Professor Karsten Kristiansen - BioInnovation Institute

Professor Karsten Kristiansen

Designed bacterial collaboromes for biocontrol of plant pathogens

Professor Karsten Kristiansen is designing consortia of bacteria – termed collaboromes – able to prevent or diminish attacks by pathogens causing major annual losses of crops. The project will establish a comprehensive catalog of genes, species, and collaboromes characterizing the microbiota in fields with high or low incidence of diseases due to fungal or bacterial pathogens.

PI Karsten Kristiansen

Karsten Kristiansen has worked in the field of molecular biology since the late 70’s. He is a Professor at the Laboratory of Genomics and Molecular Biomedicine in the Department of Biology at the University of Copenhagen and has served as a member of Scientific Advisory Boards in several life science companies such as Evolva and in research institutions around the world such as The National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research in Norway. In 2001, he co-founded the start-up BioLigands.

Co-PI Duncan Aust

Duncan Aust, Ph.D. from Kings College London, has 25+ years of experience, including Senior VP in both the pharmaceutical and agricultural chemicals industries. He has brought several technologies to the market, one of which alone was later sold for USD >1.2B.

Duration
Host University
PI/Professor
Q&A with Principal Investigator Karsten Kristiansen
What have you learned about establishing companies that you can use in academia?

I have learned that companies work with strict deadlines and clear goals which we are not always used to in academia. Another thing I have learned is to always keep in mind that pursuing patents is what creates real value.

How did you develop an eye for potential spinouts or translational projects?

I think I have always had an eye for that. Personally, I don’t do science just for the sake of science and to make an impact, you must translate it. I believe it comes naturally for many researchers as most of us wish to benefit society through our discoveries. After spending 30 years looking at different technologies, it has become easier to see the differentiators and identify what could bring value.

What are the most promising technologies or solutions you have seen come out of industrial biotech?

We are only just seeing the beginning of that we can do when sequencing is coupled with bioinformatics and extensive sets of metadata. The advances that have been made in other fields of life sciences can be applied in the agricultural space and this will lead to a real change in how food is produced over the next 10 years.

“Karsten Kristiansen and his team are pioneers in using metagenomics technology to map microbial communities. This technology is now ripe for applications in agriculture where there is an urgent need to develop environmentally friendly ways to combat plant pathogens. Duncan Aust will bring his extensive industry experience to complement the world-class scientific development with strong commercial understanding to bring the research to market.”

Markus Herrgard, Chief Technical Officer, BioInnovation Institute.

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