Novozymes Award within Biochemical and Chemical Engineering 2018 goes to Professor Matthias Reuss from the University of Stuttgart. 

“We are awarding Matthias Reuss for his ground-breaking contribution to science of engineering, particularly his efforts on advancing the use of mathematical models to understand cellular metabolism, bioreactor mixing, and scale-up. This enables us to better understand how it becomes possible to work with biological processes in a bigger scale,” said professor Jens Nielsen, professor at The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability in Denmark. 

Jens Nielsen chairs the committee who selects the winner of the prize on behalf of Novozymes.

Mathematical modeling simulates what happens in the cell 

A cell is the smallest structural and functional living unit of living organisms, and they are common to both humans, plants and microorganisms. Although the cells are small, they are incredibly complicated, and many biochemical processes take place within each cell. Biochemistry is the study of the chemical processes occurring in living organisms.

This knowledge supports research in cells by investigating the effect of how the biochemical reactions occur within the cell. And with that knowledge, it will again be possible to work with the cells, for example, to make medicine and to develop biological solutions.

"Matthias Reuss has furthermore demonstrated that advanced mathematical modeling can be used to understand how drugs work and how the growth of cancer cells is affected by the microenvironment," says Jens Nielsen.

 Novozymes Award for Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
  • The prize is awarded annually in honor of Professor John Villadsen and his contributions to biochemical and chemical engineering at DTU and other universities around the world.
     
Mathematical modeling uses advanced math and IT technology to understand how the chemical processes in a cell act. And with the increased understanding, it will also be possible to improve the utilization of cells, e.g. the production of enzymes or probiotics.

"Nature is amazing, and Matthias Reuss' research teaches us to understand it better. In Novozymes, we can use Matthias Reuss' research to develop and produce new biological solutions that can help solve some of the biggest challenges on the planet today, for example to reduce the consumption of antibiotics using probiotics,” says Claus Crone Fuglsang, Senior Vice President of Research & Technology at Novozymes.