Gustavo Santos

Gustavo Santos

Tell us something about your background.

My academic background begins with a bachelor degree in Biotechnology (Coimbra College of Agriculture – Polytechnic of Coimbra), a very general degree with a clear focus on food engineering but that enabled me to have broad knowledge. During that time I worked on two different projects, one developing a cellulose acetate package for the detergent industry and the second one on replacing conventional cheese coatings for whey protein based ones with antimicrobial activity. Afterwards, during my Molecular Genetics MSc. (Minho University – Braga), I got the chance to work with Dr. Tony Collins who was my supervisor for the thesis focused on engineering a cold-adapted xylanase for improved low-pH stability. Due to its cold-active properties this xylanase is particularly suitable for baking applications. Improving its low-pH stability would extend its applications to the the bio-refinery and further food applications (juice/wine clarification, pre-biotics, etc.). After the conclusion of the latter, I worked at a Biotechnological company (Yeast Wine – Wine solutions, Ltd) where I was responsible for yeast genotyping, phenotyping and pilot-scale fermentations.  With the end of the contract approaching I’ve decided that I wanted to continue to do industry oriented research and a PhD was the best way to pursue this wish.


Tell us a bit about your PhD project in OXYTRAIN and your research interests.

The PhD project will focus on the topic of the OXYTRAIN project, which is oxygenases, my ESR particulary on heme dependent oxygenases. This ESR will be done in coordination with other partners, SeSam and TUG.

I am very interested in combining genetic engineering, protein engineering and cell systems in order to create value-added products from waste-products (chemical or organic). In essence, towards a “green-based” society.


What do you like to do in your free time, your hobbies, interests, what motivates you.

I can say that my hobbies are very well related to my interests and motivation. Since I wish we could be a society more in balance with nature, I enjoy sports nature, either mountain climbing, hiking, cycling.