Luisa Merz

Transaminase-catalyzed synthesis routes from HMF to renewable monomers

Affiliation | ViaZym, Delft
Secondment | KTH, Sweden

I started off as a food scientist, mainly because I like food. Then I decided that I like chemistry more, switched and graduated in inorganic chemistry at the University of Stuttgart. In my master program I focused on biotechnology and biochemistry because I realized I could just let bacteria do the job for me, which I find really convenient.

I love the outdoors! Whenever I can I go hiking, often with friends. It is a great way to explore the area and relax at the same time. When the weather is not suitable my two big passions are operas and books (especially Puccini’s operas make my heart melt).

What is the most useless talent you have?
I almost always get the USB-stick in the right way on my first try.

Where is the worst smelling place you have been?
Rotorua in New Zealand. With sulphuric hot springs and mud pools everywhere, the smell of rotten eggs is just overwhelming. A close second is our incubator room.

What ridiculous thing has someone tricked you into doing or believing?
My friend asked me to join his group of friends for a relaxing weekend trip to Kiev…we ended up going to Chernobyl.

About which topic could you talk for hours?
Sustainability. It’s a topic with many different facets that affects everyone, and I love to exchanges ideas and opinions on what should and could be done (or better not be done).