect to get inspirations and collaborations from many colleagues including physicist, biologists, engineers, and others.”

About the project
Enzymes are biological catalysts that accelerate virtually all chemical reactions within cells. Today, naturally found enzymes are widely used for applications like producing foods, drugs, and biofuels. However, natural enzymes are often unstable under industrial conditions, and they may not even exist for many specific reactions of interest. To address these issues, the project will put active polymers (large chemical catalysts) onto proteins, generating artificial active sites, which will be used as artificial enzymes for the robust production of new chemicals and drugs in the future.

The project is planned to employ one postdoc and one PhD in the next four years.

About Sapere Aude
Sapere Aude means dare to know. Sapere Aude: DFF Research Leader provides excellent, younger researchers, ie researchers who have performed top-notch research in their field have the opportunity to develop and strengthen their own research ideas. The tool must also promote mobility internationally and nationally between research environments and strengthen careers, including giving the tool the most talented talents to put together a team of researchers and conduct research at a high international level.