Global biosciences company, Genesis Biosciences, has made a key appointment at its Cardiff-based headquarters to support its research into the varying strains of bacteria used in its products.
Franziska Nagel, originally from Hamburg, Germany, has been appointed as R&D Scientist at Genesis’ UK laboratories and is already making strides in the lab progressing studies into the attributes and potential applications of specific Bacillus strains of bacteria that Genesis bases it’s eco-benign® solutions on.
The company’s microbial formulations are continually challenging the use of harsh chemical technologies, replacing the need to use unsustainable, hazardous materials across various industries including marine, wastewater treatment, agriculture and cleaning.
Fran is an expert in bacteria research having previously worked at the Max Planck Institute for Marine Microbiology with an M.Sc. in Biology from the University of Tromsø, Norway.
In further developing Genesis’ knowledge of its Bacillus strains, which are fermented in-house at its state-of-the-art facility in the US, Fran’s role will utilise different technologies, including bioinformatics, to research how the bacteria like to be grown, what each strain can and cannot do and ultimately what the potential applications may be.
Fran said: “A big part of my role initially has been to compile all the information on the metabolic profiles of our strains and actively maintain the bioinformatics pipeline moving forward. In doing so, we now have a full database of safety and efficacy information on our Bacillus strain library. We understand a lot more about how our strains respond to different environmental factors and food sources, and we can prove that our strains are safe to humans, animals and the environment.
“I am excited to be working for Genesis. They are building on the great potential bacteria has to solve problems, which would otherwise be solved with harsh chemicals that are not sustainable. There is an entire world of microbiological wonders out there and Genesis captures them and utilises them in real-world applications. Being involved with a company actively looking for environmentally responsible solutions is in line with my personal ethos, so it felt like a really good fit.”
Emma Saunders, General Manager at Genesis Biosciences, said: “This year we have really focused on expanding our technical resources, recruiting additional molecular biology expertise and enhancing our Genomic and Bioinformatic functions, allowing us to further characterise the capabilities of our strains at the genomic level and really streamline our product development activities. But most importantly of all, it’s facilitated our understanding of strain safety which is paramount in delivering probiotics to a wide range of industries.
“We are thrilled to have Fran join us and see what she can bring to the team. Fran is already conveying her expansive experience, putting new ideas forward and developing in the lab. She is helping us explore new avenues of research in order to expand the use of bacteria in applications where chemicals have previously dominated, and we’re really excited to see her grow.”
With the expansion of the team, and the growing knowledge of their beneficial bacteria strains, Genesis say they are leading the way with their strain safety data. Using both in silico and in vitro methods, Genesis is able to evidence that its Bacillus strains cannot contribute towards antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in the environment and have no potential for toxicity, offering reassurance that the beneficial Bacillus bacteria utilised in its products is not only highly efficacious in a wide range of applications, but are also safe for the environment and users.
A new strain discovery program to identify and characterise new strains from the environment and their culture collections allows Genesis to further develop application-specific probiotic products targeted for each application and industry and remain a leader in their field.