Lab history

The PhotoBioCatalysis Unit (Bio-Cat) is a cross-border biotech research group funded by David Cannella at ULB in 2018. The group develops BioBased green technologies transforming biomass and waste into useful commodities through the Light aided enzymatic BioCatalysis: indeed photobiocatalysis processes.
We are specilized in redox fungal enzymes i.e. Monooxygenases, LPMO; laccases and more, as well as characterization of new plant elicitor molucules for applications in agrotechnology.

The group is associated with the Department of Crop Nutrition and Biocatalysis - CPBL led by Prof. C. Hermans at faculty of Sciences. It is also the funding and integral activity of the Biomass Transformation Lab - BTL (where DC serves as co-director), together with prof. A. Shavandi leading the BioMatter unit (3BIO), an initiative of the interfaculty bioengineering school - EIB.

We salute the ULB motto: "Scientia vincere tenebras".

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Selected publications

- Every cloud has a silver lining: how abiotic stresses affect gene expression in plant pathogen-interactions. M. Zarattini et al; Journal of Experimental Botany, 2020, eraa531,

- A fast and easy strategy for lytic polysaccharide monooxygenase-cleavable His6-Tag cloning, expression, and purification.  M. Kadowaki, […] D Cannella*, Enzyme and Microbial Technology, 2020, 109704, 10.1016/j.enzmictec.2020.109704

- Laccase-derived lignin compounds boost cellulose oxidative enzymes AA9.
Biotech. for Biofuels, 2018
, Brenelli [...] D. Cannella*.    pdf


- Light-driven oxidation of polysaccharides by photosynthetic pigments and a metalloenzyme;  Nature Communications. 2016, 11134, D. Cannella* et alpdf


- Enzymatic cellulose oxidation is linked to lignin by long-range electron transfer

Scientific Reports, 2015, Westereng&Cannella et al.   pdf


- Do new cellulolytic enzyme preparations affect the industrial strategies for high solids lignocellulosic ethanol production? Biotech and Bioeng, 2014, Cannella&Jørgensen pdf

Competitive PhD and PostDoc Vacancies
All year rounds there several openings for call at the national FNRS/EU competitive grants.
Candidates are welcome to
contact at

For PhD application at the FRIA grant a project must be presented by the candidate usually around August, and an oral talk must be defended in loco (around Oct-November). Candidates from all around the wolrd are welcome to apply, must have already obtained a MSc diploma, belgians in due soon.
For PostDoc application to the FNRS, or to Marie Curie-IF grant a project must be submitted usually around January or September respectively. International and National candidates are welcome to take direct contact with me via email
Available positions
---> The PostDoc position (reference 006-Enzymology) has been awarded to one of the 54 candidates.
No current position is available at the moment.