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Current Projects


SaS-CoV2 takes an innovative approach to the low-cost production of reagents for diagnostics to overcome supply chain issues that have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and severely constrain the ability of countries to test people for SARS-CoV-2 infection. This situation results in reduced containment of the pandemic which has huge social and economic costs across the world. For this the Open Bioeconomy Lab at Cambridge University will provide its collection of open source enzymes for diagnostics and experience in knowledge transfer for local enzyme manufacturing. The innovative production platform for low-resource production of diagnostic enzymes is developed by the Kabisch Lab from TU Darmstadt. The required production processes are developed together with the Ethiopian Biotechnology Institute which has an ongoing programme to locally manufacture reagents and instrumentation for the virus diagnostic method RT-LAMP and is a national COVID-19 testing centre, collaborating with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute.

Eternal Ideas

Eternal Ideas is a science communication we developed together with Alfred Nordman from the Philosophy department. Ideas are entered and compete in an evolutionary process. The top 3 ideas on the 24th of June 2021 will be synthesized as DNA and integrated into bacterial genomes to become eternal.


Aim of the project is the development of a novel Paenibacillus polymyxa chassis organism for application in biorefinery principles. Based on an already existing tailored CRISPR-Cas9 system this strain will be further developed towards a robust and reliable production host which is perfectly adapted towards the utilization of renewable resources. The genus Paenibacillus is perfectly suited for biorefinery processes by its broad substrate spectra as well as lignin metabolization and manifold antimicrobial activity as well as natural tolerance against inhibitory compounds resulting from lignocellulose-based pretreatments. Within PolyMore we strive for the junction of all benefits from the various Paenibacilli strains in a single highly robust chassis. By use of a holistic systems biology approach we will perform an in-depth characterization which will guide the further optimization. This is a joint project with the group of Jochen Schmid at University of Münster and Tobias Erb at Max-Planck-Marburg.

Eternal Cell

Deciphering the physiological function of fundamental cellular processes has until recently been hindered by the lack of molecular tools to manipulate essential genes in vivo. Recent breakthroughs in the technology for genome engineering, such as CRISPR-Cas9, have allowed the characterization of these under-studied processes. In the frame of this project we propose to use these new tools for the creation of a cell that will lose central mechanisms of the bacterial life cycle.


Will not be disclosed.

Finished Projects

Drop-In Biofuels

We research and optimize oleaginous microorganisms such as the yeast Yarrowia lipolytica in respect to their oil body formation capabilities and methods to transform these into a renewable gasoline replacements. Our second host, the Gram-positive bacterium Bacillus subtilis, is being optimized with the goal to produce hydrocarbons of varying length.


CompuGene is an interdisciplinary consortium of natural science and engineering with the aim to develop computer-aided designs of complex, synthetic genetic circuits. In this framework it is the task of the kabisch-lab to develop methods for the rapid prototyping of these circuits. For this we examined a variety of DNA assembly methods in respect to their automation potential. After identifying the ligase cycling reaction (LCR) as most suited we have begun to evaluate the limits of the method, started building models, as well as creating computer-aided design tools enabling us model optimal assembly designs. Furthermore we down-scaled the DNA assembly reactions to 1 µl using a nanoliter dispenser.


EP20187230, priority date 22.07.2020, Rapid transformation method for Gram-positive bacteria

2010630.8, priority date 10.07.2020, Novel Yeast Promoters

EP 21155857.2, priority date 08.02.2021, Method for micro-volume, one-pot, high-throughput protein production