Yves Briers is assistant professor at the Centre of Synthetic Biology affiliated to the Department of Biotechnology at Ghent University (Belgium). His research group focuses on the synthetic biology of modular proteins with a keen interest in the engineering of phage-encoded modular endolysins and tail fibers for biocontrol of multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens.
He graduated in 2004 at the University of Leuven (Belgium) with summa cum laude as bioscience engineer in cell- & gene technology. He has completed his PhD in bioscience engineering at the department of Biosystems (University of Leuven) in 2008. Inspired by the early successes of endolysins against Gram-positive pathogens, he took the challenge to engineer endolysins with outer membrane penetrating peptides to create highly effective enzybiotics against multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogens. These engineered endolysins are currently commercialized by Lysando (start-up in 2009) as Artilysins®. During his PhD he did research visits at the Shemyakin-Ovchinnikov institute (Moscow, Russia) and ETH Zurich (Switzerland). As a postdoctoral researcher at ETH Zurich in the research group of Martin Loessner (2009-2011), he was granted a long-term fellowship from the European Molecular Biology Organization (EMBO). In 2012, he returned as a postdoc to the lab of Rob Lavigne at the University of Leuven, where he focused on the engineering of the next generation endolysins against Gram-negative pathogens. Since May 2015, he has been appointed as assistant professor at Ghent University and has established an independent research group (7 PhDs, 1 postdoc, 1 scientific collaborator). Yves Briers has (co)authored approximately 50 international, peer-reviewed publications and holds 9 patents in the field of endolysins, antibacterials and protein engineering. He is currently guest editor of the special issue ‘Phage lytic enzymes’.