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  • Welcome to the Hammer research group

    We aim to design, evolve, understand and apply enzymes for new catalytic reactions.

    © Universität Bielefeld


New catalytic reactions by directed enzyme evolution

Our research group combines methods from organic chemistry, enzymology and directed evolution to design, evolve, apply and understand new enzyme function. We aim to develop biocatalysts for synthetic organic chemistry catalyzing fundamental C-C, C-N and C-O bond formations that do not have a good catalytic solution. These new enzymes will be applied in synthesis, increase our understanding in enzymology and can expand the metabolism in living organisms.


Selected Publications

A New Age of Biocatalysis Enabled by Generic Activation Modes

Jain S, Ospina F, Hammer SC
JACS Au, 2024, published online


Efficient Transferase Engineering for SAM Analog Synthesis from Iodoalkanes

Schülke KH, Fröse JS, Klein A, Garcia-Borràs M, Hammer SC
ChemBioChem, 2024, e202400079

Highlighted in ChemistryViews: Efficient Access to S-Adenosylmethionine Analogs


Engineered P450 enables direct arylalkene-to-ketone oxidation by accessing highly reactive carbocation intermediates

Gergel S, Soler J, Klein A, Schülke K, Hauer B, Garcia-Borràs M, Hammer SC
Nature Catalysis, 2023, 6, 606-617

News & Views: E. O'Reilly and M. Haarr Nature Catalysis, 2023, 6, 561-562
Highlighted by B. List and M. Brunen in Synfacts 2023, 19, 1030
Highlighted by L. Barra Nachrichten aus der Chemie, 2023, 71 (11), 48-51


Chiral alcohols from alkenes and water: Directed evolution of a styrene hydratase

Gajdoš M, Wagner J, Ospina F, Köhler A, Engqvist MKM, Hammer SC
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2023, 62, e202215093

Highlighted by J. Andexer and P. Germer Nachrichten aus der Chemie202472 (3), 44-67


Selective biocatalytic N-methylation of unsaturated heterocycles

Ospina F, Schülke KH, Soler J, Klein A, Prosenc B, Garcia-Borràs M, Hammer SC
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2022, 61, e202213056

Selected as VIP paper by Angewandte Chemie
Highlighted by B. List and M. Turberg in Synfacts 2023, 19, 0080


Enzymatic control over reactive intermediates enables direct oxidation of alkenes to carbonyls by a P450 iron-oxo species

Soler J, Gergel S, Klaus C, Hammer SC, Garcia-Borràs M
J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144, 15954-15968


Engineered enzymes enable selective N‐alkylation of pyrazoles with simple haloalkanes

Bengel LL, Aberle B, Egler-Kemmerer AN, Kienzle S, Hauer B, Hammer SC
Angew Chem Int Ed2021, 60, 5554-5560

Selected as VIP paper by Angewandte Chemie
Highlighted by B. List and J.L. Kennemur in Synfacts 2021, 17, 0322


Anti-Markovnikov alkene oxidation by metal-oxo–mediated enzyme catalysis

Hammer SC, Kubik G, Watkins E, Huang S, Minges H, Arnold FH
Science 2017, 358, 215-218

Highlighted by S. Bormann in C&EN
Highlighted by B. List and G.A. Shevchenko in Synfacts 2018, 14, 0083
Highlighted by ACS in Chemistry Research of the year 2017



Stephan C. Hammer

Jun.-Prof. for Organic Chemistry and Biocatalysis & Emmy Noether Research Group Leader (New Catalytic Reactions by Directed Enzyme Evolution).

Curriculum vitae

Google Scholar

Orcid, Twitter/X


Iris Dopheide



Alina Klein

Chemical Laboratory Assistant

Alina is our Bielefeld local and manages our lab. She joined the group after successfully completing her training as chemical laboratory assistant at Bielefeld University.


Lucas Bocquin

Doctoral Researcher

Lucas is French and he studied organic chemistry in Marseille (France) and Trondheim (Norway). Lucas worked with Dr. Hervé Clavier and completed his master thesis with Prof. Elisabeth Jacobsen.


Dr. Christoph Diehl

Postdoctoral Researcher

Chris studied microbiology and received his PhD with Prof. Tobias Erb (Marburg, DE) by combining synthetic metabolism and machine learning and is the recipient of the 2023 Dissertation Award of Synthetic Biology.


Shubhanshu Jain

Doctoral Researcher

Shubhanshu is from Madhya Pradesh (India) and studied chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay. Shubhanshu joined our group after his master thesis with Prof. Debabrata Maiti.


Jill McLachlan

Master Student

Jill is from Bielefeld (Germany) and studies chemistry. She is currently doing research for her master's thesis in our research group.


Friederike Reese

Master Student

Friederike is from Düsseldorf (Germany) and studies biochemistry at the Bielefeld University. She joined us after an internship at Bayer AG and is currently doing research for her master's thesis.


Vanessa Reitz

Doctoral Researcher

Vanessa studied biology and biochemistry at the Philipps University of Marburg (Germany) and joined us after her master thesis with Dr. Johannes Rebelein at the Max Planck Institute of Terrestrial Microbiology.


Felipe Ospina Sánchez 

Doctoral Researcher

Felipe comes from Colombia and is a chemist by training. Before joining our group, Felipe worked as lecturer and research assistant with Prof. Felipe Otálvaro at Universidad de Antioquia in Medellín.


Marius Schnutenhaus

Doctoral researcher

Marius studied at the Ruhr University Bochum and Bielefeld University with a focus on Molecular Biotechnology. He joined our laboratory for his master thesis and is now a doctoral researcher in our group.


Kai Schülke

Doctoral Researcher

Kai is from southern Germany, studied technical biochemistry at Stuttgart University and already made an internship in industry (Roche Biocatalysis). He joined us with a DBU PhD scholarship.



Would you like to join our team? We are currently looking for new lab members (PhD students) with a strong background in synthetic organic chemistry. Please contact us.


Stephan Hammer
J.-Prof. für Organische Chemie und Biokatalyse
Emmy Noether Nachwuchsgruppenleiter
Universität Bielefeld, Fakultät für Chemie
Universitätsstraße 25, D-33615 Bielefeld
+49 521 106-67892

Iris Dopheide
+49 521 106-6963

Funding Acknowledgements

Our research is funded by the following institutions and programmes

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