Francesco Mutti is the group leader of HIMS-Biocat. He is native of Bergamo (Italy) and obtained a Master’s degree with summa cum laude in Industrial Chemistry (2004) at the University of Milan (Italy). After a one year experience in the R&D laboratories of two chemical industries, he was granted a Doctoral Fellowship by the Italian Minister of Research and University (MIUR) to carry out research in the field of bio-inorganic chemistry and study the catalytic activity and the reaction mechanism of the copper dependent enzymes laccases and tyrosinases (2005-2008, group of Prof. M. Gullotti). At the end of the PhD (2008), Francesco’s research was funded with a Marie Curie post-doctoral Fellowship (2009) wherein he continued his studies on multi-step chemo-enzymatic oxidative processes at the Department of Bioorganic Chemistry at the KF University of Graz, Austria (group of Prof. W. Kroutil and K. Faber). He then extended his research interests to encompass the biocatalytic synthesis of amines using ω-transaminases as well as the redox self-sufficient amination of alcohols as a member of the AmBioCas project (EU FP7) at the KF University of Graz. In 2013, Francesco moved to the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), The University of Manchester (group of Prof. Nick Turner), where he started his studies on the engineering and application of amine dehydrogenases as a member of the European consortium BioNexGen (EU FP7). In 2014, Francesco was granted a prestigious European Research Council (ERC) Starting Grant that allowed him to start an independent research programme as Research Fellow at the MIB. During this time, he continued his research on asymmetric enzymatic hydrogen-borrowing amination of alcohols that resulted in a world patent in collaboration with the industrial partner BASF (PCT/EP2015/65101) and in a publication in Science magazine (DOI 10.1126/science.aac9283). Since July 2015, Francesco has moved at the Van’t Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (HIMS), University of Amsterdam (UvA) to take a position as the Head of the Biocatalysis group. He is also lecturer of the course in Bio-Organic Chemistry at the UvA and VU Amsterdam.
Francesco has been the recipient of several prestigious European grants (a.o. Marie Curie fellowship in 2009, ERC Starting Grant in 2014) and national grants (NWO, Sector Plan on Physics and Chemistry). He was a member of several EU-FP7 projects (the AmBioCas project, N° 245144; the BioNexGen project, N° 266025; the CHEM21 project, N° 115360; RevCat, N° 035866). He has published more than 30 research papers/book chapters, 3 world patents and co-authored over than 40 posters at international conferences. He was an invited speaker of various internationally established conferences and international advanced schools. He was recipient of the “Italian Chemical Society Award 2005” (Italian Chemical Society), the “University Research Award of Industry 2008” (Austrian Society of Enterprises). He is member of the Italian Chemists Association (2005), Honorary Research Fellow of The University of Manchester (2015) and member of the Holland Research School of Molecular Chemistry (2015). He has held contiguous externally funded research fellowships (2005-2015), including the MIUR Doctoral Fellowship, Marie Curie Fellowship, ERC StG Fellowship, NWO Sector Plan for Physics and Chemistry Fellowship.