Personal profile

Summary

I am a Postdoc Researcher currently working on PET plastic degradation with focus on enzymatic recycling of textiles. Post-consumer waste polyester textile represent a valuable feedstock for the production of chemical building blocks which can be further utilized for the production of new textiles and/or plastic bottles, for example. My work aims to evaluate the deconstruction of polyester textiles by different enzymes, understand how they work and are affected by additives and dyes present  in the fabrics, and ultimately optimize this technology in an industrial scale.

Biography

I am Biologist, PhD in Genetics and Molecular Biology by the University of Campinas, Brazil, with 10 years of experience in industrial biotechnology, microbiology and genetics of microorganisms, lignocellulose, and upcycling of plastics.

During my Msc (2014-15) and PhD (2015-19), I worked with omics-driven approaches of filamentous fungi (Aspergillus niger and Trichoderma reesei), fungal transformation (USP-Brazil and TU Wien, Austria), and lignocellulose deconstruction at the Brazilian Biorenewables National Laboratory (LNBR/CNPEM). 

In 2020, I worked as a Postdoc Researcher at the University of Helsinki, Finland. How fungi can convert the lignin-based compounds into high-value added products (e.g. vanillin and vanillyl alcohol), and the main metabolic pathways involved in these processes were some of the topics of my research.

At Finnish company VTT (2021-22), I started working with plastics. My goal was to employ different enzymes to degrade polyolefins (PE and PP) and PS plastics, mainly. These enzymes could be initiating one of the first steps in the conversion of these recalcitrant and inert plastics, making them more accessible to the action of other enzymes. 

In May 2023, I joined Prof. Dr. Andrew Pickford`s group at CEI, UK, as a PostDoc Researcher to work in a project aiming at enzyme conversion of waste polyester textiles. The main goals include to evaluate the feability of enzymatic degradation of textiles in the presence of additives and dyes, protein engineering of enzymes to enhance their thermostability and activity, and test this enzyme technology in an industrial scale using bioreactors.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 6 - Clean Water and Sanitation
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production

Education/Academic qualification

Ph.D., Analysis of transcriptional co-regulation and identification of genes of biotechnological interest in Trichoderma reesei, Universidade Estadual de Campinas

20152019

Award Date: 27 Aug 2019

MSc, Genomic studies of global genetic expression of filamentous fungus Trichoderma reesei grown on bagasse and culm of sugarcane, Universidade Estadual de Campinas

20132014

Award Date: 6 Mar 2015

External positions

Research Scientist - Postdoc, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd.

Jan 2021Dec 2022

Postdoc researcher, University of Helsinki

Jan 2020Dec 2020

Keywords

  • QH301 Biology
  • biochemistry
  • plastic-degrading enzymes
  • PET plastic
  • polyester textile
  • lignocellulose
  • filamentous fungi
  • omics

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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