I completed my undergraduate studies at the University of York, graduating with my MChem in Chemistry, Green Principles and Sustainable Processes. I completed my final year Masters project in the Chemical Biology group where I got my first real experience in the world of research, using electrochemistry to study redox active enzymes. I quickly realised that I wanted to continue in this area of research after I had finished my undergraduate studies, which led me to apply for my current project. I was lucky enough to be accepted to return to the Chemical Biology lab this year under the co-supervision of Dr Alison Parkin, Prof Gideon Davies and Prof Paul Walton. My current project remains based in the electrochemical investigation of the redox activity of metalloenzymes, specifically lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases (LPMOs).
Lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases, or LPMOs for short, are copper-dependent enzymes capable of oxidatively cleaving the glycosidic bonds of polysaccharides, such as cellulose and starch. The ability to depolymerise these structures has a lot of potential for the industrial utilisation of waste feedstock, which we often result to burning as the recalcitrant polysaccharides are too difficult to break down into useful chemicals. LPMOs may be able to help us make use of this waste material, for example, in the production of second generation biofuels. However, the mechanism through which LPMOs activate polysaccharides has not yet been defined in its entirety. They are a relatively recently discovered class of enzymes and therefore, there is still work to do in fully understanding them; we don’t even know if their co-substrate is oxygen or hydrogen peroxide. My project aims to electrochemically investigate both fungal and bacterial LPMOs from several different sub-families, along with novel LPMOs that I am hoping to discover through an industrial placement with Prozomix Ltd.
Linked in – https://www.linkedin.com/in/ella-reid-686619244/