the Hilvert Lab

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the Hilvert Lab

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Welcome

Welcome to the website of the Hilvert group. The group of Professor Hilvert works in the field of chemical biology. Check out the 'research' and 'publications' tabs on the right for more info about our research.

The figure on the left displays two proteins we work on and an image of our HCI building and a picture of the Aletsch glacier which we visited during an exciting group hike..

We are always looking for motivated and interested PhD students and postdoctoral candidates. Please check the open positions page for application requirements.

Research overview

The research of the Hilvert Group focuses on protein design, enzymology and capsid engineering. Below are a few more details about the different research topics of our group.

Directed Evolution Although it is now possible to create new enzyme active sites with immunological methods or by redesigning existing proteins, the chemical efficiency of these catalysts is typically considerably lower than that of naturally occurring enzymes.  Genetic selection is a potentially general method for evolving the properties of these first-generation molecules.

Capsid engineering We are engineering non-viral and non-natural cage forming proteins to efficiently encapsulate guest molecules such as enzymes and nanoparticles. The structure and dynamics of these capsids are being probed using various biochemical and biophysical methods.

Selenocysteine Incorporation The natural or synthetic incorporation of selenocysteine into proteins and enzymes is a long standing research topic within the Hilvert Lab. Either by solid phase peptide synthesis or using the natural selenocysteine incorporation machinery several proteins are synthesized to study the effect of selenium introduction..

Semisynthetic Enzymes Although it is not yet practical to design and synthesize new proteins from their constituent amino acids, existing protein molecules can serve as convenient starting points for the construction of new active sites. Such molecules can be redesigned by using either recombinant techniques or site-selective chemical modification...

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