At Syngulon, we work closely with Universities to develop and improve our technologies. We also focus on generating publishable data related to bacteriocin production and their interactions within microbial networks. We are a “Startup in the Labs”, meaning that the members of our team perform research directly in our partner labs and have a strong link to academic research. In this way, we can directly work with our academic partners in their own labs, which allows us to have a strong R&D relationship while maintaining our confidentiality.

Currently, we have ongoing collaborations with the following labs:

  • Pascal Hols (Université Catholique de Louvain)
  • Laurence van Melderen (Université libre Bruxelles)
  • Bruno André (Université libre de Bruxelles)
  • Ruddy Wattiez (Université de Mons)
  • Frank Delvigne (Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech – Université de Liège)
  • Vitor Pinheiro (University College of London)
  • Chris Barnes (University College of London)

Pascal Hols, Université Catholique de LouvainLIBST (Louvain Institute of Biomolecular Science and Technology)

Member of the Biochemistry, Bioengineering and Genetics of Microorganims unit of LIBST at UCLouvain, Dr. Hols studies genetics, metabolism, physiology and population dynamics of lactic acid bacteria (Gram+). Additionally, he is currently working on bacterial pathogen control, metabolic engineering, non-GMO genetic modifications and probiotic development. His lab recently demonstrated a direct link between natural transformation (evolvability) and bacterial predation (via bacteriocins) in Streptococcus salivarius, a prevalent commensal of the human gut. Dr Hols’s lab acts as our base of study for bacteriocins from Gram-positive bacteria.

Laurence van Melderen, Université libre de BruxellesCellular and Molecular Microbiology

Dr. van Melderen studies bacterial environmental adaptation and the molecular mechanisms underlying this adaptation through the study of toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems and their relevance to persistence, and global regulation of gene expression of central carbon metabolism and biofilm formation. Our work overlaps as bacteriocins can behave similarly to TA systems; both produce compounds capable of killing the host or other cells, and in both systems an antidote (or immunity protein in the case of bacteriocins) protects the producing cell. Additionally, understanding the interplay of bacteriocins and biofilms will allow us to increase the potency of our system. We work with Dr. Van Melderen’s lab to study bacteriocins from Gram-negative bacteria.

Bruno André, Université Libre de BruxellesMolecular Cell Physiology

Dr. André uses yeast to decipher the detailed mechanisms underlying cellular functions. They apply state-of-the-art genomic, proteomic, and cellular biology techniques to study the plasma membrane proteins involved in the detection and transport of the molecules from the extracellular milieu, including the role of ubiquitin in regulating intercellular traffic of the membrane transport proteins. They have similarly found that a member of this protein family has become specialized as a transporter of amino acids. Dr. André’s lab  is our partner for using bacteriocins in yeast.

Ruddy Wattiez, Université de Mons – Protéomique et Microbiolgie

Dr. Wattiez is an expert on proteomics. His group studies the role of polypeptides to understand the cellular mechanisms of bacteria in a uni- or multicellular context. They use state-of-the-art technology, such as high-resolution mass spectrometry, to understand the functional aspects of the cell in its entirety. Dr Wattiez’s lab allows us to use proteomic analysis to understand the biological impact of our systems.

Frank Delvigne, Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech- Liège UniversitéMicrobial Processes and Interactions lab (MiPI)

Dr. Frank Delvigne is an expert on microbial biotechnologies, working on the scaling up of culture systems and purification of at industrial levels given the constraints of the microbe, and the understanding of the behavior of microbial populations in bioreactors at the level of the single cell. We work with Dr. Delvigne’s lab to scale-up our technology for industrial applications.

Vitor Pinheiro, University College of London – Institute of Structural and Molecular Biology

Dr. Vitor Pinheiro’s lab uses a Synthetic Biology approach to understand how information is processed at all levels of the central dogma of molecular biology, from individual components to the systems they comprise, up to the level of general principles of biology. Dr. Pinheiro uses directed evolution develop synthetic nucleic acids and alternate genetic codes with non-canonical chemical functionalities. We work with Dr. Pinheiro to apply synthetic biology approaches to tune and design novel bacteriocins not found in nature.

 

Chris Barnes, University College of LondonCentre for Computational Statistics and Machine Learning (CSML)

Dr. Chris Barnes is a leader in the field of systems and synthetic biology, and researches biological processes and their relation to disease using mathematical modelling and statistical methods. In this way, his research comprises three themes: modelling mutational processes in the genome, reverse engineering of signalling systems, and designing synthetic biological systems for therapeutic approaches, particularly the engineering of probiotic bacteria. We work with Dr. Barnes to use modelling approaches to understand and predict the effect of bacteriocins on industrial microbial populations.