Selection and selection criteria

Find out who selects the winner, and what the review criteria are. See also who won the award ...


The applications will be reviewed by a committee of eight distinguished Novozymes scientists.

Review criteria

  •  Originality and innovative character of the assay
  • Importance of the work in enabling improved measurement of industrially relevant activities


2014: The winner of 2014 round is a young postdoctoral researcher of University Claude Bernard Lyon, Dr. Sofiene Abdellaoui for his assay called “An Electrochemical Platform for Screening Oxidoreductase Activities”. The assay is based on a 96-well mini-electrode-array, screen-printed onto a circuit-board, which allows enzyme activity measurement by intermittent pulse amperometry (IPA) at μl-scale. In less than one minute, the direct or mediated electron transfer between redox enzymes and electrodes can be measured. The direct electron transfer assay was validated with a laccase and unmodified electrodes. For mediated electron transfer assay, the 96 carbon electrodes were modified by phenazines to screen libraries of a formate dehydrogenase obtained by directed evolution. The developed method can be applied to optimize enzymes for the development of bioelectronics such as enzymatic biofuel cells or electrochemical biosensors.

2012: Dr. Xiaoliang Cheng was awarded with the Novozymes Enzyme Assay Scientist Award 2012 for his role in the development of “A multiplexed, high through-put screening assay for lipases or proteases”, an assay based on Nanostructure-initiator mass spectrometry (NIMS). In this assay a porous silicon chip is coated with a perfluorinated disiloxane. These ‘Initiator’ molecules get trapped in the nano-structured surface of the chip. The assay is applicable for many different enzyme classes as lipases, proteases or cellulases. After an enzymatic reaction in a multiwall plate, samples are acoustically printed onto the NIMS chip. Formed products as well as substrates get immobilized on the chip surface via fluorous phase interactions. Laser-irradiation leads to vaporization of the ‘Initiator’ and of any samples attached to the surface, followed by subsequent mass spectrometry analysis. This ‘soft’ immobilization allows efficient desorption/ ionization while also enabling the use of in situ surface washing steps, which allows analysis of complex biological samples.

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