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Prof. Dr. Manfred Zinn

Prof. Dr. Manfred Zinn
RoleProfessor UAS
Head of Research group Biotechnology and Sustainable Chemistry
Phone+ 41 27 606 86 66
Emailmanfred.zinn@hevs.ch
OfficeFR09

Dr. Manfred Zinn studied Biotechnology at ETH Zurich, where he also obtained his PhD in the lab of Prof. Bernard Witholt on multiple nutrient limited growth conditions in continuous cultures. He did 2 postdocs in the US at the University of Tennessee (Knoxville) and Harvard (Boston) in the field of biofilm research.
Back in Switzerland in 2000, he joined Eawag in Dübendorf and after 2 years moved on to Empa St. Gallen where he established a research group dedicated to biosynthesis and applications of biopolyesters.
In October 2011, he became Professor in the Biotechnology unit at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Western Switzerland (HES-SO Valais Wallis), where he teaches bioprocess technology at bachelor and master levels. Since 2012, he is also lecturing at EPFL in the chemistry department (ChE-311 and ChE-437).

He is on the editorial boards of Applied Environmental Biotechnology, International Biodeterioration & Biodegradation and, starting from January 2019, Specialty Chief Editor of Bioprocess Engineering of Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology.

Manfred Zinn coordinates the activities of the research group Biotechnology and Sustainable Chemistry (BSC). He is also member of the inter-institutes group "Water" of the School of Engineering.

Manfred Zinn’s research is currently focused on following topics:

  • Screening of microbial strains and characterization of their cell physiology
  • Bioprocess design (batch, fed-batch, chemostat, and auxostats) for aerobic and anaerobic cultures
  • Optimization of culture media for microbial cell cultures (DOE)
  • Utilization of sustainable carbon sources (e.g. plant oils) and gaseous (e.g. syngas and CO2) substrates for fermentations
  • Process analytical technology (PAT) for open and closed loop control
  • Scale-up of bioprocesses from shake flask to 300 L bioreactor
  • High cell density cultivations of bacteria, yeast and microalgae
  • Biosynthesis of biotechnological products such as RNA, chiral synthons, recombinant proteins, antibodies, and biomaterials/bioplastics
  • Biosynthesis and application of polyhydroxyalkanoates for industrial and medical applications