• The University of Western Australia (M310), 35 Stirling Highway,

    6009 Perth

    Australia

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Personal profile

Biography

Georg is a physicist with a strong interest in synthetic microbiology and works as a Senior Lecturer at the UWA School of Molecular Sciences. He completed his PhD in theoretical physics in 2012 at the Ludwigs-Maximilians University Munich, where he worked on theoretical models of gene regulatory circuits, with a particular focus on the regulation of bacterial stress responses. Georg then became a Postdoctoral fellow at the Biocenter in Munich, where he shifted focus to experimental work on antibiotic resistance mechanisms in Gram-positive bacteria. In 2014 he was appointed as a research group leader at the SYNMIKRO Center for Synthetic Microbiology in Marburg, Germany, which allowed him to build an interdisciplinary research profile focused on systems and synthetic biology approaches to break antimicrobial resistance. Since 2019 he has been pursuing this, as well as new lines of research on microbial plastic degradation and bioplastic production, as a ‘Be Inspired’ Senior Lecturer for Synthetic Biology at UWA.

Please visit his lab website at http://www.fritz-lab.org

Research interests

With an interdisciplinary background in theoretical physics and microbiology, Georg's research interests cover a broad spectrum of regulatory processes and metabolic networks in living organisms. These include:

  • Mechanisms and regulation of antimicrobial resistance
  • Engineering microbial solutions to remediate plastic pollution
  • Production of bioplastics from renewable sources
  • Design and implementation of synthetic genetic circuits in bacteria
  • Computational modelling of biological networks
  • Single molecule dynamics in living cells
  • Co-evolution of protein-protein interaction interfaces

Research

Selected publications

Stukenberg D., Hensel T., Hoff J., Daniel B., Inckemann R., Tedeschi J.N., Nousch F., and Fritz G. (2021) The Marburg Collection: A Golden Gate DNA Assembly Framework for Synthetic Biology Applications in Vibrio natriegens. ACS Synth. Biol. 10, 1904–1919

Casas-Pastor D., Müller R.R., Becker A., Buttner M., Gross C., Mascher T., Goesmann A., and Fritz G. (2021), Expansion and re-classification of the extracytoplasmic function (ECF) σ factor family. Nucl. Acids Res. 49, 986-1005

Iyer S.C., Casas-Pastor D., Kraus D., Mann P., Schirner K., Glatter T., Fritz G., Ringgaard S. (2020), Transcriptional regulation by σ-factor phosphorylation in bacteria. Nat. Microbiol. 5, 395–406

Piepenbreier H., Diehl A., and Fritz G. (2019), Minimal exposure of lipid II cycle intermediates triggers cell wall antibiotic resistance. Nat. Comm., 10, 2733 

Pinto D.*, Vecchione S.*, Wu H., Mauri M., Mascher T., and Fritz G. (2018), Engineering orthogonal synthetic timer circuits based on extracytoplasmic function σ factors. Nucl. Acids Res. 46, 7450–7464 

Funding overview

Funding

2023–2027.  Fritz G., Low P., Iyer K.-S., Chooi Y.-H., Euler C., Taylor N., Koutsantonis G., Joshi, J. Building a carbon dioxide foundry for sustainable carbon capture and utilisation. Australian Research Council (ARC), Woodside Energy Ltd., Linkage Project (LP220100185) (AU$1,607k)

2023–2026. Fritz G., Gebhard S. Synthetic biology tools for just-in-time control of biosynthetic pathways. Australian Research Council (ARC), Discovery Project (DP230103107) (AU$459k)

2022–2023. Fritz G., Fae Neto W., Tomkins J., Waters M., Ludwig M., Taylor N., Chooi Y.-H. (2022) Exploring microalgae candidates and farming methods for CO2 sequestration and valorisation. OceanWorks Prototyping Project, Woodside FutureLabs Network ($10k)

2022-2023.  Fritz G., Waters M., Chooi Y.-H., Millar H., Bond C., Low P., Stubbs K., Moggach, S. Towards building a carbon dioxide foundry, Woodside Energy Ltd. ($371k)

2021–2022.  Fritz G. VibrioPET: Engineering the ultra-fast growing marine bacterium Vibrio natriegens into a microbial platform for rapid bio-degradation of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) plastics, Woodside Energy Ltd. ($30k)

2021-2022.  Y.-H. Chooi, S. Abraham, P. Kaur, G. Flematti, M. O’Dea, G. Fritz, R. Abraham, COVIDexpress: High-throughput platform for screening of drugs to treat COVID-19 and rapid diagnosis, Future Health Research and Innovation (FHRI) Focus Grant ($862k)

2021-2023.  Waters M., Flemmatti G., Fritz G., From energy stress to hormones: new signals in bacteria and plants. Australian Research Council (ARC), Discovery Project (DP210103078) ($462k)

2015-2019.  Fritz G., Heterogeneous cell wall homeostasis as a survival strategy in stationary phase: balancing cell growth, antibiotic production, and envelope stress response in Bacillus subtilis, German Research Foundation (DFG), SPP1617 priority program (FR 3673/1-2) (€200k)

2015-2019.  Becker A., Fritz G. and Goesmann A., ECFexpress: An orthogonal, organism-independent expression platform based on extracytoplasmic function (ECF) sigma factors, Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), ERASynBio transnational research project (031L0010B) (€828k)

2012.  Fritz G., Temporal heterogeneity of gene induction in the BceRS-BceAB system of Bacillus subtilisGerman Research Foundation (DFG), Start-up grant (€10k)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Theoretical Biophysics, Dr, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

… → 2012

External positions

Group leader for Quantitative and Computational Microbiology, LOEWE Center for Synthetic Microbiology, Philipps-Universität Marburg

20142019

Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biology I, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich

20122014

Industry keywords

  • Bioengineering
  • Bioinformatics
  • Drug Discovery
  • Medicine and Pharma

Research expertise keywords

  • Synthetic biology
  • Systems biology
  • Microbial stress responses
  • Gene regulatory networks
  • Sigma factors
  • Computational Biology
  • Mathematical modeling
  • Bioengineering
  • Biostatistical methods
  • Differential equations
  • Stochastic processes
  • Nonlinear dynamics
  • Antibiotics
  • Antimicrobial compounds
  • Biosynthetic pathways
  • Cell wall biosynthesis
  • Lipid II cycle
  • Peptidoglycan
  • Metabolism
  • Plastic pollution
  • Bioplastics

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