– University of Copenhagen

HOPE – Harnessing the Oxidative Power of Enzymes is a strategic research project funded by the Novo Nordisk Foundation with the aim to address the pressing challenge of studying some of Nature’s most powerful oxidative enzymes, known as lytic polysaccharide monooxygenases or LPMOs.

These enzymes are important for converting biological material such as cellulose that is not easily degraded, into biofuels and chemicals. With the help of copper in its structure, the LPMOs can modify the cellulose fibers allowing other enzymes to access the material and release the sugar in the biomass. LPMOs are already used commercially today for converting plant waste to bioethanol.

A key element of the project involves establishing the Laboratory of Oxidative Enzymology at the Copenhagen Plant Science Center. The laboratory will include unique facilities with equipment to work under oxygen-free conditions and dedicated facilities for microbial and plant work.

The project is a partnership between The Department of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences hosting the Copenhagen Plant Science Center, the Department of Chemistry and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research at the University of Copenhagen and the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability at the Technical University of Denmark.